automation in exterior cladding fabrication

How Automation in Exterior Cladding Fabrication Improves Safety

How do you build a successful, sustainable business from the ground up? According to Ray Turner, President of Lenmak, there are two key ingredients:

  1. quality equipment
  2. the ability to believe in your vision and capabilities

Twenty one years ago, Turner saw an opportunity to provide accessories and trim to support the existing vinyl siding market. Since then, an investment in updated equipment that he uses in innovative ways has helped Lenmak grow into the world-class exterior cladding fabrication facility it is today.


New to Lenmak Exterior Innovations Inc.? Click here to discover why we’re your one-stop shop, with an aesthetic punch, made for commercial renovations!


It’s All About the Automation

Tasks that were once completed by operators are now completed as part of an automated line. By using the Punch, Shear and Bend Manufacturing Cell by Prima Power, Lenmak manufactures cladding materials with a high degree of accuracy.

Additionally, operators are no longer directly exposed to machinery in motion. The removal of human error increases both safety and precision. An automated production line also reduces the need for operator-driven forklifts as the materials are fed into the machinery as part of the automation.


How Our Exterior Cladding Fabrication Process Works

Before material is fed into the Punch, Shear and Bend Manufacturing Cell, Lenmak’s coil warehousing system goes to work. Coils are automatically delivered to a CNC slitter and cut into blanks to be used either immediately or sent to storage.

When a blank is required, it is called up and auto-delivered to the Shear Genius (SG), which is one part of the manufacturing cell. Each blank is meticulously cut, minimizing both product waste and equipment wear and tear.

Scrap metal is recycled, while punched blanks are sent to another part of the production line – the Express Bender (EBe). The EBe bends the punched sheet from start to finish without any manual interactions or tool changes required.

Watch it happen for yourself:


Additional Benefits of Innovative Automation

Lenmak is dedicated to playing an integral role in creating a more sustainable future, and we recognize that buildings contribute 48 percent of carbon produced worldwide. Therefore, producing environmentally conscious products for environmentally conscious buildings is the goal. Our automated fabrication process comes with many secondary benefits.

Our manufacturing cell allows us to divert large amounts of waste from landfills and it’s speed and efficiency means less energy is wasted. We believe we are establishing ourselves as leaders in the realm of sustainable design and construction.


Further Innovation in Safety

No one else in the business uses automated equipment quite like us. Ray Turner created a new market for exterior cladding by using his manufacturing cell in an innovative way. The key to this new market? Fabrication that takes a fraction of the time – yet is substantially safer. In one automated process, a full-sized sheet of material goes through loading, punching, forming, shearing, stacking and unloading.

No manual labour required. No safety risks taken.

We think that’s pretty amazing.


Read more about this story, from Canadian Metalworking, here, and don’t hesitate to download our Lenmak at a Glance ebook to get a feel for the products we are proud to fabricate.

Lenmak Exterior Innovations

lenmak exterior innovations exterior aluminum metal cladding

The Inspiration Behind Aluminaire™: Modern Aluminium Exterior Cladding


In the world of architecture and design, there is arguably no word that holds more meaning. To stay fresh and innovative we must constantly find inspiration – in ourselves, in others, in the present and notably, in the past.

aluminaire house lenmak exterior innovations
A Frey model of the Aluminaire House.

The First All-Metal House

In 1931, American architect A. Lawrence Kocher and Swiss architect Albert Frey co-designed the United States’ first all-metal house. Known as Aluminaire House, the building attracted over 100,000 visitors when it was first exhibited in New York City as part of the Architectural and Allied Arts Exhibition.

New to Lenmak Exterior Innovations Inc.? Click here to discover why we’re your one-stop shop, with an aesthetic punch, made for commercial renovations!

Frey had previously worked for modern architecture pioneer Le Corbusier before arriving in the United States, and the prominent architect’s influence played a significant role in the creation of this compact, cube-shaped home.


True Inspiration Never Fades

The Aluminaire House has been disassembled and moved numerous times over the years, often left to gather dust in storage for large periods of time. Yet, the building that helped launch an architectural movement cannot be forgotten – as illustrated by current plans to relocate it to Palm Springs.

It is the building’s tenacity and ability to inspire decades after its construction that led Lenmak Exterior Innovations to name our newest exterior cladding product after it – Aluminaire™ Panel Systems.

lenmak exterior innovations aluminaire metal cladding
Aluminaire™ Exterior Architectural Panel System

Innovation Meets Experience

Our Aluminaire™ aluminum exterior cladding is sophisticated and affordable. Sleek and classic. Perfect for single or multi-story construction, our panels are manufactured in vibrant colours using world-class robotics. Much like the Aluminaire House, this cladding system combines cutting edge innovation with tried and true knowledge acquired over years of experience.


Maximum Architectural Freedom

We know how hard businesses work to build brand recognition, which is why the Aluminaire™ cladding system easily incorporates brand colours and logos. Our panels also seamlessly integrate with surrounding products and existing wall conditions. This allows your building, as large or small as it may be, to inspire in a way similar to the Aluminaire house.


Time – The Most Valuable Commodity

As the saying goes, the world’s most valuable commodity is time, which is why we have set up a large-capacity automated process with the ability to complete custom orders days or weeks faster than competitive products. This means your order’s specifications are able to change as conditions on the job site change.


