Manufacturing a Better MCM Relationship

Reputable manufacturers and subject matter experts are often underutilized by design-build professionals. When specifying metal composite materials (MCM) for a project, it’s important to know you’re in touch with the right people.

Rely on your building product supplier for project success

By Chad Patterson

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A strong relationship with the manufacturer can make all the difference in the specification, fabrication and installation process for metal construction. At times, architects and designers don’t know about the advantages of MCM construction or the support manufacturers offer. Sales managers can help with a number of pain points.

The Versatility of MCM

Sustainable, cost-effective and easy to fabricate, MCM can enable complex designs while meeting tight lead times and budgets. This is especially helpful for retrofit projects, where the load on the structure is important. Composite panels provide the same rigidity and flatness of solid sheet metal, without the distortion known as oil canning, at a fraction of the weight.

Code-compliant, MCM has been a part of wall systems tested to the NFPA 285 standard, providing safe and beautiful construction across North America. A CNC router makes simple work of creating the panels in the shop, saving time on the job site. Installation of MCM is also relatively easy, like hanging a picture on a wall.

Quality Comes Standard

When it comes to finishes, AAMA 2605 fluoropolymer paint systems like FEVE can provide unmatched performance. Boasting a nearly limitless array of vibrant colors and a gloss range up to 70, thermoset FEVE sets itself apart. With built-in graffiti resistance, these finishes can last upwards of 10, 20 or 30 years. The language in the warranty speaks volumes. An in-situ warranty provides unbelievable value and speaks to the quality of the MCM. Such a warranty is incredible and shows how a company is willing to stand behind its product.

Meeting Project-Specific Needs

MCM sales representatives know the constraints designers face, especially when it comes to custom finishes. Requests like—custom production runs of 1000 square feet, or having the finish side up or down so the materials can go from the truck straight to the CNC table—are crucial for a project. When it comes to custom orders, a manufacturer can appreciate the ease and accuracy of the color matching process and getting sheets with squared edges and sheared to lengths that minimize waste and maximize yield in the fabrication process.

The Service and Support You Deserve

Your MCM sales manager is your main point of contact and has a large network at the ready. They can help connect your team with one of their preferred fabricators. They can answer your unique project questions and can perform the work at a higher standard.

Your manufacturer also has an entire team of support staff ready to make your project a success. Whether it’s the technical department helping you navigate fire-testing reports, marketing providing expedited samples for the bidding process, or customer service processing your warranty, there are real people who can answer a phone or respond to an email when you need.

Chad Patterson is an architectural sales account executive for Mitsubishi Chemical America–ALPOLIC Division, Chesapeake, Va. To learn more, visit

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