Technology and MCM Panel Systems - My Wish List of Product Developments
This month's issue of Ted's MCM Corner completes our series on
technology and MCM panel systems. For the most part, all of the
developments I have highlighted in previous months have been
initiated by MCM fabricators. This month we turn the tables around
and challenge our valued suppliers of MCM sheets, the MCM
Outlined below is a "wish list" of product and policy
developments that would be helpful to expand our industry further.
The policy changes on the "wish list" may not strictly be a
function of technology. However, increased product quality through
better technology may ultimately be the catalyst that gives the MCM
manufacturers the confidence to make policy changes.
THE WISH LIST
Develop a technique or product enhancement
that would allow "double curvature" of MCM.
One of the chief reasons that MCM has become more popular is its
ability to form challenging geometric shapes. We can: bend the
panels in multiple directions, curve the panels to a variety of
radii, combine flat and curved surfaces into a trimless condition,
form truncated cone segments, etc.
The one form that we cannot do currently is double curvature. If
one of the MCM manufacturers would develop a technique or product
enhancement that would allow for double curvature it would be a
specifiable differentiator and make MCM panels even more valuable
Develop a program to produce orders of small
quantities of custom colors more economically.
We fully understand why small quantities of custom colors cost
more as they are currently produced on coil coaters. However, it is
still a problem.
One of the distinct benefits of MCM panels is their ability to
offer long lasting finishes with vibrant custom colors. Designers
want to make their projects vibrant and it would be very helpful to
the industry to be able to offer multiple custom colors, in small
quantities at more affordable pricing.
Establish a clear and concise policy on pricing
and delivery dates that fits with the industry.
This may take some explanation. The normal process of a project
goes something like this:
• Fabricators bid a project to general contractors.
• General contractors often award projects in about 90 to 120
days after the bid date.
• Then it often takes six to nine months for fabricators to
produce approval drawings and field dimensions to be able to place
orders with MCM manufacturers.
Often the quotations we receive from MCM manufacturers are good
for 90 days from the date of the quotation. Now I must tell you
that most of the time our valued suppliers have held their pricing
firm until we are able to place the order but that is not
guaranteed and that leaves the MCM fabricator at risk for price
increases with no ability to obtain pricing relief from our
If the MCM manufacturers would establish a policy that protects
the MCM fabricator it would be greatly appreciated.
Establish a clear and concise policy that
protects the MCM Fabricator on product
First, let me say that the number of times that there have been
any product problems with MCM is very, very few. And to this point,
when there have been product problems our valued suppliers of MCM
have been actively engaged in the resolution of the problem and
have helped financially to mitigate our losses.
However, it would be very comforting to have a policy that
clearly and concisely outlines that if the MCM sheets are
defective, then the MCM manufacturer will make the MCM fabricator
Develop one core that can be used anywhere
on a building that is no more expensive than
standard polyethylene core.
We have a great product in MCM panels. It would be an even
better product if we had one core that would meet all of the fire
resistive concerns that was no more expensive than standard
polyethylene core. This would help in several ways:
• Designers and building owners could utilize the product with
even more confidence because they know that it is safe to use
anywhere on the building.
• MCM manufacturers could simplify their production schedules,
purchasing processes and delivery schedules if there was only one
• MCM fabricators could simplify their engineering, production
and installation processes if they did not have to be concerned
over which core goes where with the advent of one core does it
There may be other items that you would like to put on the "wish
list." Feel free to drop me a note and we can add them to the list.
As we explore these issues, please feel free to drop me an email at
firstname.lastname@example.org to remind me of others.
Ted S. Miller is the CEO of The Miller
Clapperton Partnership Inc., Austell, Ga. For more information,