Robotics, flexible automation, autonomous vehicles and the like are no longer just something “everyone else” must be doing. Offerings and awareness have continued to increase, especially as the perceived shortage of qualified and affordable labor continues.
As a result, we’re still not close to “lights out” manufacturing with completely automated processes.
Mike Futch, president of MHI member Tompkins Robotics, said any thought related to where we actually are “depends on who you ask.”
“The fact of the matter is, it’s progressing very rapidly,” Futch said. “The increased capabilities of robotic automation and the lowering of costs have created a new tool that we can use in the evolution of supply chain distribution, warehousing and order fulfillment.”
In response to COVID-19 and limiting travel, Tompkins Robotics is now offering interactive virtual tours using a variety of stationary and roaming cameras throughout the facility. We have the capability to demonstrate five t-Sort systems with various configurations, robots and functionalities. The main demonstration system includes three different induction types: manual, robotic and A-frame. Our systems are capable of e-commerce order fulfillment, store replenishment, backroom and parcel / postal sortation. We can demonstrate the original t-Sort robotic system in multiple dual level configurations and an elevator system to move robots between the levels. Our larger t-Sort Plus robots run on single level systems with both tilt tray and crossbelt options. In the very near future we will demonstrate the new t-Sort Mini in an additional system. We have a wide variety of inventory to demonstrate products including general merchandise, apparel, grocery, fragile goods, odd sizes and shapes and a wide range of product weights. You will also have a chance to learn about the technologies that are integrated into our system such as automated induction, automated charging, integrated weight and dimension capture, our proprietary wireless network and Warehouse Execution System (WES), new innovations such as our automated sorter exit solution and more. And if mobility and flexibility are important to you, we can demonstrate how easy it is to reconfigure a system, remove or add a sort table, and even fold a table into a smaller footprint for move or transport.