Scallog mobile robots at MDS

18 November 2019

The specialist in MDS book distribution has opted for Scallog’s mobile robot solution.
Coming to equip its logistics platform in Dourdan in Essonne, it optimizes the processing of orders with low turnover.

Faced with an increase in heterogeneous low-volume orders, the book distribution specialist, MDS (integrated into the Média Participations group recently merged with La Martinière-Le Seuil), was seeking to implement a solution capable of making fluid, reliable and speed up the preparation of orders with low turnover at the end of its automated chain, without compromising on quality.

“The practices implemented by e-commerce giants, Amazon in particular, have changed the expectations of our BtoB customers, who want to receive books ordered within 24 hours. We are faced with managing more and more small orders, which require a lot of references and mobilize our resources. To take up this race against the clock with the expected quality of service, robotization is essential in order to speed up the processing of low-rotation orders, carried out manually, ” explains Bruno Delrue, MDS general manager.

To achieve this, the company, which today has more than 15,000 customers, opted for the Goods to man system of the French company specializing in robotic solutions dedicated to Scallog logistics.

The solution is integrated into the 35,000 m² distribution center of MDS located in Dourdan (91), with 32 km of linear storage.
A site that relies on Savoye’s automation solutions which must provide it with a fourth goods-to-person solution in September 2020.

To gain operational performance, MDS intends to optimize the automation of the mezzanine dedicated to order processing with low rotation, wishing it scalable and integrated into its environment via a low ceiling height and compulsory interfacing with the Savoye conveyor.

The technological solution proposed by the French manufacturer Scallog composed of robots, mobile shelves, ergonomic workstations and software applications was chosen in September 2018, its agility, its scalability and its interfacing with other WMS, WCS, transitics tools from MDS having seduces the book distributor.

Deployment in several stages

The project was implemented in several stages. After defining the sampling and replenishment processes linked to the transit system, the software was interfaced before validating the layout of the stations, the robot routes and the mobile shelves. Finally, the effective implementation of Scallog’s Goods to Man solution was carried out in a few weeks in March 2019.

Operational since May 2019, the solution is made up of 20 Boby mobile robots moving 250 shelves to three stations where operators picking and replenishing.

“We have chosen to split this project into several phases in order to devote ourselves to it outside of our peak activity period, from September to December, and to eliminate any impact on the continuity of our business, ” says Catherine Besnier, MDS chief operating officer.

Since the implementation of the robotization project, Scallog has already observed a 2.5-fold increase in productivity in order preparation (more than 200 lines per hour) as well as an optimization of replenishment operations. The solution is currently continuing to be deployed, with a total of 45 robots, 500 mobile shelves and six stations: four for order preparation, two for restocking.