Consultancy Tompkins International, which is moving aggressively into supply chain management operations, said Tuesday it will expand its robotic technology offering, called "t-Sort," into North America later this year. The technology is currently operational at four parcel distribution sites in Asia.
Raleigh, N.C.-based Tompkins said t-Sort has applications for both unit and parcel sortation. It performs much like traditional automated sortation systems such as a tilt tray or crossbelt sorter. The difference, according to Tompkins, is that it uses completely independent robots.
The robots, which are 15 inches wide, can move in any direction and can be programmed to meet unit and parcel sorting needs. The robots recharge automatically by returning to a charging station when needed, Tompkins said.
The robots are the equivalent of having a tilt tray with no track, Tompkins said. They can autonomously travel to any divert or induction station along the shortest path. Robots, chutes, and induction stations can be added modularly at any time with no interruption to operations, Tompkins said.
Parcel installations will begin in North America later this year, with installations to support unit sortation activity expected to be available in early 2018, Tompkins said. The company made the announcement on the second day of the ProMat 2017 show in Chicago.
For more information, see the Tompkins International website.