How Can Robotic Automation Help Alleviate Labor Shortages?

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Tompkins Robotics Staff
Tompkins Robotics Staff

How does Robotic automation overcome the perception that it only eliminates jobs?

In the past evaluating automation was typically about the Return On Investment (ROI), but more and more companies are considering automation because they are not able to staff their current manual operations. Projects that most often focused on cost reduction are increasingly focused on the ability to get orders to customers, particularly in peak seasons. Attendees at recent tradeshows have noticed a considerable increase in the offerings of automated solutions. The potential solutions include a wide range of equipment types from the more traditional conveyors and sortation to more complex robots that have the ability to pick products from a shelf. The key to successfully reducing the need for manual labor is thoroughly vetting the various types of automation. Just because a certain type of equipment “typically reduces labor” does not mean it is the right fit and will have the same success in your operation. Careful consideration of product types and order profile must be taken in selection of the right solution.

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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.