Limits Waste, Saves Energy

Over the past twenty years, we at Lenmak Exteriors have noticed a shift in the design and construction industry towards more sustainable practices. We decided early on we wanted to be at the forefront of this movement, which is why our products – such as Aluminaire™ – are created to exist in harmony with the environment. Made of recycled materials and 100 percent recyclable, Aluminaire™ panels do not contain any harmful toxins, resulting in a reduced carbon footprint. Further, because we produce this aluminum exterior cladding on demand, waste is limited and energy is saved.

aluminaire house lenmak exterior innovations
The beginning of the Aluminaire House story.

Every Story Starts Somewhere

A. Lawrence Kocher was best known as the managing editor of an architectural magazine before he began work on the Aluminaire House.

Albert Frey was only 28 years old when he relocated to the United States and joined the project.

The Aluminaire House is now known as a “masterpiece of modernist architecture.”

These three examples illustrate that every great story starts somewhere; the story of Aluminaire™ Panel Systems starts here.

Lenmak Exterior Innovations

3 Points to Consider on Alternatives in Exterior Cladding

Navigating through the exterior cladding options available to you can be a challenge, particularly where efficiency and budget are concerned. Demand for thermal efficiency in building design can come at a cost. Therefore, the question you may be asking yourself is this: what can be sacrificed in design, without compromising on building code compliance?

New to Lenmak Exterior Innovations Inc.? Click here to discover why we’re your one-stop shop, with an aesthetic punch, made for commercial renovations!

Here are three points to consider when selecting exterior panels:

Fire Safety

Building code regulations are always a factor to consider when selecting exterior cladding and are not something to cheat. Canada has one of the more stringent systems when it comes to building codes but there are, of course, local variations. When selecting materials that are code-compliant, you may need to consider the cladding, core or a combination of the two for fire safety. Noncombustible or fire-rated materials in all cases and combinations are ideal but can be much more expensive.

Ensuring your exterior cladding won’t add fuel to the flame can be of particular importance, especially when it comes to multi-storey building projects.

Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED)

Building in Canada is continually improving when it comes to sustainable and environmentally-conscious construction practices. When it comes to cladding, there are a few LEED credits you may be able to earn, depending on the materials used.

Keep an eye out for:

  1. LEED Indoor Environmental Quality Credit 2 – Low Emitting Materials – Paints & Coatings (1 Point); this rewards the use of non-hazardous paints and coatings. Ensure your cladding is coated with a material that emits no volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
  2. LEED Materials & Resources Credit 2 – Waste Management (2 points); this addresses the recycling or salvaging on non-hazardous construction debris, and is awarded based on a percentage of all construction debris on the project. If your exterior cladding is 100% recyclable, you may have a better opportunity to earn this credit based on what isn’t used on site.
  3. LEED Materials & Resources Credit 4 – Recycled Content (2 points); this credit takes a look at recycled content used on a project. A formula is used to quantify the recycled content relative to its value as a portion of the full project scope. Points are awarded on two sub-credit categories, in which 50% of post-industrial and 100% of post-consumer must meet or exceed 10 or 20% of the total value.
  4. LEED Materials & Resources Credit 5 – Regional Materials (2 points); depending on the location of your project site in relation to the manufacturing site, you may be able to earn this credit – stressing the importance of local manufacturers. Use of products or materials that have been extracted, recovered or manufactured within 800km of your site may be eligible, and are allocated based on the percentage of the material total value.

The Intersection of Environment and Safety

Here is where point one and two meet. Sometimes particular materials are chosen in an effort to increase the energy efficiency or environmental consciousness of a building project as a whole. However, in some cases, efforts for one cause can compromise the other.


As you will notice, these three points don’t even address design or budget – both sizeable considerations in their own right. This leads to the fact that if you want an affordable aesthetically-pleasing building, that is also safe and environmentally conscious, you need a collaborative cladding solution that doesn’t sacrifice on any consideration.


Aluminaire™: Lenmak’s Non-Combustible Exterior Cladding

Aluminaire™ is not your typical exterior panel. Made from high-quality aluminum, this cladding ensures your style, function and budget all align.

Key Features:

  • Solid, high-quality 2mm aluminum architectural panel
  • Made in Canada
  • Non-solvent-based powder coat
  • No risk of de-lamination
  • Single-skin unibody design to maintain rigidity, flatness and add versatility
  • Does not contain combustible materials
  • High potential for up to 7 points toward LEED certification
    • Possible credits listed above: IEQ2, MR2, MR4 and MR5
  • Extensive selection of architectural finishes in both solid and metallic colours

As a leader in cladding innovation, we have comfort knowing that our products follow guidelines for recycled content with non-combustible features. With Aluminaire™, Lenmak has a collaborative solution to your safety requirements and your LEED certification desires, all within your budget – with an aesthetic punch.

Sleep easy knowing that our solid aluminum/steel exterior panels will not combust and add life to a fire, well after the job is done.


For a complete overview of Lenmak, including a look at projects featuring Aluminaire™, you can download our Lenmak at a Glance eBook by clicking the image below.

Lenmak Exterior Innovations