Methods Machine Tools Gets Aggressive on West Coast
By Sarah A. Webster
Editor in Chief
ANAHEIM, CA–Methods Machine Tools, Inc.—a leading supplier, developer and service provider of precision machine tools—launched its new location in Greater Los Angeles this week with a two-day open house and a traditional sake-barrel smashing celebration.
Jamie Hanson, Director of Corporate Development at Methods, said the opening marked a critical stage of the company’s West Coast expansion, which also included launching an all-new facility in San Leandro in May. That 10,280-ft2 facility in Greater San Francisco will support Northern California, Oregon and Washington.
Hanson said the openings are in line with the company’s national brand and growth strategy.
The new 11,400-ft2 facility in Anaheim supports operations in Southern California, replacing Methods' previous center in Buena Park, CA. The technology center features the latest Methods' machine tools and automation technology, and application experts are on site. Machines on display will include Methods' new line of Yasda Precision Machining Centers, FANUC RoboDrill Vertical Machining Centers and RoboCut Wire EDM Machines, Feeler High Performance Machining Centers and Turning Centers, KIWA-Japan Horizontal Machining Centers and Citizen Swiss Turning Centers.
“We needed a world-class facility” to properly represent our portfolio, Hanson said, standing in the crowded new showroom outlined by high-tech machines, equipment and software demonstrations. “This is an attraction.”
More than that, the new facility shows that Methods has put its stake in the ground as an engineering and support resource for manufacturers in California, who are often making parts for the aerospace and defense, electronics, medical and energy industries.
Engineering support and service is a selling point that Methods believes continues to grow in importance as advanced manufacturing machines become more complex and manufacturers are constantly working to upgrade their knowledge during a fast-changing, high-tech era when skilled workers are in short supply.
“We think we have a pretty unique proposition for buyers,” Hanson said.
Methods doesn’t just service its machines, but offers full application services that will help machine shops determine the best way to build a part.
Support is “more and more of a requirement from customers,” Hanson said. “Customers need help.”
Methods also has the ability to expand its portfolio of offerings as business needs change. “We have the ability to say, ‘What kind of turning center do we want in our portfolio to help our customers?’ ” Hanson said.
Methods also works to help its builders who supply its machines as well, serving as a product development resource and advocating for its US customers.
Hanson said Methods is different in that it doesn’t just import standard machines. Rather, it helps develop the machines specifically for this market, working with the builder on changing features when necessary.
For example, on one machine from Feeler (Tapei, Taiwan), the Methods team made suggestions to redesign the spindle to make it more rigid, a move that improved its marketability in the US.
That’s why Feeler machines sold by Methods in the US bear the brand “Feeler by Methods” and machines from Kiwa are labeled “Kiwa-Methods.”
“It’s part of the value we give back to the builders, too,” Hanson said.
Methods also plans to unveil a new five-axis machine, under an undisclosed brand, for the US market at IMTS 2014 in Chicago this September, Hanson said.
Methods will be in Booth S-9119 in the Metal Cutting Pavilion.
Published Date : 6/26/2014