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.


MJ Engineering is proud to announce another collaboration with Focused Technology Solutions (FTS), this time the teams combined to create the LagEase. The LagEase is the World’s Most Advanced Battery-Operated Lag Inserter. The LagEase is an investment in safety and productivity that pays for itself in faster, safer lag insertion with less labor and no need for hydraulic fluid, hoses, or generators. This tool is designed to be safer, faster, and stronger than any other on the market.


  • Drives lags in 3 seconds
  • Up to 20 pounds lighter than conventional hydraulic lag inserters
  • No hazardous hydraulics, hoses, or fluids
  • No gas-powered generators
  • No setup time necessary
  • Takes just one worker to operate


  1. Design a battery-powered lag inserter
  2. Minimize lag insertion times
  3. Minimize the cost and weight of the lag inserter
  4. Maximize the strength and useful life of the lag inserter
  5. Maximize the ergonomics of the lag inserter


  • About 30 pounds
  • 3-second lag drives
  • A rechargeable battery pack and commercially available drill
  • Easy to transport anywhere the rail takes you
  • No hydraulic system to risk leaks or environmental hazards

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.

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