Methods Unveils New Automation Solutions

Methods Machine Tools has released a new automation package and other "bolt-on" automation solutions.


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MB-650u-AMP from Methods Machine Tool

Method Machine Tools’ MB 650U AMP

Methods Machine Tools has released the MB 650U Automatic Manufacturing Package (MB 650U AMP) and the Plus Big-K. The MB 650U AMP combines the Methods’ MB 650U five-axis CNC machining center with the automation of a six-pallet Indunorm automatic pallet changer. “It gives shop owners and managers a complete machining and automation system, no assembly required,” according to Nicholas St. Cyr, Methods Machining Center product manager.

The Big Plus-K is designed for high-volume standard automation systems. The cell can be paired with medium-bed RoboDrills and Methods’ MB 650U and can hold up to 120 pallets and 280 tools. Other standard automation systems include the JobShop Cell PRO, the RoboDrill Plus-K and Plus-K 60, and RoboDrill Plus-E. 

The JobShop Cell PRO is comprised of a six-axis FANUC robot in an aluminum enclosure, allowing users to place the robot on either side of the RoboDrill. In the twin cell, the robot is placed in the middle of two RoboDrills, giving operators complete access to the machine tools for tool changes, offsets and maintenance. Removable panels allow for different in-feed and out-feed options, such as conveyors, drawers, lazy Susan-style systems and interfaces for bulk feeding solutions.

The Plus-K and Plus-K60 are designed for seamless integration with medium-bed RoboDrills. Since these systems hold a common component on each workpiece, the cells reduce setup times, according to Methods. They are suited for high mix, low volume jobs.

The cells consist of a FANUC robot that loads/unloads workpiece carriers from the RoboDrill to a rotary storage carousel. The Plus-K can have numerous configurations, ranging from 24 pallets and 112 tools to 60 pallets and 64 tools. The RoboDrill Plus-K60 comes equipped with 60 pallets and 64 tools.
Methods’ Plus-E automation cell contains a vertical pallet pool meant to minimize its footprint. Users can adjust the distance between each pallet to maximize the number of pallets in the elevator. Stacking the pallets vertically saves floor space and enables the system to excel at mid to high volume/low mix work, says the company.