Inside Logistics

Portable, automated sortation system

Tompkins Robotics has partnered with Lab Z


February 13, 2018
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Raleigh, NC – Tompkins Robotics has partnered with Lab Z to create the world’s first portable, automated sortation system, t-Sort, already patented in North America and Europe. The design can accomplish volumes ranging from millions of units a day, to a small operation in the backroom of a supercentre 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.

Compared to a traditional tilt tray system, the capital required is 50% to 70% less. The system has lower risks due to the fact all elements are plug and play, and there is complete 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 tremendously.

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 suited to handle apparel, 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. Unit sortation and parcel sortation can take place simultaneously and flex as needed on demand. Given the unique advantages of this application multiple, large scale national customers are scheduled for implementation in 2018.

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.