Collaborative Pick and Place

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!

Depal Cell – Straw Insertion

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.

Robotic Pack Out

A pharmaceutical company approached MJ Engineering asking for help automating their pack out process. This company had vials randomly stored in totes that needed to be packed into trays. The trays would then be put into boxes and shipped out. The entire process was done by 1 operator who had to organize the vials into trays.

MJ proposed a Fanuc SR-6iA robot to perform a high-speed robotic pack out. The robot featured a gripper end of arm tool to pick up the vials 4 at a time. The vials come to the robot from a bowl feeder which feeds them down a track system that allows the vials to be picked up from the same spot each time. The robot then runs the parts through a machined comb and that straightens the vials up so they could be put in the tray. A conveyor brings the tray around to the operator for packing and shipping.

The robot is able to move an estimated 45,000 vials on a 6.5-hour-long shift. The operator loads the bowl feeder with vials and places empty trays on the conveyor. The high-speed robotic pack out cell comes with a Cognex In-Sight 2000 Vision System to make sure the labels on the vials are placed correctly. The vision system uses a colored ring light to locate the label and verify the orientation.

The cell operates so efficiently that with current production rates the customer only needs to run the cell 3-4 hours a day rather than 3-4 operators 5 days a week.

To see how we can help automate any of your processes give us a call at (614) 891-6111 ext. 110 or email me at We can help with assembly, pack out, depal, and much more in the pharma and medical industries.

Finite Element Analysis of an Amusement Park Ride

MJ Engineering was retained by a ride manufacturer of an amusement park ride to make sure the ride met US standards for a Virginia-based amusement park. To demonstrate that the structure conformed to local, state and federal regulations, MJ Engineering performed a finite element analysis of the structure under dynamic and static loads. We also helped to establish or guide the design of a number of different control systems including speed and safety controls. To make sure the ride was installed properly, MJ Engineering provided guidance and analysis throughout the entire installation process. Using a variety of specifications (ASTM F2291, AISC 316, AISC M015, ANSI B11.TR3, ANSI B77.1, ASME B15.1, ANSI/AWS D1.1, D14.4, BS 5400-10, SAE T833, ASCE 7) we were able to see that each segment of the ride conformed to the required standards (ASTM, AISC, ANSI, ASME, AWS, BS, SAE, ASCE).

For more information about our finite element analysis of this amusement park ride contact MJ Engineering or see below for details.

Project Description

MJ Engineering structurally reviewed this amusement park ride for Certification within the United States.

Capabilities Applied/Processes


  • Performed FEA Analysis of the Structure under dynamic & static loads.
  • Analyzed ride under wind loads & seismic loads to demonstrate the structure conformed to the Local/State/Federal Regulations

Help to establish or guide the design of the following control systems

  • Control Cycle
  • Speed Control (braking)
  • Safety Controls
  • Operator Feedback

Provide Guidance and Analysis to the Customer During Installation
Confirm The Ride Conforms to Amusement Park Standards when Installed

Process Requirements

Specifications that were applied to various segments of the ride:

  • ASTM F2291
  • AISC 316
  • AISC M015
  • ANSI B11.TR3
  • ANSI B77.1
  • ASME B15.1
  • ANSI/AWS D1.1, D14.4
  • BS 5400-10
  • SAE T833
  • ASCE 7

More Info

Industry for Use
Amusement Park

Delivery Location

Standards Met

Product Name
Finite Element Analysis of Amusement Park Ride

Machine Design of Custom Steel Pipe Handling System for the Manufacturing Industry

A manufacturing client approached MJ Engineering to design a custom steel pipe handling system. Using the latest in SolidWorks 3D CAD software, we were able to design both the needed machinery and a master control system.

The custom designed machinery is capable of loading and unloading raw pipe lengths into a CNC threading and cutting cell. We created a handling system that is able to cingulate stock pipe from an accumulation hopper, convey pipe from the output side and sense pipe length and sort it into the correct bin on the discharge end.

To make the machine even more user-friendly, MJ Engineering designed a master PLC system that not only controls movement of the pipe into and out of the CNC cell but also has a touch screen HMI that allows easy operator access and troubleshooting.

We supported the client by offering full assembly and installation of both the steel pipe handling system and the PLC.

For more information on this design project please contact MJ Engineering or see below for details.

Project Description

MJ Engineering designed this machinery to load and unload a pipe into a CNC threading and cutting cell.

Capabilities Applied/Processes


  • Design Machine in SolidWorks 3D CAD
  • Design the Control System


  • Assemble the Handling System
  • PLC Programming
  • Electrical Enclosure Wiring
  • Machine Wiring


  • Install Handling System
  • Final Assembly
  • Final Wiring Connection
  • Machine Leveling
  • Securing Machine to Floor
  • Installation Programming


Loading equipment that was provided by MJ, which loads raw pipe lengths into the CNC cell. Individual pipes are cingulated onto rollers that convey pipe into the cutting cell.
MJ provided a master PLC system that controls movement of the pipe into and out of the CNC cell. This system has a touch screen HMI that allows easy operator access and troubleshooting.
The CNC cutting/threading machine can produce various lengths.
MJ provided a discharge / sortation conveying system that is capable of identifying individual pipe sections by length and delivering them to the correct bin.

Manufacturer was Able to Reduce Manual Operation of the Cutting/Tapping Cell

More Info

Process Requirements
Ability to Cingulate Stock Pipe from An Accumulation Hopper
Feed Pipe into Cutting Cell Using Control Signals from PLC
Convey Pipe from the Output Side
Sense Pipe Length and Sort Into Correct Bin

Overall Cell Dimensions
Length: 42′
Width: 4′
Height: 5′

Material Used
Processes Steel Piping

Industry for Use
Pipe Manufacturing

Delivery Location

Standards Met
Customer supplied specifications

Product Name
Design of Steel Pipe Handling System