Quarterly Newsletter 2021: Q2


I don’t know about you, but I could not be happier to see 2020 in the rear-view mirror. It has been a long and tiring year, but we made it to the other side and can start to see the light at the end of the tunnel. We are cautiously optimistic that 2021 will be a better year. So, as you think about the effect that COVID has had on your business and your projects, give us a call if you need outside resources or robotic automation of tasks within your facility.


MJ Engineering has collaborated with Focused Technology Solutions to create the SpikeEase. This product has been widely rated as one of the best spike pullers on the market.

MJ now has a MarkForged Metal X 3D Printer

This product will help make the projects faster and cheaper for the customer. Instead of having small parts machined we can cut the cost and get the exact same part in just 3 days by printing, washing, and sintering the piece. See the press release titled Metal X for more information or call us.


Jeanne is Controls Engineer and began work in May 2020. She graduated from Ohio Northern University (go Klondike!) with her Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering in 2018. Over the past few years as a Controls Engineer, She has learned a great deal about electrical designs and the surrounding field.

Justin is an Internal Sales Representative in charge of selling spare parts and custom 3D printed parts. He was born in Virginia but raised in Ohio. He graduated from Ohio University in Athens in 2020. He is a die-hard Hockey fan (go CBJ) but really loves all types of sports.

Lucas Fournier (or Luke) is the new automation/wiring technician at MJ Engineering. He will be assisting with the construction/assembly of machines, guarding, panels, and other tasks for projects. He and his wife Abby moved to Columbus about 3 years ago after he graduated from the University of Toledo. He is a big hockey fan and follows the Detroit Red Wings very closely and also follows the Blue Jackets occasionally. He also loves movies and would like to one day build his own little home theater.


To Provide The
Expertise people
Depend on to
Solve Complex
Engineering or
Machine Design


Solving Your
Unique Problems
With Our Unique

Vision Tracking System Helps Manufacturer & Clients


At MJ Engineering, we don’t settle for a quick fix; we work to solve the root problem. That is exactly what we did when one of the largest pan manufacturers in the US approached us looking for a solution to a problem their bakery customers faced. 

Problem: Malfunction Due to Overuse 

The problem was, after so many baking cycles, the non-stick coating used on the pans wore off. The quick fix was for the bakery to send those pans back to the manufacturer for recoating. The better fix was for the manufacturer to contact MJ Engineering. As MJ Engineering worked on a custom solution, it became clear that the coating was not the direct source of the problem.


The coating wore off naturally when it exceeded a certain number of thermal cycles. In other words, the pans were malfunctioning due to overuse. Many of the bakery owners were only using a portion of the baking pans they received from the manufacturer because there was no way to track them.

Solution: Vision Sensor Technology 

MJ Engineering resolved that problem by designing a tracking system that could read a laser-etched code on the bottom of each pan as it passed over a vision sensor on its way through the oven. Then MJ Engineering sends the data to the manufacturer’s custom software that allows the bakeries to interpret the pan usage data from the vision inspection equipment to determine when to recoat or switch pans.  


“The baking pan tracker effectively does two things,” said Richard Wand, owner of MJ Engineering. “It allows bakers to understand their pan management and rotation schedules through the compiled data from the scanner, and it also allows them to see that their pans are meeting the warranty life that the manufacturer stands by.”

Results: Entire System Working More Efficiently

MJ’s engineers developed a way to use common, easily accessible components to integrate with MJ Engineering’s proprietary tracking software.

Now, bakery personnel can install new pan trackers—about the size of a breadbox—in a pinch with simple tools. 

As Keith Kneidel, project manager for MJ Engineering, said, “We’ve taken the technologies that are there and married everything to a complete system: the camera technology (made by SICK), the PLC, or user-interface computer, the screen, and the FTP to get the data back to the manufacturer.” All the individually sourced components work together to allow the bakers to focus on baking.


Not only are buns no longer sticking to pans, but the data being gathered via automated inspection is also providing the pan manufacturer with up-to-date information on their pan’s durability and coating competency. The bakery owners can log onto an online portal for real-time updates on their pans. Buns are going into customers’ mouths instead of trash cans.

The Solution to Your Problem May Be A Tracking System

The ultimate solution to the pan problem turned out to be much larger than just recoating.


In fact, MJ Engineering’s pan tracking system not only extended the life of each pan, but also the relationship with the pan manufacturer and the bakery owners. Reducing product waste and shipping time between the bakeries and the manufacturer also made MJ Engineering’s system a win for the pan manufacturer.

To learn more about this system, or to get started on your own solution, give MJ Engineering a call today at 614-891-6111.

The Key to Any Good Turnkey Project – MJ Engineering

What Is a Turnkey Project?

A turnkey project, such as robotic systems integration, is like a one-stop-shop, where MJ Engineering handles the entire scope of work from start to finish. “All the customer has to do is plug and play,” says MJ Engineering’s Director of Automation Equipment, Keith Kneidel. In other words, MJ Engineering does all the designing, building, and testing of a machine or automated system for you, while ensuring it meets your specifications. When MJ Engineering installs the automated equipment at your facility, it will be ready to run.

The Client’s Needs and Involvement

At MJ Engineering, we work directly with our customers to make sure our designs meet your needs. And since we are the ones doing the designing and building, there is no need to outsource to multiple companies. We will be your single point of contact at every stage of the project. In addition to saving you time and cost, this method makes it easier for you to stay in the know of how the project is progressing, and communicate any changes you need to make along the way. Having all the work done in-house at MJ Engineering ensures a continuous, smooth operation. “We have the same thought process throughout the whole process and machine,” says Kneidel. “It works a lot better that way.”

