Robotic Integrators tend to develop niche’s through their experiences. MJ Engineering is no different. We have developed a niche serving the powder processing industry with our robotic sagger handling cell. We have robotic solutions that can handle multiple different kiln styles including roller kilns, tunnel kilns and shuttle kilns. A single robot system is capable of handling 1400- 1500 saggers per day depending on the needs of the system. A two robot system can handle 2000 saggers or more per day. The robots use a proprietary EOAT (end of arm tool) that will not over squeeze the saggers because ceramic saggers don’t handle compression well. Overall the robot system can be integrated with dump stations, fill stations and crack inspection systems to remove saggers before they fail. The systems are designed to run 24 hours a day with little to no human interaction. Through our experience, we have found that robotically handling saggers increases the life of the sagger substantially.
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.
A Quarterly Review
Q3 – 2021
- Richard’s Roundtable
- Collaborative Pick and Place Robot
- Depal Cell and Straw Insertion
- 3D Printing
- New Hire
Corrosion is a major buzzword in Ohio amusement ride inspections today. Is pitting and/or flaking present on your amusement park ride? Well if you are in Ohio or coming to Ohio soon, you better get that resolved before the state inspects your rides. Due to Tyler’s law changes in Ohio, the state has a zero tolerance policy for corrosion on amusement rides…no matter how small an area or obscure it is. If your ride manufacturer cannot respond or refuses to support your ride, we can provide a 3rd party engineering review and opinion on the required cleaning/repair or maintenance that might be required. We can also do ultrasonic thickness testing to determine if your ride is safe to operator or warrants major repair.
Mission: To provide the expertise people depend on to solve complex engineering or machine design problems.
Collaborative Pick and Place Robot
BY JUSTIN WAND
Pick and place robot cells are becoming more and more common in the workplace. As a repercussion of Covid-19 companies are struggling to find enough employees and they are turning to robots.
Collaborative robots seem to be the preference because they are smaller and come with more built-in safety features to allow them to work closely with the operators. The company this cell is for went with a collaborative robot cell to allow the operator to work near the cell.
In an article dropping in late August, we will go into detail about the operation that we helped this company with and much more.
Checking in at mjengineering.com is a great way to stay up to date with pick and place applications and so much more.
Let us help you with your pick and place application – CONTACT US, today!
Depal Cell and Straw Insertion
BY JUSTIN WAND
MJ Engineering has started working with an industrial cleaning product manufacturer. Currently, there are 2 cells being designed for their facility.
The first cell is a collaborative pick and place robot. The robot pictured above picks the bottles off the pallet and places them on the conveyor.
This type of application is on the rise because it is an easy way to repurpose operators to more meaningful tasks.
These types of tasks are not always straightforward and sometimes require a little extra planning to make sure that everything is running the way we need it to.
Cell number 2 is also a collaborative cell but it has more complications. It is using dual robots to places straws into containers. Getting the straw in proves to be more difficult than expected. However, with help of our 3D printer, we are able to print parts to help make it a smoother process.
We will be posting photos of our designs for the cell and from the 3D printer on the website when we post the article about the cells. Check in to see if the article is up in late August.
Let us help you with your application – CONTACT US, today!
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MJ Engineering is still running the 3D printers. We have capabilities in both Metal and plastic and can print complex features that are very expensive to machine. On the image to the right we 3d printed the grippers, the funnel, and the pushers up at the top.
We will have more to come on this in portfolio articles that will be posted on the website in weeks to come.
If you have any parts that are costing you a fortune to have machined reach out to us to get your quote for a print today.
Here at MJ Engineering we have started using Flexibowl more and more. Flexibowl is a bowl feeder that allows parts to be easily picked up by a robot.
If you have an application and you are unsure as to whether or not a bowl feeder needs to be used and you want to know more don’t hesitate to reach out to us we can design something that works for you.
Zane Brown is a Controls Engineer. He brings 3 years experience in PLC programming, electrical design, and CAD. He is a 2018 graduate of Muskingum University’s Engineering Science program. Outside of work Zane plays soccer with his rec team and at home, his wife Kaitlyn and their two dogs keep him busy.
Automation is beginning to take over facilities all over the world but is automation the right choice for you? When you think about the word automation one of the first things that comes to mind is robotics. However, robotics is just a small part of the ever-changing world of automation. Manufacturers have multiple different options when considering automation. They can choose turn-key robotic integration, but they can also use partial integration, gantry systems, laser vision systems, and more. Below are some frequently asked questions:
Why should I automate my procedure?
There are numerous reasons why automation might be beneficial. One might want to automate a particularly hazardous or risky task, gain consistency over quality, or operate with limited staff or reduce headcount, it might also be as simple as creating space in your manufacturing environment given today’s COVID requirements for social distancing.
How do I justify automation to my boss?
Justifying automation is totally dependent on the type of automation and the goals associated with automating.
There are many factors to consider:
- production levels,
- quality issues
- workers compensation
These issues are just a few that can come to mind. When using operator numbers as justification for example, robotic automation generally requires a 2nd or 3rd shift to be justifiable in two years or less.
We run 3 shifts at our plant, can robots handle that workload? What about downtime?
Three shift applications are well suited to industrial robots. Fanuc robots, for example, are designed to handle 100,000 hours MTBF (meantime between failures). Typical annual maintenance consists of replacing gearbox grease and changing out batteries. Fanuc also has a support line (open 24 hrs a day, 365 days/year) and guarantees parts on-site with a technician in 24 hours in the event of a down robot. They also stock all parts in the US for any robot currently running production, regardless of the age of the robot.
We have limited space, can we make robots work?
Robots might not be the best fit in all situations and locations. That needs to be reviewed and discussed as part of our site review of your needs/goals. We can help you determine if hard automation (mechanical, non-robotic) might better suit your facility or if robotics can work. It will depend on speeds, payload, reach, interaction with surroundings ( i.e. people), and other reasons.
If you are considering automation of any kind, reach out to us at MJ Engineering and we can work with you to determine what the best type of automation is for you and for your company. Call us at (614)891-6111 ext. 110. Don’t wait to up your production and lower your human dependency.
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.
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