With the ongoing labor shortage, there has been a lot of talk around how robotics and automation can optimize manufacturing operations. Robotics have played an integral part in the manufacturing process, with automation helping to improve efficiency and maintain or increase production capacity. Tompkins’ automation expertise is focused on material handling processes and systems to move raw materials, WIP and finished goods.
To improve cycle times, component parts need to be presented to the operator in a way that is readied for processing. Automation and processes are put into place so that all pre-processing steps, including dunnage removal, occur upstream from the final process. This may manifest into kitting, toting or one-piece flow, but always with customer value in mind.
Our pragmatic approach finds the inflection point of when and how much automation should be utilized to be cost-effective and make the best use of employees’ skills. Because plants have a maximum headcount limit—defined by space in the facility or market labor availability—maximizing the performance of human assets is paramount to improving throughput and profitability.