Friday, 10 September 2021 09:55

Scallog robotics at Newpharma: a unique realisation in collaboration with Smart Technics, Colruyt Group's innovation pool

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In conjunction with the SITL trade show scheduled for 13-15 September at Paris Porte de Versailles, Scallog is announcing a new contract in Belgium for robotization of the new distribution centre operated by Newpharma, the Belgian online pharmacy that serves 1 million customers in 12 countries across Europe. The deployment of Scallog’s Goods-to-Person robotics solution at Newpharma’s new distribution centre, which spans 20,000 sq.m and can be expanded to 50,000 sq.m, is scheduled for the fall of 2021 and will be overseen by Smart Technics Ventures, the innovation unit at Colruyt Group, which holds a minority stake in Scallog. At SITL, Scallog will also be showcasing the latest addition to its lineup, the Flexytote robot, which will be demonstrated at the Warehouse of the Future, an immersive environment at SITL devoted to the smart warehouse and including a full line of innovations for the intralogistics of the future!

Here’s a look at how Colruyt Group forged a successful collaboration among three businesses: Newpharma, Scallog and Smart Technics Ventures!

As part of its plans to consolidate its operations in Wandre, Belgium, Newpharma will soon be inaugurating its brand-new logistics centre located on a site near the Port of Liege.  Plans for this next-generation warehouse were launched in 2019, supported by the Belgian retail business Colruyt Group. Pierre De Lit, COO at Newpharma : “Each year, Newpharma records double-digit revenue growth, which, over time, has forced us to spread our activities across several sites in Wandre and Tongeren. We have therefore decided to build one large distribution centre to support our further growth and optimise our logistics flows. We will gradually put the new installations into operation. In a first phase the site will cover 20,000 m². In 2022, we will expand the site to 50,000 m².”

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The consolidation of Newpharma's activities is accompanied by extensive automation, supported by Smart Technics. The mission of the engineering team of this Colruyt Group start-up is to integrate innovative solutions in a sustainable way. Jeroen Theys, Managing Director at Smart Technics: "In this project, we integrated the Scallog solution into Newpharma's operational flow, from the delivery of the goods by suppliers to the dispatching of the packages to end customers. Several options were considered each time to optimise stock management, order processing, order picking, packaging and ergonomics for the employees. We are very satisfied with the collaboration, which has resulted in a phased plan that will enable Newpharma to respond more flexibly to future market developments and secure further sustainable growth." 

"Scallog is already active in this sector in France. We are particularly pleased that we can equip the new Newpharma warehouse in close cooperation with Smart Technics today. This means that yet another Scallog picking facility will be operational in Belgium", Caroline Dumas Scallog International Business Manager, adds.

Here’s a closer look at the Flexytote, which will be in operational readiness at the Warehouse of the Future!

As part of its ongoing desire to include more immersive demonstrations and experiences for its industry visitors, the 2021 SITL show is showcasing a 600-square-metre smart warehouse dubbed the Warehouse of the Future, presenting the most innovative solutions on a real-life scale. The space will feature the Flexytote, a new addition to the Scallog product line, working under operating conditions to automate the transfer, loading and unloading of bins and boxes so as to speed up the order picking process.

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As a truly lightweight, flexible robotics alternative to traditional workflow automation systems, the Flexytote is based on a simple but effective principle: robots move two or three tiers of empty bins or boxes to picking stations, deposit them on order buffer racks, then retrieve them and transport them to the packaging area once the operators have completed the orders.

The logistics benefits are immediate: automated two or three tier supply on demand to the order buffer racks, elimination of load handling and transport by operators, less physical strain and accelerated order picking.

With flexibility that is unrivalled on the market, the Flexytote solution is easily integrated into any existing warehouse and can be adapted to all changes in order picking flows; the mobile robots follow optical markings on the floor that can be repositioned if and when required.  The Flexytote solution also stands out for its load capacity of up to 250 kg, the background tasks it can undertake, its ergonomics and logistics productivity and its ROI in under 18 months

About Newpharma

Founded in 2008, Newpharma is Belgium’s largest online pharmacy and the online offshoot of its brick-and-mortar pharmacy. With an online pharmacy serving 1 million customers throughout Europe, Newpharma offers delivery to 12 countries from its original website,, while also operating four local websites for France, the Netherlands, Germany and Austria. Boasting more than 30,000 products and 1,750 brand names, Newpharma stands out in the market for its optimum logistics and its ability to deliver most orders placed before noon to customers in Belgium within 24 hours. In 2015 Newpharma acquired the Paraseller and Parafemina websites, solidifying its position in the French market and building on a strategy that was begun in 2014 with its purchase of the MonGuideSanté website, a long-time leader in France’s consumer health market. In addition, its online pharmacy is ranked 31st among Belgium’s top 100 e-commerce firms and is a four-time winner at the country’s BeCommerce Awards. Newpharma is also a member of the European Association of Mail Service Pharmacies (EAMSP). With its historically equity-driven growth, Newpharma posted turnover of €140 million in 2020.

About Smart Technics Ventures

Smart Technics Ventures is an innovative start-up within Colruyt Group that lives by the motto: from inspiration to implementation. The team provides a broad spectrum of services, ranging from engineering to project management, design and implementation of technological solutions, both for the shop environment, logistics centres and production activities. With its 35 employees, primarily engineers and software developers, the company specializes in consulting services, project management, design, optimization of existing facilities and the creation of new logistics centres.

About Scallog

Founded in 2013, Scallog is a French company that designs, manufactures and markets robotics solutions for the logistics sector to boost warehouse agility and productivity for 3PL, e-commerce, distribution and manufacturing companies.  Responding to evolving demand among B2C and B2B customers, particularly with regard to product availability and delivery, the Scallog solution helps companies accelerate order picking and absorb peaks in activity whilst reducing arduous working conditions for employees and staggering investment. Scallog’s Goods-to-Person range includes the best ‘smart’ decision-making and execution software and mobile robotics, meeting the need of logistics operators to increase order picking flexibility and integrate automation more widely in their warehouses. With over 30 different clients to its name and substantial funds raised, Scallog - the pioneer of scalable, flexible logistics robotics - is now aiming to boost its growth across Europe and internationally.

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