Meet the Team!
Two of the newer members of the MJ Engineering team, Corey Caldwell and Shripal Bhavsar, both agree that a few of their favorite things about working at MJ Engineering are the variety of projects and industries they get to work with and the assistance and knowledge they gain from the helpful, more experienced engineers.
Corey Caldwell is a controls engineer responsible for programming the automation equipment that MJ Engineering designs and develops. He is currently working on a project for DuraShield, an Ohio-based company that creates paint protection film. Corey is helping to create a barcode scanning system for bakery pans to determine when they need to be recoated. The Ohio native earned a Mechanical Engineering degree in 2014 from Cedarville University near Dayton. He says his background in mechanical engineering helps him on the job, and he is learning some of the electrical side as well. Corey, who started at MJ Engineering last April, says he enjoys working as a team and the challenge of figuring out how to make things work for new applications he has never done. “I am excited to be here, grow in my role, and learn some new things,” says Corey. Fun fact: Corey enjoys woodworking and playing basketball—he does skills coaching with a group in Columbus!
“Most of the time, I am trying to analyze something,” says Shripal Bhavsar, a mechanical engineer with a passion for finite element analysis (FEA). Shripal recently worked on MJ Engineering’s latest amusement ride project (see the next article for details), doing hand calculations to confirm whether the ride setup was sufficient to handle a particular load. Shripal helps with platform certifications, and he is also involved in design. Shripal earned a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering (ME) from India and a Master’s in ME from California State University, Fullerton. “I wanted to be in a field in which I can give the answers to engineering issues that we face in day-to-day life,” says Shripal, who likes to use creativity and precision to solve challenging engineering problems. Fun fact: Shripal comes up with his best answers in the shower!
MJ Engineering Helped Create a Frenzy This Fall!
MJ Engineering has a decade-long relationship with amusement ride manufacturer A.R.M. (USA) Inc. This fall, A.R.M. put the finishing touches on the second evolution of its popular pendulum-style thrill ride, Frenzy (original version pictured at left), which MJ Engineering has been involved with from the beginning.
Hundreds of hours of engineering go into these rides. In fact, they must meet a federal code that is hundreds of pages long, taking into account everything from patron (rider) safety, ride dynamics, storage, transport, and anything that could possibly affect the ride related to its structure, controls, performance, life, or environmental conditions like wind and ice.
“In a nutshell,” says MJ Engineering’s Phil Snyder, who worked on the original Frenzy as well, “it needs to be designed to sound engineering principles.” Safety is one of those principles. “Safety is extremely important to us,” says MJ Engineering President Richard Wand. “If we think that the safety of the patron has been compromised in some fashion, we’re required to say something and shut that ride down.”
“The Amusement industry is held to very high standards, and manufacturers understand this better than anyone,” says Mike Gill, of A.R.M. “Generally, we approach MJ Engineering with a task, whether it be a conceptual design, a design change of an existing ride, or a repair. Then we collaborate on the task until it meets all requirements.” (See the next article to find out how the new Frenzy did at its recent debut.)
Trade Show News—IAAPA in Orlando, FL
“Excellent show—it made my feet hurt!” said MJ Engineering President Richard Wand about the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) trade show he attended last month in Orlando.
The show encompassed more than 10 miles of displays, booths, and rides—not the least of which was the new Frenzy, which was located outdoors and giving rides every day during the expo. “It was a pleasure listening to the squeals of patrons once they got above 90 degrees from vertical,” said Richard.
Trade shows are a great way to meet current and potential clients and learn about what’s happening in the industry. MJ Engineering employees are encouraged to attend, when possible.
While at the IAAPA trade show, Richard spent a significant amount of time talking to other ride manufacturers, including one for whom MJ Engineering helped get a ride approved for the Chinese market. Another satisfied customer Richard ran into was Majestic Rides (https://www.majesticrides.com/back-spin-roller-coaster—mini.html) who reported that their customer was extremely happy with their new ride—one that MJ Engineering assisted with in the past.
Other good contacts at the expo were an Italian manufacturer, Moser Rides, who wants to bring another of their rides to the U.S., and a major manufacturer of U.S. trampoline parks and soft play activities. In addition, Richard talked to several other engineering firms, inspectors, fabricators, family entertainment center (FEC) manufacturers, and owners. So the possibilities are seemingly endless for MJ Engineering to help make the world safer and more fun!