The SCALLOG robotic solution at the heart of productivity and QWL* in Alcyon’s new 100% veterinary automated warehouse!

05 February 2024

As part of its growth dynamic, Alcyon, a specialist in the distribution of medicines, feed and veterinary equipment, has just acquired  a new 19,000 m² automated logistics platform in Civrieux in the Ain department (01) to meet the new needs of its 4,850 veterinarians,  customers and shareholders, including the rise of BtoC orders linked to the “Reserve & Collect” service of their online stores. Integrated into a new generation SAVOYE station conveyor, the SCALLOG “Goods to Person” solution, already tested in the existing warehouse, has the mission in the new platform to optimize BtoB and BtoC order preparation of products with medium and low turnover, without wasting time, effort and operator productivity.

At the heart of an approach to improve performance and Quality of Life at Work*, the Goods to Person solution, located under the mezzanine and at the beginning of the conveyor line, plays a key role in the productivity and fluidity of the entire automated chain of the new warehouse  in order to guarantee deliveries in D+1 maximum,  “Good” veterinary practices oblige!

A new automated platform at the service of Alcyon’s logistics excellence

With the credo of excellence in the distribution business, Alcyon, a plant designed by and for veterinarians,  has the mission of supplying its shareholder customers with the right products, in the right quantity, at the right time and at the right price, while delivering the best service. Logistics excellence is key to managing more than 25,000 SKUs and making 3,000 deliveries per day, on D+1 maximum, with an optimal level of preparation quality.  In 2022, Alcyon wants to go further in optimizing its organization and logistics processes to improve performance, adaptability and working conditions. In addition to acquiring a new, more modern logistics platform, Alcyon wants  to improve fluidity and productivity throughout its automated chain, particularly in the first station dedicated to medium and low-turnover SKUs – B, C and D, considered a “weak link”. The company is therefore looking for a picking solution, combining productivity and reliability, that can be easily integrated and exploit the potential of the Savoye station conveyor and the space available under a mezzanine. The project aims to reduce storage space, improve productivity and improve operators’ working conditions.

SCALLOG’s “Goods to Person” technological response quickly makes a difference. Stéphane MAIGNIEN, Alcyon’s Logistics Methods Manager, confirms: “In addition to its ability to adapt and be flexible to our environment, from installation under a mezzanine to interfacing with our WMS, the SCALLOG solution has distinguished itself by its compliance with FEFO (First Expired, First Out) rules, including the management of batches and expiry dates, and its ROI.” Another advantage of SCALLOG’s technological response is its agile approach, which resulted in the installation in spring 2023 in Alcyon’s existing warehouse of a “Starter Kit” solution – 4 robots moving 20 shelves to a dedicated workstation – in order to train the referent operators and optimize the interfaces and processes before the move, which took place in mid-November 2023.

An increase in the power of the SCALLOG solution for more productivity and QWL!

In the new automated warehouse, the SCALLOG solution includes 19 robots that move 275 shelves in the dark to 4 stations, including one dedicated to replenishment, to optimize all order preparation of category B, C and D products. Depending on the development of the flows, the three picking stations can quickly be converted into replenishment stations.  This 900 m² automated storage space will eventually include more than 8,000 references, which will be managed and optimised according to current standards for the safety and storage of medicines – traceability, management of batch numbers, expiry dates, etc. In concrete terms, the boxes arrive at the first station where the SCALLOG picking stations are located and then fill up through the different stations. Operators, guided by the SCALLOG solution, from the on-screen indications to the Pick to Light system, can complete 72 orders simultaneously for medium and low-turnover products and put them back on the conveyor. In this way, orders can be processed more quickly, without saturation or loss of productivity, throughout the automated chain. Stéphane MAIGNIEN, Alcyon’s Logistics Methods Manager, adds: “We expect a productivity gain of around 50% in our order preparation in the coming months.”

In addition to limiting movement, poor posture and stress, the Goods to Person solution guarantees operators, equipped with ProGlove hands-free scanner gloves, to evolve  in a work environment that is truly ergonomic in terms of use, a guarantee of better working conditions and QWL: a preparation station, where silence reigns, equipped with adapted lighting,  a sliding step and an adjustable screen… As Stéphane MAIGNIEN tells us: “SCALLOG’s Goods-to-Person robotics, which is popular with our employees, ensures that we attract and retain new operators, a profession under pressure, in a resolutely modern and attractive warehouse.”

Ludovic Fenelon, Sales Director of SCALLOG, concludes: “This project with Alcyon demonstrates the competitive advantages of our Goods To Person robotic solution: adaptability to all conditions such as a move, a reduced footprint, a smooth integration with other intralogistics systems and an optimization of retail order preparation for all flows and types of products,  in optimal cost control. »