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Job Shop Achieves Strategic Growth with Methods Automation



Tyler Stilson operating the Methods Plus K Automation solution

The Methods Plus K features rotary storage carousel with 60 part/part carrier positions and four tool racks, each holding 11 tool positions.

Operose Manufacturing produces a wide range of products, from fluid control mechanisms to commonplace sporting goods. They handle complex machining jobs from prototyping to large-scale production runs.

When Tyler Stilson founded the company in 2007, he had one mill and one lathe. However, he envisioned a more dynamic business and sought a partner that would help him achieve his vision, including a pathway into 5-axis machining. He needed to achieve intricate features on different angles that required offsets, small-tapped holes, winding toolpaths and careful workholding.

One of the shop's first forays into 5-axis machining came in the form of a rotary table on an existing FANUC RoboDrill, sold and serviced by Methods Machine tools.

Stilson said, "Getting at the parts with a 5-axis machine was incredible. We saw huge opportunities to save money and improve our quality."

Now tasked with meeting the demands of high-volume production, Operose was soon equipped with new machining capabilities, such as a tool spindle, lower turret and 72 tool stations.

Next Stop: Unmanned Automation with the Methods Plus-K

In the fall of 2019, Stilson sought to test out equipment at the company's second workshop in Mankato, MN. Since it was an at-home lab, he needed the ability to load up a cell in the morning and collect perfect parts at the end of the day. Given the size of the workshop and his preference for RoboDrill's ease of use and adaptability, he selected the Methods Automation Plus-K.

The Plus-K, which integrates with the RoboDrill, measures just 32" wide, making it suited for Stilson's shop. Methods enabled the robot to recognize a standard feature on the quick-change carrier, eliminating the need to program the robot.

"That is what made me go with the Plus-K-having the ability to load it and go do something else," he said. "The Plus-K's 60 tools or 60 pallets is pretty appealing."

The first system was installed in Mankato in April 2020. The second followed in the Colorado shop in January of 2021, and the third was installed three months later. They produced aerospace and medical parts made from stainless steel or aluminum.

"Part of what made it stand out was the footprint," Stilson said. "I know that if I want to add more, they can fit in this shop."

Operose has grown exponentially since implementing a rotary table more than a decade ago. One innovative piece of technology led to another, allowing the shop to take on new challenges. Due to automation and 5-axis technology, Operose now approaches traditional job shop work with a more competitive edge and takes on medium-volume production runs.

For more information contact:

Operose Manufacturing

3762 Imperial St., Unit A

Frederick, CO 80516

303-833-5967

info@operosemfg.com

www.operosemfg.com

Methods Machine Tools, Inc.

65 Union Avenue

Sudbury, MA 01776

877-MMT-4CNC (877-668-4262)

www.methodsmachine.com

SOUTHWEST

William Keim

General Manager-TX

Methods Machine Tools

wkeim@methodsmachine.com

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David Chesnutt

General Manager-Southeast

Methods Machine Tools

dchesnutt@methodsmachine.com

NORTHEAST

Brad Catyb

General Manager-New England

Methods Machine Tools

bcatyb@methodsmachine.com

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Director, Sales and Operations

NY/NJ

Maruka USA

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Kevin Fite

General Manager-MI/OH

Methods Machine Tools

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General Manager-IL/WI

Methods Machine Tools

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Dan Pierce

General Manager-CA, OR, WA

Methods Machine Tools

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Tony Harrod

General Manager-Mountain States

Methods Machine Tools

aharrod@methodsmachine.com

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