There are any number of good reasons NOT to upgrade your sheet metal machinery: timing, cost, confusion … cost. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” should never be one of them — especially after reading this issue of SNIPS.  

It makes sense. New machines, like new employees, need time for onboarding and learning your company’s culture. Shortchange this process, and you risk losing the all-too-important employee buy-in your shop needs to safely function.

But if your sheet metal machinery hasn’t been replaced or upgraded since you opened doors as a business, you run the risk of losing another type of employee buy-in: the confidence in your company to grow.

Here’s where our Mighty Machines feature focused on sheet metal machinery will give you some much-needed food for thought before the busy construction season begins. In our quest to find the best sheet metal machinery the market has to offer, we found (and so will you) that machines perform best when they have brains and brawn.

However, the work to improve your shop shouldn’t stop there. Because even if your shop is armed with all the bells and whistles, you’re fighting a losing battle if you have a bad workflow.

On April 18, (2 p.m. EST), we will be talking workflow and prefabrication in a special joint webinar with Mestek Machinery and Trimble titled “HVAC | MEP: Building a seamless workflow from a constructible model to CAM.”

If you’ve ever wanted to understand BIM and how to capitalize on its abilities for your business, this webinar (register at is a crucial starting point.

The finish line is our HVACR/Mechanical Systems Track (read more on page 13) at this month’s AEC BuildTech Conference and Expo on April 30-May 2 in Rosemont, Illinois. The entire SNIPS team will be present — with our sister publication, ACHR News — to lead you through innovative controls, workflow techniques and implementing systems to help prevent outbreaks of such bacteria as Legionella (CEUs available).

As you flip through this month’s pages, keep in mind that our goal is always to give you the information you need to keep your shop a cut above the rest — whether it be investing more in automation or downloading an app. But if you’re still on the fence about any of it, consider this thought: Things don’t have to be broke to be better.