A Step Above
If you are in the material handling industry, your business lives and dies by the performance of its machines. Nowadays, companies are asking for leaner, better machines that can be modified to adapt to changing environments, and MGL Engineering of Lakeland, Florida can do just that.
“Our engineers are well-versed with getting dirty and seeing the way various types of materials act in the machinery,” says MGL Engineering General Manager Gary Love.
Since its inception in 1998, when Love’s father started the company along with his partners, all whom have many years’ experience in the industry, MGL Engineering has manufactured over 1,700 conveying, crushing, and screening systems as well as recycling plants and other custom systems. “We offer standard and custom solutions, large and small, for a wide variety of material handling and processing challenges,” says Love.
MGL may have started as a small family-run business, but has since expanded to occupy an eleven-acre manufacturing facility that saw over $20 million in sales last year. “We service the Caribbean, parts of South and Central America. We’ve sent equipment to Africa and Australia, but the vast majority is in the U.S.”
Love attributes MGL’s success to its customer-first, family-oriented approach, both with clients and at the workplace. Its business culture offers clients a direct line to the same engineer who designed the ready-made or custom equipment they purchased, right from the start. The very person who will modify or troubleshoot a custom or ready-made product is the person who made it.
“Being a smaller company, it’s our engineers that are the people talking directly to customers. They are the same guys who go out in the field with the hands-on application experience.”
This direct line of communication is intended to remain open indefinitely. “Even in the aftersales support, our engineers come into play. Customers can call our engineers directly on their cellphone, and usually, they know exactly what’s going on with a few simple questions,” Love explains.
“A company’s service mechanic can call my engineer on his cell phone to troubleshoot or to get their basic questions, thoughts, or ideas,” Love adds. “They can get high-level quality and service, typically beyond what you would receive from a large corporate entity.”
Customers appreciate saving time and money by working with MGL. They also appreciate its high quality and special attention to detail. “A lot of our competitors are much bigger than us. We compete with some monsters out there, yet we can always be competitive on price,” Love continues. “As far as structural integrity and the power of our machines, we tend to be a step above for a similar price point.”
MGL has an extensive online catalogue of incredible ready-to-go products in the areas of conveying, crushing, screening, recycling, and coloring. MGL’s most popular ready-made product is an eighty-foot-long conveyor which it offers in both wheeled and track versions. This is a fully-contained, diesel-powered machine.
Over the past fifteen years, the conveyor has seen only slight improvements, but newly designed upgrades will be hitting the official product line soon. The previous version was a top-seller, and the newer version looks to build on this legacy.
Now, both the wheeled and track versions will have a lot more in common with each other. “The last model of the wheeled and tracked versions were very different machines,” says Love, “but now they’re closer to the same machine.” The design permits easier modifications, more user-friendly options, and has a sleeker look.
A unique floor-to-market product for which MGL is excited to launch an ad campaign is its wobble feed track impact crusher. It is fully portable and is “well-suited for material that has high fines content and high moisture content.” The wobble feeder is the heart of this machine, allowing it to process three times the material as similarly sizes and priced machines with a typical vibratory feeder.
Another innovative product MGL is launching is its mulch processing machine. The goal of this product is to give the customer a powerful, durable processer with a heavy-duty but sensitive measuring tool to reduce waste.
“The amount of dye our customers use is critical to their profitability because dye is an expensive ingredient,” says Love. The mulch processing machine harnesses laser technology to accurately measure and mix exact amounts of dye and other liquids instantaneously. The machine instructs the pump and water valves exactly how much fluid to add every second so that customers can create consistently high-quality mulch at a competitive price.
Once users dial in the specific color specifications, exact levels are maintained throughout processing. The mulch processing machine creates progress reports to track production and to use for statistical analysis. It also gives helpful warnings, just as a color printer would when running low on ink, making it easy for companies to keep production going.
In the coming years, it plans to expand its line of compact, portable equipment to meet clients’ changing needs. Because the business of materials handling is ever changing, many companies are searching for a manufacturer that can understand and solve problems that are out of the ordinary. Luckily, MGL’s engineers have a twenty-year history of solving hundreds of unique problems through custom solutions.
Custom machines can include anything from a small standalone piece of machinery to a large turnkey plant. “Usually a customer calls us with a challenge and hasn’t found another way to solve it on their own or with another company,” explains Love, “and our engineers are involved from the initial client questionnaire to the design, fabrication, assembly, and testing of our products.”
Engineers work hard to understand a company’s unique problem. “A lot of the time there are a few back and forths,” says Love, “and sometimes there are site visits to get a look at the feed material and do some testing, like rock gradation, moisture content, or hardness testing.”
MGL’s engineers enjoy solving problems from many angles and deal with issues from both a logistical and financial perspective. A typical company will receive a few options to tackle the problem with different timelines and costs associated with each one.
Using SolidWorks 3D modeling software, MGL’s engineers create and share videos, schematics, and animations with clients. This time-saving technology enables companies to save time and money during the planning process and to get the most accurate understanding of the final version of the product. Just as importantly, it is easy to do retrofits later. MGL can pull up a company’s file and make additions or changes to older designs, increasing the lifespan of the equipment while cutting costs for customers.
Once plans are approved, MGL fabricates the product on its plant and overseen by the initial engineer. Finally, it contracts and supervises the complete installation and adjustments. At a minimum, one MGL engineer is on site, monitoring the process.
“After it’s built, there will be significant on-site tuning by the engineer to make sure everything is dialed in just right to be producing top quality products,” explains Love. “Ultimately, what it comes down to is maximizing production without compromising the quality of the products.” Engineers typically stay on site for as long as needed until everything is working perfectly.
Troubleshooting complicated problems is made easy through direct communication with engineers. “Having a direct line to the person who personally designed, built and installed your equipment is unmatched in the industry. That engineer literally knows every nut and bolt on your machine,” Love explains.
MGL also has multiple field technicians with fully-equipped service and crane trucks who handle any onsite issue including electrical, mechanical, or hydraulic. Technicians can also perform on-site steel fabrication, belt repair, and vulcanization if needed. Finally, MGL is able to get quality parts for machines it installed, or other machines, through its large network of manufacturers and experienced staff.
Growing from a small family-run business into a multimillion-dollar company is a merger of hard business skills with a personal touch. “At MGL, we understand how important it is to keep your equipment running at peak performance, which is why providing excellent service is a priority of ours,” says Love.