Tompkins International introduces Tompkins Robotics, a revolutionary unit and parcel sortation system which has been patented for North America and Europe. Tompkins Robotics has joined forces with Lab Z to introduce the world’s first, portable automated sortation system, named t-Sort. This new and innovative robotic technology will help build world-class supply chains, providing unmatched flexibility and throughput. Our 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. However, the unique and exciting difference is it 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 greatly enhances efficiency to maximize your operational capabilities. Robots, chutes, and induction stations can be added modularly at any time with no interruption or downtime, an additional robot can be added in seconds. A unique feature is the system is purchased on a seasonal or annual basis deferring the capital investment and fully utilizing the asset at all times, unlike a traditional sorter that one buys for their long-term growth plan. A typical installation takes only three to four months to go-live.

t-Sort technology uses free-moving, independent robots to replace conveyors, sorters, and tilt trays. It provides:

  • Efficiency – Robots move along the most direct path, maximizing your operational capabilities.
  • Space Utilization – Required space is reduced tremendously.
  • Modular – Robots, chutes, and induction stations can be added modularly at any time with no interruption or downtime, an additional robot can be added in seconds. 
  • Ultimate Flexibility – Unit sortation and parcel sortation simultaneously, and flexes on demand.
  • Robots Are Less Expensive – Compared to a traditional tilt tray system, the capital required is 50% to 70% less. The actual cost is dependent on the size, design, scale, and volume, providing a minimal entry cost for small systems.
  • Faster Startups – A typical installation takes only three to four months to go-live as opposed to traditional systems that take nine months to over a year.
  • Higher ROI – Lower investment, shorter lead times, faster implementation, reduced space, lower headcount, and incremental expansion/capital expenditures, all drive greater economic justification and ROI.  
  • Redundancy & Risk Mitigation – No single point of failure anywhere in the system. The system has lower risks, all elements are plug and play, and there is complete redundancy in all elements to include software, servers, and power. Robots automatically self-charge when needed.

The standard system operates on two levels and allows sortation of a wide variety of goods. Individual items range from extremely small cosmetics to gallon containers of liquids. The system is ideally suited to handle apparel and footwear, general merchandise, single items and innerpacks. Parcels sorted include bags, boxes, and mailers. Overall the system handles loads up to a 30 x 36 inch footprint. The robots easily transport cylindrical and other difficult items through unique tray designs. Given the unique flexibility of this application, multiple implementation concepts have been developed, with multiple, large scale national customers scheduled for implementation in 2018. 

  • Large DC/FC - Much improved system over traditional automation for unit and parcel sortation. Up to several million units a day at a single site.
  • Small DC/FC - Allows automation across a customer base that never before could afford or justify automation. Cost, modularity, savings, and performance allow small players to benefit and gradually grow the system as sales grow.
  • Packing and Shipping Sortation – Allows pack stations to interface directly to the t-Sort robots that can then weigh and manifest outbound parcels, and continue to parcel sortation.
  • Supplement Existing Sites - Allows a small system to be added to a site, acting as an automated, large Put Wall, saving money and capital at a large capacity increase.
  • Backroom Design – The first portable, modular, automated system for items and parcels. Allows eCommerce at large stores, automated order consolidation, and parcel sort to post office, providing next day delivery at lowest cost.

The t-Sort system is powered by Tompkins Warehouse Execution System (TWES), which eases the implementation through its quickly configurable design and is highly flexible with the ability to interface with a variety of host systems. TWES is cloud based to minimize IT hardware requirements, providing a large number of standard reports and analytics that will assist any operation in maximizing the benefit of the TWES system.

Tompkins Robotics, combined with TWES, will help further evolve supply chain logistics automation, improving the efficiency of logistics operations. t-Sort is a means of automated order fulfillment for units to complete an order, and parcel shipping operations, allowing for better planning, implementation, controls efficiency, flow of goods, and customer service. Watch the Tompkins Robotics video to further understand the capabilities of the automated sortation system.

There is a tremendous reduction in capital cost and space in the warehouse for the Tompkins Robotics design, compared to a traditional automated sortation system. In conclusion, lower and delayed investment, shorter lead times, faster implementation, reduced space and labor, all drive greater economic justification and ROI. In addition, the system has unheard of flexibility compared to the systems in use today and is truly a game changer.

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Tompkins International Annual Supply Chain Leadership Forum Keynote Speakers

Tompkins International Annual Supply Chain Leadership Forum Keynote Speakers

Author: Tompkins International Staff/Thursday, March 1, 2018/Categories: Blog

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Join the 14th Annual Tompkins International Supply Chain Leadership Forum (SCLF) being held in Durham, North Carolina at the Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club from April 29th through May 2nd. This year’s keynote speakers are Jim Tompkins, CEO of Tompkins International and Lee McCabe, Vice President of North America at Alibaba Group.

Tompkins is a global authority and thought leader on end-to-end supply chains. His focus over the last several years has been in the areas of eCommerce, Omnichannel, Unichannel, Robotics, IoT, and harnessing the power of digital disruptions. As the founder and CEO of Tompkins International, he provides leadership for Tompkins International’s global consulting and implementation businesses. He has devoted much of his time since 2015 on three new ventures MonarchFx, SensorThink, and Tompkins Robotics.

Tompkins will discuss The Digital Imperative: Dealing with Uncertainty, Speed, and Reinvention. This discussion will address the turbulent evolution of business, customer expectations, and supply chains in response to the onslaught of the digital tidal wave.

Tompkins has received many awards, most notably the prestigious Frank and Lillian Gilbreth Industrial Engineering Award from the Institute of Industrial Engineers (IIE). He has served as President of the Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers, the Materials Management Society, and the College-Industry Council on Material Handling Education. Tompkins received his Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering, his Master of Science in Industrial Engineering, and his Ph.D. all from Purdue University.

As head of Alibaba’s North American initiatives, McCabe works closely with all verticals to set the course for how to best utilize Alibaba Group’s ecosystem of brands and services. An expert on the Chinese consumer and eCommerce, McCabe helps U.S. companies understand and maximize the massive opportunity in the Chinese market.

“We are thrilled to have Lee McCabe as a keynote speaker at this year’s SCLF. Alibaba is changing the way the world does business and is the key entry point for U.S. brands and retailers engaging Chinese consumers,” said Michael Zakkour, VP China/APAC and Global eCommerce at Tompkins International. “Alibaba is leading the New Retail revolution and

Lee McCabe’s speech will highlight Alibaba’s “Five New” trends (New Retail-New Technology-New Supply Chain-New Manufacturing-New Finance) to remake the world of commerce and consumption.”

McCabe has built his career at some of the world’s most influential technology companies including Facebook, ebay, and Expedia. He was the first Global Head of Travel at Facebook, responsible for tailoring the colossal social network and media company’s relationships with the travel industry. At Expedia, McCabe held various market management positions, overseeing regions from APAC to North America. McCabe holds an MBA from the Warwick Business School in business management and an MA from Sheffield Hallam University in media.

The purpose of the SCLF is to bring supply chain executives together from a wide range of industries to connect, share, and learn together. The topics of discussion relate to supply chain, business strategies, and operations. Supply chain executives from all major industries will be in attendance including retail, consumer products, 3PL, pharmaceutical, and select service providers.

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Tompkins International Staff
Tompkins International Staff

Tompkins International Staff

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