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Robotic Technology Automates Unit and Parcel Sortation

t-Sort aims to lower investment, shorten lead times, speed implementation, reduced space and labor, and drive greater economic justification and ROI.

Tompkins Robotics, a division of Tompkins International, released a new video sharing the benefits it provides. Tompkins partnered with Lab Z to bring what it refers to as the world’s first portable, automated sortation system, t-Sort, already patented in North America and Europe.

This new robotic technology aims to help build world-class supply chains, providing flexibility and throughput. The design can accomplish volumes ranging from millions of units a day to a small operation in the backroom of a supercenter or mall anchor store. 

The t-Sort system performs much like a tilt tray or crossbelt sorter, but uses completely independent robots. This is the equivalent of having a tilt tray with no track allowing each robot to travel to any divert or induction station independently along the shortest path. This enhances efficiency to maximize operational capabilities.

Robots, chutes, and induction stations can be added modularly at any time with no interruption or downtime, and an additional robot can be added in seconds. The system is purchased on a seasonal or annual basis, deferring the capital investment and utilizing the asset at all times, unlike a traditional sorter that one buys for their long-term growth plan.

Compared to a traditional tilt tray system, the capital required is said to be 50% to 70% less. The system has lower risks due to all elements being plug and play, with redundancy in all elements to include software, servers and power. A typical installation takes only three to four months and the required space is reduced.

The standard system operates on two levels and allows sortation of a variety of goods. Individual items range from small cosmetics to gallon containers of liquids. Parcels sorted include bags, boxes and mailers. Overall, the system handles loads up to a 30 x 36 in. footprint. Unit sortation and parcel sortation can take place simultaneously and flex as needed on demand. The company says multiple, large-scale national customers are scheduled for implementation in 2018. 

Lower and delayed investment, shorter lead times, faster implementation, reduced space and labor, all drive greater economic justification and ROI. The system offers flexibility compared to other systems in use today.

Tompkins Robotics will help further evolve supply chain logistics automation, improving the efficiency of logistics operations. t-Sort allows for better planning, implementation, controls efficiency, flow of goods, customer service, and allows a far wider range of companies to afford and justify automation. 

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