County Fairs

MJ Engineering has started providing third-party support on amusement rides at a number of Ohio county fairs. The engineering team has been working closely with State of Ohio ride inspectors, ride owners, and operators to review documented instances of ride corrosion and fatigue. Our engineers have been able to facilitate discussions with ride manufacturers and provide expert opinions on the effects that specific instances of corrosion and fatigue create on the overall ride structure, and most importantly, the safety of the ride.

Sagger Handling Systems

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

Why Automate?

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:

  • headcount, 
  • 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. 

Drill Ease


MJ Engineering continues to collaborate with Focused Technology Solutions to develop groundbreaking products. This time the product is the Drill Ease. This is the world’s most advanced battery operated tie drill. This product is an investment in safety and productivity that pays for itself in faster, safer tie drilling with less labor and no need for hydraulic fluid, hoses, and generators.

The tool was designed to be lighter, stronger, and more ergonomic than previous tools.


  • 3-5 seconds per hole in wooden ties
  • Only 30 pounds
  • No hydraulics, hoses, or fluids
  • No gas-powered generators
  • No setup time
  • One worker to operate
  • Design a battery-powered tie drill
  • Minimize drill time
  • Minimize the cost of and weight of the drill
  • Maximize the strength and useful life of the drill
  • Maximize the ergonomics of the dill
  • Implement safety features to cover the drill bit
  • Provide an aligning feature to align the tool with the tie plate
  • Develop a depth stop and spring assisted tool removal
  • About 30 pounds
  • 3-5 seconds per hole
  • A rechargeable battery pack and a commercially available drill
  • Easy to transport anywhere the rail takes you
  • No hydraulic system to risk leaks or environmental hazards

Youth Camp Hoist

MJ Engineering is part of a team with Hubbard Merrell Engineering and Vertical Solutions working together to improve a swing ride that operates at various youth camps across the country. The attraction lifts up to 3 passengers to the release point and holds them until they actuate the mechanical release themselves. Once released, the riders swing down through the station and up the other side; continuing the back and forth swinging motion until coming to rest at the load/unload station. The biggest problem the camps are having is that the current electric winches are failing prematurely. The current winches are no longer available and the replacement unit is significantly slower than the original system, reducing patron throughput. Additionally, the camp wanted to improve the safety of the overall system while implementing the new hoist system.   


  1. The camp wanted to maintain or improve throughput (i.e. rides per day).
  2. They wanted to find a hoist mechanism that was readily available and could be easily maintained. 
  3. They wanted the upgraded design of the ride to comply with ASTM amusement standards as much as possible.
What did we do?
  1. MJ designed, fabricated & installed a new hoist system to raise the riders to the drop location.  We used a hydraulic power pack to drive a hydraulic hoist that has the speed of the original system with easy to maintain characteristics desired by the camp.
  2. One of our partners designed an update to the rollaway platform, which brings the railing system of the platform into compliance with ASTM ride standards.  Our control system includes a sensor that detects when the platform is stowed out of the swing path.  This fail-safe system would only allow the hoist (and therefore the ride) to operate if the platform was stowed properly.
  3. To prevent the hoist from being raised too far, the MJ control system includes a sensor that detects when the hoist has reached a pre-set maximum lift point.  The hoist is not permitted to raise further when this sensor is activated.