Engineers are responsible for coming up with creative solutions to problems that customers have and MJ Engineering is no different. Oftentimes that problem revolves around how to increase production and decrease labor costs. Palletizing and depalletizing cells are a quick and easy way to streamline a process that cuts out labor and increases productivity. However, when you have a product that needs to be inspected the process can be far more complex, and often it is easier to leave a person in charge of that process. One method for part inspection is through the use of a vision system. To enhance the capabilities of vision systems, MJ integrates them with our own specially designed backlit conveyor.
MJ Engineering is well versed in automating sagger handling applications for roller kiln and tunnel kiln applications. Our robotic solutions will increase the life of your saggers through more gentle handling while relieving the operator of the ergonomic strain of constantly lifting and twisting all day long. Our standard Turnkey system uses a Fanuc R2000 style robot to handle up to 1500 saggers per day. We also offer a two robot system that can handle well in excess of 2000 saggers per day.
One issue with automating kiln systems is the tendency of the saggers to move from their anticipated location. MJ Engineering utilizes an integrated Fanuc iRVison system that will locate the sagger so the robot can adapt to any movement. After the saggers are located the robot will pick them up and dump the powder into the hopper then place them into an automated fill system (or directly under the nozzle) and then transfer a loaded sagger into the system. We utilize a proprietary EOAT design that will positively engage the saggers without squeezing the saggers.
This allows our system to invert (dump) and shake or scrape powder without damaging the saggers. The result is an improved life of the sagger and reduced cracking. MJ Engineering can handle saggers both with and without lids. Saggers can be individually fed or stacked with lids. We can add an automated AI-based vision system to assist with crack detection and removal of saggers prior to fracture preventing hours of unnecessary cleanup.
MJ Engineering has the knowledge, designs, and capabilities to handle these sagger applications and countless other kinds of applications. We can build anything from turnkey systems to depal cells to pick and place cells. So if you have an application that needs automating today don’t wait to contact us at (614)-891-6111 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
MJ Engineering has both a metal and plastic 3D printer with very different capabilities. The Markforged Metal X can print Copper, Tool Steel, and Stainless Steel while the Mark 2 printer uses Onyx, a nylon based filament with reinforcement. This printer can reinforce with Carbon Fiber, Kevlar, and Fiberglass materials. MJ Engineering initially used the printers for prototyping and simple bracket mounts, but we have found the strength and quality of the prints could be used more extensively in our projects. We are now printing spare parts, upgrades and finished products for current and past projects. This has directly affected MJ’s ability to reduce the cost and lead time for projects.
For our most recent project, we utilized the Mark 2 printer for numerous parts. We printed the EOAT gripper fingers, a funnel assembly for placing the straws into the bottles, and a complex design for spring-loaded bottle crowders. For more information on the usage of the 3D printed parts see the pick and place straw cell article (Click here).
A powerful capability we have with our printers is the ability to insert hardware into the parts. Hardware such as nuts, bolts, pins, and springs can be embedded in the part. This can allow complex designs that would be impossible to machine, but make assembly easier, isolate wearable features, or add functionality directly where you need it.
The ability to 3D Print ready-for-use parts has expanded MJ Engineering’s capability to reduce lead times and costs for customers’ projects. We keep finding innovative ways to design and use 3D printed parts to create solutions for difficult problems. To see if the printer could help you and your company, please contact us today for a quote and print.
MJ Engineering and a plastic injection molding company have worked together to develop a cell using a Fanuc CRX-10L to help the molding company improve its current process. The new cell is a collaborative robot cell that performs pick and place operations.
The system utilizes a vacuum end of arm tool that picks the plastic parts and places them in totes. Once placed into totes the robot picks a label and places that on the top rim of the tote. The tote is then ejected out from the station via a sublevel conveyor and the operator is then responsible for placing the label on the tote.
The system has powered conveyors to bring in totes in the center and gravity conveyors to eject full totes. There are right-hand and left-hand parts (mirrors of each other), in order to assist the operator, the output conveyors are separated to help prevent mix-ups of left/right-hand parts. While the cell was originally designed as a collaborative cell, the speed limitations were considerable with everything the client was wanting the cell to do. We
added some guarding and light curtains to allow the cell to run in non-collaborative mode.
Unfortunately, running a collaborative robot in a non-collaborative mode creates significant safety issues and concerns when attempting to meet industry standard safety standards such as RIA. There are various ways to allow this, including safety area scanners, light curtains/fencing, and radar scanners. Collaborative robots are often sold through distributors who don’t understand the safety impacts of integrating a collaborative robot in your facility. They expect you to understand all the requirements and take all the risks.
Come talk to us about your “collaborative” application and get a real perspective on
what that means. To see how MJ Engineering can help you, please contact us today!
MJ Engineering has partnered with a commercial cleaning product manufacturer. The result is 2 independent cells. The first is a de-palletizing cell. This particular cell requires an operator who is responsible for putting the pallet of bottles onto a conveyor.
Once on the conveyor, the operator walks around and takes off all of the plastic wraps, and uses a foot pedal to move the pallet into the on-deck position. When the robot is ready the pallet is moved into the unloading zone by the conveyor. Once in position, the robot picks the bottles row by row and places them on a smooth top conveyor where they are transferred one by one onto a conveyor that leads to the fill station. When the robot completes the entire layer it rotates the end of the arm tool and picks up the cardboard tier sheet and disposes it down a gravity ramp and moves on to the next layer.
While the robot is working on the current pallet the operator can be preparing the next pallet. Once all bottles/layers have been completed the robot will pull the next pallet into position and the process starts anew.
The 2nd cell is further down the line. The filled bottles come to the straw insertion station where the straws are pushed into the bottlenecks. MJ has a bowl feeder that presents straws 1 by 1 to a rotation table and where collaborative robots pick the straws off of the rotating table and move them into the funnel that aligns the straw with the bottle. Once the straw is dropped we have a pusher that comes down from above and pushes the straw into its locked position and then the bottles are moved out.
This cell features a lot of moving parts. There are multiple 3D printed parts used for all kinds of things of all kinds of different complexities. The dual mirroring collaborative robots feature 3D printed gripper fingers which help grab the straws. The funnels and the centering devices are also 3D printed. The centering device helps us center the bottles and the straw at the same time. Finally, the pushers are also 3D printed and are responsible for setting the straw into the bottle.
Do you have a project that would require complex parts or complex design? We can handle it. Robotic assembly and palletizing are two of the many areas we can help. Contact us today and let us see if we can help you.