Getting the Most From Micro Fulfillment

Published: Oct 07 2020
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Tompkins Robotics Staff
Tompkins Robotics Staff

A big bright spot — if you can call it that — during the pandemic has been the blazing growth of food retail e-commerce, which is enjoying triple-digit sales growth.

But even as evidence mounts that many grocery shoppers will stick with e-commerce — online ordering, curbside pickup, home deliveries — after the pandemic subsides, food retailers face the stiff challenge of how to keep up with all of that digital growth and activity.

That helps to explain the quickening rise of micro fulfillment centers, which are designed to act as mini distribution centers that enable grocery workers to efficiently and profitably pick online orders without disrupting other store operations.

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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.