SDI Element Logic eOperator Robot at Apotea’s warehouse
Apotea.se is Sweden’s largest online pharmacy, with the country’s most comprehensive range of over-the-counter products and prescription drugs.
Sweden’s leading online pharmacy Apotea has fully automated its logistics center during the autumn of 2022 to be able to deliver approximately 50,000 orders a day quickly, easily, and smoothly to its customers. For the first time, the entire process is integrated, and for the first time in the world, the unique piece-picking robot eOperator is fully integrated with an AutoStore solution. A result of international cooperation between Element Logic, AutoStore, RightHand Robotics, and Apotea.
Pharmacy products are one of the fastest-growing segments of both Swedish and European e-commerce. Apotea.se is Sweden’s largest online pharmacy, with the country’s most comprehensive range of over-the-counter products and prescription drugs.
“During the pandemic, we looked at expanding the capacity to be able to go from delivering 50,000 orders to 100,000 orders. 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 robotize the picking that was one of the driving forces.” says Pär Svärdson, CEO at Apotea.
Apotea strives to deliver the best customer experience in the industry, through fast and accurate deliveries. In Apotea’s logistics center in Morgongåva, Sweden, the company has invested in automation from Element Logic, which takes care of the entire warehouse process. The goal is to optimize delivery, efficiency, and be able to cope with large variations in incoming orders. The extent of integrated automation is the first in the world and the installation consists of 20,000 bins (with space for a total of 25,000), 30 AutoStore robots (R5), and four carousel ports, where three of these are handled by the piece-picking robot eOperator. Initially, the new capacity at Apotea is estimated to be 800 order lines per hour. The installation is a collaboration between Element Logic, AutoStore, RightHand Robotics, and Apotea. At the end of 2022, all CEOs and founders from the respective companies met at Apotea to inaugurate the solution.
“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.” Pär Svärdson continues “This investment helps us become more efficient, which makes it easier for us to exceed our customers’ expectations.”
“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.” says 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.”
Apotea is investing in the world’s most advanced piece-picking robot solution by installing eOperator, making them pioneers internationally by using robots to pick from an AutoStore, fully automatic 24/7, even in the dark. Through machine learning, eOperator automatically selects the best way to handle an item to be picked, which increases order capacity as well as goods handling and delivery time.
“… eOperator makes it possible to deliver quickly to customers, even at nights, weekends, and bank holidays.” Pär Svärdson continues “It is clear that you get a 24-hour operation, which is completely exceptional. We get better efficiency, faster deliveries, everything became cheaper and more efficient. It became natural to say; yes, let’s go.”
Apotea is not only the Swedish market-leading online pharmacy, but it’s also Sweden’s most sustainable e-commerce company according to Sustainable Brand Index 2020 and 2021. Apotea’s goal is to reduce the climate footprint throughout the entire chain from production to the end consumer. On the roof of their logistics center, you will find one of Sweden’s largest solar cell facilities, that supplies the entire AutoStore system.
“Our goal is to become Sweden’s most sustainable company, and that is both a bombastic and an ambitious goal.” Pär Svärdson continues “It is important for humanity, and for our environment, but also to be competitive because I believe that the customers of the future will demand a different approach to sustainability from companies than they do today.”
AutoStore is a modular and scalable robotic solution for storing products efficiently. Compared to a manual warehouse, picking performance is ten times higher with AutoStore. The system consists of a grid, where robots pick and deliver goods on the smartest available routes. The robots work around the clock and recharge when needed. At Apotea’s ports, the picked goods are delivered to both human operators and three piece-picking robots, the eOperator.
“Apotea has made a fantastic growth journey in Swedish e-commerce and by connecting an AutoStore system with Element Logic’s smart piece-picking solution, eOperator, and other automation, we can help them continue to offer their customers both fast and accurate deliveries as well as improved order capacity and goods handling.” says Anders Bohlin, Sales Director at Element Logic Sweden
For more information please contact:
Robert Humphry, VP of Bussiness Development at SDI Element Logic
Tel: +1 (573) 823 3682
Jatin Lewis, Director of Robotic Solutions at SDI Element Logic
Tel: +1 (716) 604 4509
SDI, a division of Element Logic®, has been offering turnkey Materials Handling systems and solutions to brands all over the world since 1977. They are specialists in apparel sortation, unit handling, consulting, engineering and design, systems, and software integration. SDI integrates various innovative technologies such as Joey Pouch Sorter and Enzo AGV, and manufactures their own Tilt Tray Sorter and SORTRAK G4 — a Bomb Bay-style unit sorter. Headquartered in Los Angeles, California, SDI services domestic and international clients with operations across the Americas and has more than 400 Distribution Center systems installed. Learn more at www.SDI.SYSTEMS
In 2022, SDI was acquired by the Norwegian integrator, Element Logic® — the world’s first and largest AutoStore® partner. Their extensive experience in designing and installing tailor-made solutions that streamline customers’ workflow, along with their robotic solutions; material handling systems; and software and consulting services, help improve customers’ value chain become more profitable — meeting the end customer’s expectation of fast delivery. Optimizing warehouses of all sizes in a wide range of industries, including electronic components, parts distribution, consumer electronics, 3PL, pharmaceuticals, apparel, sports equipment, and more. Element Logic® is headquartered in Norway and owned by employees, with the European Private Equity company Castik Capital as the majority owner.
Together, SDI and Element Logic® operate worldwide with a total revenue of US$347 million in 2021 and form a robust integrator with numerous years of experience in diverse technologies across the world. Their combined regional expertise provides the most competitive solutions across the globe.
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