Warehouse worker filling A-frame equipment with stock from stock totes

SSI SCHAEFER showcases its pharmaceutical solution at the Girp Conference

SSI SCHAEFER heralds details of their bespoke state-of-the-art distribution center solution for Symbion, Brisbane, Australia, in time for the GIRP 62nd Annual Meeting and Conference in Portugal. Delivering Symbion’s goals of fulfilling customer expectations and with an understanding of having a patient at the end of the chain, this success story perfectly fits with the GIRP Conference (18-19 October in Lisbon, Portugal), which is highlighting Health 5.0: towards customer-centric wellbeing services.

Symbion is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the EBOS Group Limited, a large and diversified Australasian marketer, wholesaler and distributor of healthcare, medical and pharmaceutical products. Following completion of previous solutions with Symbion, SSI SCHAEFER delivered the latest automation technology for their distribution and warehouse in Brisbane, Australia. Symbion’s company statement explains that the facility operates with industry-leading accuracy and efficiency, ensuring Symbion is ideally positioned to support the future needs of Australia’s changing healthcare market and can continue to deliver for patients. The customer bespoke system involved a unique integration of SSI SCHAEFER technologies to accommodate customer-specified high throughput and fast response times. Priorities for Symbion were to achieve fast order turnaround times, even on peak days, with high picking productivity and accuracy, capacity to deal with future business growth, high space utilization and high resilience to ensure continuity of supply.

The facility deployed in Brisbane includes the single-level shuttle system SSI Cuby arranged in the patented 3D-MATRIX Solution®. The system also includes two-level Advanced Pick Stations, arrangements for fridge lines, dangerous goods and specialty medicines, an A-Frame automated picking solution as well as Strapping machines, Lid closing machines and Document Drops. The system, for the first time in Australia, also includes WEASEL® Automated Guided Vehicles deployed for transporting cased and binned goods to maximize space utilization and minimize staff disruption.

The deployed 3D-MATRIX Solution® means that any bin can be delivered to any pick station, increasing efficiency, enhancing flexibility and reducing order processing time. The ergonomically designed, two-level Advanced Pick Stations, enable operators to pick directly to order containers and provides clear user guidance and monitors picking accuracy via light curtains.

Additionally, the Brisbane facility incorporates an A-Frame over 60 m long. The SSI SCHAEFER A-Frame is an automated order picking solution which enables rapid processing of multiple orders, even under peak loads. At Symbion Brisbane there are 1,500 configurable product channels and the A-Frame is replenished via the adjacent carton live storage for bins, which is automatically replenished by the SSI Cuby shuttles.

To provide optimal system performance, Symbion has opted for SSI SCHAEFER’s Resident Maintenance Module, a comprehensive service philosophy whereby SSI SCHAEFER service engineers are located on the site. This proactive service ensures any issues that arise are attended to immediately, delivering maximum up-time and optimal performance of the system, which are critical factors for the success of the project.

This installation builds on the success of the company’s Melbourne distribution center, also completed in partnership with SSI SCHAEFER. Together, both companies have a strong, long-term relationship. With a thorough understanding of Symbion’s goals, demands and requirements, SSI SCHAEFER implemented a solution in Brisbane that met all of Symbion’s needs.

Simon Bunde, Executive General Manager, Strategic Operations and Innovation at EBOS Group Ltd explains: “We have taken all the learnings that we have collected over previous years into a single facility and built something that was aimed at making sure our customer gets what they require and an improvement of what we have done in the past. We have access to all the products, that we can call out in any sequence at very high speeds. We are very pleased that we can work with partners like that to find solutions that work for us.”

Due to the automation and efficiency of the system, the time between order receipt and shipment is often as short as 45 minutes, Simon Bunde added. “That is not an exception or urgent order, that is actually something we do every day and we do that in large quantities.” The Brisbane system can process 9,000 orders per day. The system accommodates 50,000 bin positions with up to 20,000 medicine and pharmacy stock lines.

“It’s quite amazing to see what sort of solutions teams can come up with thorough collaboration. We were collectively quite innovative in the way we approached it”, says Simon Bunde. “We are very lucky to have partners like SSI Schaefer who assist us and understand what we go through. We have worked with SSI Schaefer for quite a long time on multiple projects. SSI Schaefer does understand our specific needs and the needs our industry has.”

SSI Schaefer has delivered a robust business solution for Symbion that is flexible and scalable - helping Symbion to cost-effectively supply in-full and on time on a daily basis.

More specific details on the solution delivered for Symbion at their Brisbane facility will be released in time for the GIRP 62nd Annual Meeting and Conference and online.

Contact Person

Allison Kho Head of Marketing APAC & MEA Phone No.: +603 8024 6373 Mail: allison.kho@ssi-schaefer.com