Open Innovation for the Riedl Phasys automated warehouse system
Together with FBK, University of Trento and Dolomiti Robotics, an innovative solution was created to make the GPI Group's Riedl Phasys warehouse system more globally competitive.
The Open Innovation project initiated before the pandemic by the GPI Group in collaboration with the Trentino research system has now borne fruit.
Riedl Phasys is a system for the automated and robotic management of the storage and distribution of medicines for pharmacies, wholesalers and hospitals of all sizes and levels of complexity. It is one of the GPI Group’s most exported products, thanks to its speed, precision and ability to adapt to the needs of a variety of customers. To date, there are more than 200 customers in Italy and abroad. These include the Shaare Zedek Hospital in Jerusalem and Sheba Hospital in Tel Aviv, as well as the AKH Hospital in Vienna, one of Europe’s most important healthcare facilities. It is also worth noting the customers recently acquired in the Far East, including Medical Yours, a major Japanese pharmacy chain, and in South America, with Hospital Central Dr. Ramon Carrillo in San Luis, which will be a prominent facility in Argentina.
Riedl Phasys is considered one of the best products created to date, in a market characterised by a high degree of competition and which requires continuous innovation to retain customers and win new ones. Hence the need to focus on the incoming drug loading phase, to make it increasingly automated and able to handle even cylindrical vials, while the package “unloading” phase has for some time now reached very high performance levels.
This was precisely the aim of the Open Innovation project with the Trentino research system announced some time ago ( https://www.gpi.it/en/news/research-and-business-come-together-to-conquer-the-markets/ ), which today is bearing fruit: the new technology developed together is capable of processing up to 360 packages per hour, avoiding the need for an operator to intervene manually, thus freeing up resources for patient care and customer service activities.
Massimiliano Rossi, Director of GPI Group‘s Automation SBA, is very pleased with the result: “Thanks to the work done with partners, we were able to achieve our business objective, which is required to meet certain performance and cost targets. The market demands that we provide specialised support to our customers, enabling them to free up resources through automation. We now have a system that meets these requirements and will install it as a standard component in all new Riedl cabinets. A company’s internal R&D”, he added, “is attentive to the needs of the market and everyday life, while external R&D can look more towards the future without being pressured by contingent factors. The balance between these two drives is the ideal condition for creating innovation that really works”.
Fabiano Zenatti, Director of Dolomiti Robotics, pointed out: “One of the most important challenges in this project was to be able to offer a product that not only performs well, but is above all reliable. That is why we used artificial intelligence for the process control phase: an innovative choice that allowed us to make a great leap forward. Also thanks to this aspect”, he continued, “this Open Innovation experience can be considered one of the most successful, as it was able to achieve a truly concrete result. For a start-up like Dolomiti Robotics, this was a complex and exciting endeavour”.
Francesca Demichelis, Vice-Rector for Research at the University of Trento, agreed: “Right from the start, the University of Trento worked enthusiastically together with all scientific and industrial partners involved in the project. After all, supporting companies through their technological challenges and helping them with research to enhance their competitiveness is one of the missions of our university. And doing it all together, in a network, is the added value and the key of the impact of this initiative. In particular, the collaboration with GPI is long-standing, and this teamwork, nurtured by frequent opportunities to meet and discuss, underlies the success of a technology transfer operation like the one we are presenting. The university is committing considerable resources to robotics and industrial automation, which are topics that require constant innovation and in which there are significant investments and high expectations. It is a global bet, which we can face as a system, showing how some geographical areas – and Trentino is one of them – are particularly dynamic and competitive”.
“Recent events, also in light of market globalisation”, stated Alessandro Cimatti, Director of the Bruno Kessler Foundation’s Digital Industry Centre, “are making us increasingly aware of the need to rely on digital technologies. The Kessler Foundation’s Vision Technology Unit was able to contribute the necessary expertise to the project to produce a high quality product with a clear advantage over the competition”.
Press release GPI/FBK/UniTN/Dolomiti Robotics