About Us

We Specialize in Tools and Machinery for Standing Seam Roofing and Portable Rollforming.

ESE Machines, Inc.

In 1976, ESE Machines moved the standing seam metal roofing industry a giant leap forward with innovation and imagination — a roll forming process that changed the game.

Today, we design and manufacture a wide range of seamers and tools to meet the industry’s emerging needs. And, we go one step further: We continue to move the industry forward by making our knowledge base available to all through free, detailed resource guides.

Our service is as impressive as our process — talk to one of our knowledgeable staff and learn why we've been an industry leader for more than five decades!

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"I had let the cat out of the bag. Everybody wanted it,
but nobody built it."

1978 First Roll Former Corp. Panformer

Where it all Started

The history of ESE Machines, Inc. and Ewald A. Stellrecht belong together naturally. On October 1, 1965 Ewald chose to emigrate from Germany to the United States of America and settled in the Philadelphia, PA area.

He brought his skills as a highly educated and proven machine builder along with his Karmann Ghia! Ewald established himself in Exton, PA as an independent manufacturer's "jobbing shop" and over the years developed a reputation for innovative machine design concepts through his out-of-the-box thinking and skills of his trade.

One day in 1976, while working on-site for a company, a roofer installing a metal roof observed and approached Ewald with a request- would Ewald be able to build a machine that could form his roofing panels?

Forming the panels manually on-site was highly labor-intensive and alternatively, pre-packaged panels raised the cost so significantly that there was little to no profit for the roofer. A machine of this type could resolve and conquer the obstacles and create a competitive and profitable climate for the roofer.

The First Machine in the U.S. Market

Ewald was intrigued by the idea of developing a type of roll forming machine for the double-lock standing seam metal roofing industry. At that time, he had no idea that there would be a market for this type of equipment, as this industry was totally foreign to him. But he set to work and designed and built the first machine in the U.S. market for L.M. Martin in Ephrata, PA.

The roofer returned after successfully using the machine, proposing a partnership with Ewald to build and sell more of these machines- at that time, this was cutting edge technology that could be made available to roofers! However, as an independent person, Ewald decided to investigate the need for this type of equipment on his own.

He built another machine and sent photographs to the then existing trade magazines as a new product offering. What he discovered from an overwhelming response was that he had a viable product. Ewald said, “people were sending in deposits without ever seeing the machine. I could never have filled all the orders. I had let the cat out of the bag. Everybody wanted it, but nobody built it, and I didn’t have the capital or the capability to meet the demand.”

Ewald Stellrecht of Exton (ESE) is Born

In 1978, The Roll Former Corporation was formed as a seven member partnership to meet that demand and by the next year, an exclusive deal was in place for a sheet metal manufacturer to represent the product as a vehicle to sell their metal- and sales went…. well, through the roof.

By 1980, Ewald was feeling as if his hands were tied; he couldn’t design anymore with the demand of orders, and “my plan was always to be on my own.” In 1982, after a non-competitive agreement expired, he started over again in the same train station building in Exton, PA and called his company ESE Machines, (Ewald Stellrecht of Exton).

2010 - 2013

2010 Ewald designed and built the first mobile Carillon in the U.S.A. The Carillon consists of 35 bronze bells. The smallest bell weighing 20 pounds and the largest bell weighing 400 pounds. Each one of the bells can be rung by using either a piano key or a foot pedal – a technical challenge even for the most innovative mind.  The process from design to completion took 9 months. The Carillon can be seen and heard played by "Cast in Bronze" all over the country, from Renaissance Faires, to the world-renowned Longwood Gardens Christmas show, and even an appearance in 2012 on America’s Got Talent.

Ewald was approached by CM Grip, a production team for the Steven Spielberg award winning film Lincoln, to work on an electric car used in the epic battle scenes.  Ewald designed and created aluminum plates to cover the entire car so cameras could be mounted at any angle. 

ESE & Ewald Today

Currently Ewald can still be found at ESE in Coatesville machining parts or on his computer designing new products. He has always had a passion for sports, playing soccer weekly in adult leagues for over 50 years and now indulging his rediscovered passion for Ping Pong to his daily life. If you visit ESE Machines be prepared for Ewald to challenge you to a game of Ping Pong.

Have a question? Contact our customer service!