CERP Rouen is a company in the ASTE RA group. CERP Rouen delivers to more than 600 pharmacies in the greater Paris area and beyond to all subsidiaries in France from its warehouse in Le Plessis-Robinson.

SSI Schäfer has been the intralogistics partner for CERP Rouen right from the beginning of warehouse construction in 2000 and is responsible for implementing the logistics system. As a result of strong activity growth in 2010, CERP Rouen revenues rose by 16 %. In the face of steadily growing demand by their customers, the warehouse at Le Plessis-Robinson reached the limits of its capacity in 2011.

Integration of new system components into existing structure

After an in-depth analysis of the order data, SSI Schäfer was able to design and develop a custom solution by bringing in new automated components. Two challenges arise from the retrofit: The installation and start-up of the system without disrupting operations as well as integration of the new system components into the existing structure.

What makes this project especially interesting is in the combined usage of technology installed in 2000 and the new automated components from SSI Schäfer‘s product portfolio. The retrofit led to the integration of a new 1,590 meter long conveying system while keeping the 1,720 meters of existing conveyors.

Goods-in process and picking

Material flow at CERP Rouen follows these steps: The supplier‘s goods are delivered in cartons on stacked pallets. After unloading, the cartons are placed manually onto the conveying system that leads to the work stations in the goods-in area. Picking according to the goods-to-man principle is the basis of this retrofit. Although CERP Rouen chose the automated S-Pemat system in 2000, the goal of the new project is to improve picking of items with a lower turnover rate. The Schäfer Carousel System (SCS) is thus used to replace a large part of the static racks. The combination of the SCS with the Pick to Tote work station enables picking of more than 50 % of the items with medium or slow turnover rates.

After the orders are picked and before the goods are assigned to individual customers, the totes are conveyed to the picking stations in the shipping area. At the first picking station, where up to 1,800 totes per hour can be processed, the combined process of adding the address label and the lid is carried out. The next station ensures the totes are securely closed before delivery using a strapping process that hermetically seals the lid to the tote. Customer orders are transported to the pharmacies via delivery truck and larger amounts of palletized goods are sent to CERP Rouen‘s subsidiaries at the same time.


„Over the years we have built up a relationship with SSI Schäfer based on mutual trust and cooperation and developed a partnership that goes far beyond a mere customersupplier relationship. Proof of this is the project at Le Plessis-Robinson in which we developed all feed-in lines for supplying items to goods-in work stations together.“

Jérôme Ibar
Director Automated Systems

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