Groupe Blondel is a third-party transport and logistics company based in Saint-Quentin, France. The company has been in operation since 1956, and currently maintains 300,000 square meters of warehousing space across 35 sites. It has a dozen sites dedicated to industrial logistics in France, North Africa and Canada, serving more than 300 customers.
Groupe Blondel brought in €240 million in revenue in 2021, and the company hopes to raise that total to €300 million in 2023. In 2021, Groupe Blondel began looking for an automation solution that would help maximize its profits while also supporting its partner, Airbus, a multinational aerospace corporation. Airbus designs, manufactures and sells civil and military aerospace products worldwide.
Overall, the company was looking for an automated solution that could make it faster in its parts picking while also improving labor conditions and reducing the need for shift work.
“We need to support our partner, Airbus, as it faces dynamic growth and new production challenges, by doing an increasingly efficient job of just-in-time picking for the wide variety of parts needed at its production workstations,” Christian Debucquet, director of Groupe Blondel’s Industry BU for western France, said. “The Scallog solution should help in that regard by mobilizing robotics technology that lets us operate more efficiently and make the most of our employees and at the same time meet the standards for traceability and transparency that our industrial customer requires.”
In the spring of 2022, Groupe Blondel landed on the autonomous mobile robotic picking solution from Scallog.
Scallog’s Flexypick solution is a “goods to man” automated storage system. The system involves a fleet of AMRs that slide under and move mobile shelving. The AMRs bring shelving to employees, who can then pick the items they need and pack them. The robots aim to reduce the amount of walking employees need to do in warehouses, and increase picking productivity.
Groupe Blondel decided it would deploy six Boby robots with 160 shelf units and two picking stations at its 12,000 sq.m Rochefort site near the Airbus manufacturing facility.
Scallog plans to deploy its robots at the Rochefort site in August 2022. After installation, Groupe Blondel expects to see a three-fold improvement in productivity at the site, a 30% increase in storage space and a reduction of picking errors.
“Deploying the Scallog solution at the Rochefort site is proving to be a pilot project for automation with the company. It’s likely to be duplicated as a ‘forward-looking project’ at other sites within our Industry & Logistics BU, which accounts for more than a quarter of our turnover, starting in late 2022,” Debucquet said. “In the future, we expect that Scallog robotics will play a major role in our group for handling ever larger picking volumes across every business sector.”