Establishing and Maintaining Supply Throughout the Pandemic
Setting up a new machine shop is challenging. Successful owners conduct rigorous research, meticulously inspect every detail, and carefully evaluate every option. So when Kevin Curtis began the search to equip his new venture in 2009, he did his homework.
Putting Machines to the Test
Curtis was looking to purchase 30-taper machines for his new shop, Machining Technology LLC, based in Longmont, Colo. FANUC's RoboDrill piqued his interest at previous tradeshows; however, there was one problem.
"I didn't know anything about Methods at the time," he said. "Purchasing equipment from an unknown entity and relying on them for support and service is a big ask, and I have high expectations."
The answer was simple: a test cut where Methods Machine Tools competed with machine tool builders to showcase its capabilities. The cut itself was a little more complicated. Curtis wanted a 1.0" end mill on a 30-taper machine to process grade 1018 steel.
"Long story short, we were impressed," Curtis said. "Methods went above and beyond by showing the RoboDrill's surface finishing capability on a section of the cut."
Curtis continued to look toward Methods for the right solutions, eventually requiring multi-tasking machines in 2012. That's when he reached out to Methods’ Sales Engineer Darren Wall and started working with the Nakamura-Tome product line.
"They're extremely fast and have tremendous accuracy," said Guy Dodds, head of business development at Global-Tek. "One customer actually couldn't understand how we achieved such a good surface finish on some of their handled parts."
Continuous Support During the Pandemic
Curtis soon established Global-Tek Manufacturing LLC in Puerto Rico. The company produces critical components for the medical, aerospace, and defense markets, which require flawless precision.
Customers in these essential markets require a consistent stream of parts delivered on time, without fail.
To keep customers supplied with vital components during the pandemic, they need machines on their floor and in production as soon as possible.
For Global-Tek, that dependability and speed come from Darren Wall and the rest of the Methods team.
"Methods has consistently delivered services, support, and products on time," Dodds said.
Methods always recognizes the needs of the customer, he added. Global-Tek placed an order for six RoboDrills on Sept. 29th, and the machines were producing chips by early October.
"When Methods’ machines hit the dock in Puerto Rico, they get unloaded and set up typically that day," Dodds said. "Darren has been there 100 percent of the time to make sure that happens because he knows how important it is to have that support."
The company purchased 19 machine tools in 2020. They currently have approximately 33 RoboDrills, two automated job cells, and four Nakamura-Tome machines, in addition to other equipment.
The RoboDrills have approximately 10,000 hours of production time between repairs. That reliability, precision, and swiftness have given Global-Tek a significant competitive advantage.
Recently, Global-Tek installed an in-house anodizing line. The ability to produce coated, ready-to-ship parts without a third party allows the company to manufacture more competitively-with faster turnaround times.
The company also implemented a manganese phosphate plating system, which produces a coating that resists abrasion and corrosion.
Another recent advancement is an automation system applied to two RoboDrills, which allow the machines to run at 95 percent efficiency unattended.
Curtis said it's the unique blend of service, support, and technology that has kept him coming back to Methods.
"When we need service, Methods gets it done and keeps us running," he said.
To watch the test cut, visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xZ81pyIPp4U
Sponsored by: Methods Machine Tools
This article was prepared by Methods Machine Tools, which is solely responsible for its content.