Swedish online pharmacy Apotea has announced the integration of a piece-picking robot from warehouse automation firm Element Logic and a solution from logistics technology provider AutoStore to improve its order fulfilment capabilities.
The digital pharmacy has fully automated its logistics centre in Morgongåva, Sweden to support the delivery of 50,000 orders a day.
Element Logic reports that the logistic hub saw the world’s first full integration of its ‘eOperator’ piece-picking robot with an AutoStore solution.
The integration process involved a collaboration between Element Logic and AutoStore, robotics solution provider RightHand Robotics and Apotea.
Apotea is reportedly Sweden’s largest online pharmacy, meaning it processes a wide range of pharmaceutical stock.
“During the pandemic, we looked at expanding the capacity to be able to go from delivering 50,000 orders to 100,000 orders,” said Pär Svärdson, CEO at Apotea.
“That’s when we started looking at Element Logic and AutoStore.
“When we thought of installing AutoStore, it was precisely the ability of being able to robotise the picking that was one of the driving forces.
“For us, it was important to have a solution that can handle variations in product size and order intake that can be expanded as we grow.
“This investment helps us become more efficient, which makes it easier for us to exceed our customers’ expectations.”
The pharmacy invested in automating its order fulfilment operations to try and optimise delivery and efficiency, while also enabling it to cope with varying incoming orders.
The companies report that the extent of integrated automation at this site is the first of its kind in the world, covering the installation of 20,000 bins (with capacity for 25,000), 30 R5 AutoStore robots and four carousel ports, three of which are handled by the Element Logic piece-picking robot.
Element Logic used machine learning to help the piece-picking solution automatically select the best way to handle an item to be picked from AutoStore. This, it claims, increases order capacity, goods handling and delivery time.
“To Apotea, the automation solution of AutoStore, eOperator, and other features from Element Logic goes splendidly with their combined targets of optimal warehouse efficiency and environmental care,” said Dag-Adler Blakseth, CEO at Element Logic Group.
“We look forward to following Apotea’s journey towards highly accurate deliveries along with saved energy, reduced noise levels and ergonomically friendly working hours.”
The initial estimates for the new capacity at Apotea are 800 order lines per hour.
Element Logic (Stand i930) and AutoStore (i400) will be exhibiting at the co-located Robotics and Automation and IntraLogisteX 2023. To find out more, visit www.roboticsandautomation.co.uk or www.intralogistex.co.uk.