Leverage MJ Engineering’s Experience with Turnkey Robotic Systems Integration

MJ Engineering has completed multiple turnkey robotic systems integration projects, so we have years of experience identifying the best designs for our customers. Turnkey automation systems and equipment, as well as motion-control robotics, save our clients time and frustration.

Example of a Turnkey Automation Project

One example of turnkey robotic systems integration is custom-designed automated equipment we produced for a medical company. The equipment we designed packages vials of medicine. According to Keith Kneidel, MJ Engineering managed every step for the medical client, from initial concept development to testing onsite.

The customer wanted to increase its throughput and quality. To achieve that goal, MJ Engineering referenced the client’s specifications, agreed to a scope of work, and began the electrical, mechanical, and controls design process. A robot, bowl feeder, and pallet conveyor system were incorporated to create a machine that can process more than 100 plastic vials per minute. This proved to be faster, more precise, and met the client’s standards better than the previous method. Safety fencing protects the operator from the robot, which meets the client’s safety requirements and Robotic Industries Association (RIA) safety guidelines.

MJ Engineering also programmed quality checks into the programmable logic controller (PLC). For example, the machine checks label alignment using a vision inspection system. If the label barcode doesn’t pass the quality inspection because it is scratched or misplaced, the machine discards the vial.

To meet the customer’s requirements, MJ Engineering completed factory acceptance tests (FATs) with the client onsite at MJ Engineering and a final production test after installation at the client’s facility before turning over the keys.

Give Turnkey Engineering Projects a Try

With a turnkey machine from MJ Engineering, you can rest easy, knowing we use our years of experience to handle the designing, building, testing, and implementation of your machine, while making sure it fits your specific requirements. By the time we finish installing and testing a turnkey machine at your site, it will be ready for you to use immediately. So give us a call, and give turnkey a try.


Keith Kneidel manages the Automation group at MJ Engineering. During his 15 years with the company, Kneidel has done design, product development, professional engineering certification, and engineering management. He has a degree in Mechanical Engineering from The Ohio State University.

Adaptable Machines Meet More of Your Needs

What is an adaptable machine?

An adaptable machine is customizable with a design that adjusts to meet your needs. It can handle a variety of parts and product styles, eliminating the need for multiple machines. MJ Engineering can design an adaptable machine for you that can change the order of operations executed on a part without interrupting production. 

Why choose an adaptable machine from MJ Engineering?

Do you need a machine that can manage parts of different sizes, depending on the task required? Do you want to improve efficiency in your automated systems? If so, an adaptable machine is your best fit. Also known as flexible machining, configurable machines, adaptive machines, or adjustable—these machines not only handle a variety of production needs, they save time and effort. With no need for manual intervention to switch out parts, an adaptable machine can provide greater labor productivity. It also lowers the cost per unit produced and increases production rates because it runs more efficiently. 

Leverage MJ Engineering’s experience with adaptable machines

MJ Engineering has designed multiple adaptable machines, and we can design one for you. An example of an adjustable machine we recently created is a custom-designed oral syringe filling machine

A customer in the medical industry needed a more efficient way to fill different-sized oral syringes with liquid medications. The machine MJ Engineering developed is equipped with four, customizable grippers that can handle multiple syringe sizes (from 0.5 mL to 20 mL), and the machine is designed to fill syringes with liquids of varying viscosities at a volume as low as 0.1 mL. The machine also adjusts to fit bottles from 3 to 7.5 inches tall. The operator simply selects a pre-programmed “recipe,” which contains information about the size of the syringe and other settings, loads the bottles and syringes, and presses the foot switch to start. No other manual involvement is needed. 

Give an adaptable machine a try

Not only are our machines flexible, we are too. MJ Engineering works with you from the very beginning to discuss your machine needs, such as the range of parts, products, and sizes the machine is required to handle. We commit to creating a design adapted to your needs and budget. 

MJ Engineering Attended FANUC’s Fall Open House

“There were some interesting items on display,” said MJ Engineering President Richard Wand about the 2019 FANUC America Technology Open House, held this September in Mason, Ohio. Some of the assorted attractions included robots that can lift cars, robot jackets that can withstand extremely high temperatures, and unique feeder systems for the parts picked by robots on automated production lines.
In addition to MJ Engineering, visitors representing many industries and companies attended the show, which featured FANUC robots of varying sizes. Some of what was demonstrated is still confidential, with a lot of new technology revolving around software enhancements being rolled out later this year.

When MJ Engineering designs unique solutions for their customers, they often incorporate FANUC robots into their cells, like the ones in the photo.

Being a robotic systems integrator for decades, MJ Engineering has worked with many types of robots and accessories. However, a few items caught their attention, including a thermal jacket that can be put over a robot to protect it in temperatures up to 2100°F.
Other demonstrations showed ways to present material in robotic cells that differ from the typical centrifugal bowl feeders. “They showed some different feeding equipment and feeder systems that will make us think a little differently about how we could design and lay out a cell,” said Wand. One of the feeder systems uses a Graco G Flex parts feeder, which is a vibrating flat plate that moves the parts in a circle as the robot picks them from the plate. Another system uses a circular dial table that spins and unstacks the parts, jostling them around for the robot to grab. Both methods use a robotic vision system.

Besides all the cool things to see and learn, the open house is a great opportunity to network and develop relationships with other integrators. FANUC holds open houses around the U.S. and Canada to let visitors learn about their new technologies, products, and features, and to inspire them to think about how they could use the robots in their own facilities.