22 Apr Ask the Experts Interview: Erik Koops from Steel-Line
Steel-Line’s Erik Koops shares his expertise
We caught up with Steel-Line account manager and garage door manufacturing expert Erik Koops to find out a little more about the company and get some pro tips for when choosing your garage door.
GD: How long have you worked in the door manufacturing industry?
EK: I’ve worked in the garage door manufacturing industry for 14 years: nine years in The Netherlands and five years in Australia.
GD: What materials are used when manufacturing a door?
EK: In Australia, predominately Colorbond steel. However, Steel-Line also makes aluminium custom doors and doors with timber cladding.
GD: Where are the materials manufactured?
EK: Most of our steel comes from Bluescope Steel, so it’s made in Australia. We have recently added a whole range of Unicote colour to our range. This is made by Selection Steel and is manufactured in Korea.
GD: What range of thickness/gauge is available in your doors?
EK: In the Colorbond range, we carry 0.6 mm for our standard sectional doors, 0.8 mm for our smooth doors and 0.44 mm for our roller doors.
GD: Does the material thickness/gauge affect or improve the door operation?
EK: It doesn’t. This has more to do with how this material gets roll-formed and embossed.
GD: Can you describe the manufacturing process?
EK: We have all our colours in stock in big coils of steel. These are pre-painted by the supplier. This steel enters the roll form machine as a flat piece of metal and comes out as a door panel. After it comes out of the roll form machine, we manually fit the styles, bottom profile with weather seal and windows if required.
GD: What machinery is involved in manufacturing these doors?
EK: Our roll form machines are extremely impressive. The machine is approximately 30 metres long.
GD: From a layperson’s perspective, what’s the one thing that’s important in selecting a door manufacturer?
EK: The main difference between us and other doors made in Perth is that our doors have hemmed edges in every spot where necessary. This hemming means no sharp edges left for the end-user (or their little kids) to cut themselves on.
GD: Do you have a favourite type of door?
EK: I love our Flatline in Smooth and the Aluminium composite doors.
GD: What’s the most popular door you manufacture?
EK: The standard Flatline in colour Surfmist.
GD: How many labour hours go into making a garage door?
EK: This again depends on what door we are talking about, but I would say five hours per door as an average.
GD: What products do you manufacture that directly improve the safety of a garage door?
EK: Our doors are entirely finger-safe. This means that you cannot get your fingers stuck between the panels when operating the door manually. Although we don’t manufacture our door operators ourselves, all Steel-Line garage door operators (motors) are designed and manufactures according to Steel-Line’s specs. These motors all comply with Australian standards and make all our doors very safe.
GD: What products do you manufacture that directly improve the security of a garage door?
EK: We have multiple accessories you can add to your garage door that make the door safe. For example:
- Secura Lock, a lock that automatically locks the door when in a fully closed position.
- The recently launched PowerMesh device. This allows you to open and close your door from anywhere in the world. You could even get notifications when your door opens.
GD: How does your company develop and engineer your doors?
EK: I must say that Steel-Line Garage Doors is a great market leader in this perspective. We have a whole team of engineers in Darra (QLD). They work tirelessly to keep our product the best in the market and keep coming up with incredible new products and solutions.
GD: Do you know how many homes in Australia currently have your brand of door?
EK: This is hard to say. As the entire business, we manufacture app. 15,000 doors a month across the country! This is approximately 180,000 p/a. And we have been doing this for a long time!
GD: Is Steel-Line launching any new products?
EK: Absolutely! One of the most exciting products that we have just launched is our PowerMesh devise. This device integrates with your smart home system and could be used on its own. You can tell your mobile phone “Ok Google, open my garage door”. Our PowerMesh devise must be the most exciting new product we have just launched.