In 2018, Robert Miller worked in a roll-forming shop owned by Ray Wagler. Ray, as an innovator started rolling ideas around in his mind for a better felt application process, more consistent placement on metal, ease of use, and less waste. Ray and Robert worked together on building a design that fit those goals.

After some prototypes and testing, they had what they were looking for and it worked well in Ray’s facility. 

Then Robert realized that other facilities were struggling with the same issues that Ray’s shop was facing. That’s when Robert took the initiative to build more felt applicators to provide a solution for other roll-forming facilities. Robert’s brother Nelson joined in to further research, develop, and bring this Felt Applicator to the market.

Star 1 Today

Star 1 Products’ first focus was the Felt Applicator, in 2019, with a vision to provide more innovative products for the roll-forming industry. Star 1 Products, located in McBain, Michigan, is now serving roll-formers in the United States, Canada, and New Zealand.


While the Felt Applicator is still the company’s primary product, Star 1 has added other products by listening to the needs and innovating solutions for the problems in the industry. Other products that are now available include Adjustable Wide Forks to handle 30-40 foot metal panels, and Coil Storage Systems. 

It also has new products coming for 2024, including a new and updated Felt Applicator, a Coil Handling System, and a non-computerized 21’ Trim Folder operated by pneumatics and hydraulics only, specifically for those who choose to operate without computers.

Challenges and looking Forward to the Future

As a manufacture the past few years have been difficult, with shortages in product availability, shipping issues, and long lead times. Honest and open communication with the customers are the key to getting through. 

Nelson says the steel roofing and building market seems to be strong and growing. There are lots of smaller, local roll-forming facilities popping up across the country. He says they plan to continue innovation and problem solving with new products. The future looks bright for the metal roofing and siding industry. RF