Case Study

St. James Winery Boosts Efficiency with Robotic Automation

St. James Winery, a prominent wine producer in the U.S., faced growth challenges due to increased demand and a shortage of available labor. Seeking a solution, they turned to MMCI Automation, a FANUC Authorized System Integrator. MMCI swiftly designed and installed an automated solution featuring a FANUC M-410iC palletizing robot. The system now efficiently fulfills orders, allowing employees to focus on higher-skilled tasks.

Challenges solved by:

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  • Improve palletizing speed
  • Reduce manual palletizing which was causing fatigue
  • Increase margins and reduce labor per case
  • Implement automation quickly to keep production running


  • Labor per case is 35 to 40 percent lower, indicating a quick ROI.

  • The robot handles heavy lifting, minimizing back strain.

  • Employees enjoy working with the easy-to-use automation.

  • Optimization icon

    The company is seeing higher margins.


St. James Winery, based in St. James, MO is a leading wine producer in the U.S. Increased growth and a lack of available labor led the company to consider automation. St. James turned to MMCI Automation for an automated packaging solution.

MMCI, a FANUC Authorized System Integrator located in St. Louis, MO specializes in material handling and warehouse automation. MMCI evaluated St. James’ manual process which included workers offloading glass bottles, packing them into cases, taping, and palletizing full (and heavy) cases. The work is very labor-intensive, and employees were experiencing fatigue which slowed production and was starting to impact profit margins. MMCI went to work to design an automated solution to help St. James overcome their challenges and improve efficiencies.

The automated solution, which includes a FANUC M-410iC palletizing robot was built and installed quickly, minimizing disruptions on the bottling line.

Today, the system works tirelessly to quickly fulfill increasing orders. Employees were excited about the new technology and found it extremely easy to learn and use. Now, with the robot doing the heavy lifting, operators have moved to performing tasks that require higher skills, offering more opportunities for future advancement.

In addition to helping alleviate the labor challenges, St. James has achieved higher production speeds and better margins. In addition, the company, which measures ROI in terms of labor per case has already realized a 35 to 40 percent reduction in labor per case.

Looking ahead, St. James is considering adding more automation to further improve production efficiency and stay ahead of increasing demands.

Andrew Meggit Production Officer St. James Winery

We see the ROI in terms of labor per case. Now margins are better – and labor per case is about thirty-five to forty percent less than it was.

Andrew Meggit

Chief Production Officer & Executive Winemaker, St. James Winery

FANUC Products Used

Meet MMCI, FANUC Authorized System Integrator

MMCI provides expert Material Handling and Warehouse Automation and is passionate about solving problems of all shapes and sizes. They offer over 35 years of experience in design, engineering, integration, robotics, controls, and software to deliver automation solutions that improve performance and increase productivity for manufacturers, e-commerce, and distribution companies large and small.

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About St. James Winery

For over 50 years, St. James Winery has produced unique regional wines, and their hard work in the vineyards and winery cellar has paid off. Today, St. James Winery is the largest and most awarded winery in Missouri and is consistently one of the top five gold medal-winning wineries in the country. Competition after competition, their quality shows.

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