Automated high-bay warehouse for efficient use of space

Do you need large storage capacities? High-bay warehouses enable optimum use of space and offer maximum storage capacity with a height of 12 to 45 meters, as the available floor space can be used optimally and effectively.

Automated pallet warehouses ensure efficient goods storage and distribution - even of heavy and large-volume goods. With the help of complex racking systems, more than one hundred thousand pallet spaces can be realized.

An automated high-bay warehouse is the right solution, especially for enormous volumes of goods. A high-bay warehouse from Unitechnik guarantees optimum use of space, fast and direct access, high process reliability and optimum storage conditions at heights of up to 45 meters.

The high-bay warehouse is usually part of a logistics center or production logistics. Unitechnik assumes full responsibility for these logistics systems, from logistics consulting to turnkey implementation and operational support.

Unitechnik takes responsibility from A to Z

Spare parts logistics center at CLAAS in Hamm Uentrop. As general contractor, Unitechnik was responsible for the high-bay warehouse, conveyor technology and order picking.

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Automatisches Hochregallager für CLAAS
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Advantages of an automated high-bay warehouse

Efficient use of space

Low personnel requirements

process reliability

up to
45m high

Your contact persons

Michael Huhn

Head of Sales
Authorized signatory

T +49 2261 987-518
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M. Yusuf Kaya

Key Account Manager
Logistics Systems

T +49 2261 987-524
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Andreas Klee

Key Account Manager
Logistics Systems

T +49 2261 987-525
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Christian Mertens

Key Account Manager
Logistics Systems

T +49 2261 987-502
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References and case studies for automated high-bay warehouses

Ethiopian Airlines

Planning and realization of an airfreight center for 600,000 t of freight per year, partly refrigerated, automated high-bay warehouse for 1000 ULDs, 4ETVs, man. Warehouse for 8,500 pallets

Leopold Kostal

4-aisle pallet high-bay warehouse with 7,000 storage locations. The pallet conveyor technology supplies 10 picking stations. Picking via SAP. Storage and retrieval takes place on both sides of the warehouse aisles.

From the selection of high-bay warehouse manufacturers to complete integration

The general contractor Unitechnik provides expert and objective advice on the selection of manufacturers and integrates your pallet warehouse into an intelligent overall system. This means that we plan your high-bay warehouse so that it is perfectly connected to the other functional areas of the logistics center.

Unitechnik's scope of delivery includes all components of the high-bay warehouse: from the racking system to the roof and wall cladding to the storage and retrieval machines (SRMs) and the connected conveyor technology. We equip the stacker cranes with our own control technology to guarantee a consistent automation system in the pallet warehouse and the entire logistics center. Our UniWare warehouse management system is the brain of the entire system.

Shuttle systems are also increasingly being used in high-bay pallet warehouses. Unitechnik is also the right partner for this.

Unitechnik as general contractor

We assume overall responsibility for your logistics center and your high-bay warehouse in order to offer you a solution tailored to your requirements.
Your company's processes are analyzed in detail with regard to optimization potential in order to equip your high-bay warehouse according to your needs. Storage technology, control technology and warehouse management systems are also optimally coordinated so that the automation of your logistics center can be designed efficiently.

We map the entire process of a logistics center:

  • Incoming goods
  • warehousing
  • order picking
  • Consolidation/dispatch

We support you from logistics consulting to commissioning - and throughout the entire service life of your system.

High-bay warehouse silo construction

In a silo system or silo construction, the storage system serves as a load-bearing substructure for the roof and façade.

In this case, there is no need to build a separate hall for storage.

The process is as follows:

  • A floor slab is constructed
  • The racking system is erected on top
  • Wall and roof panels are bolted to the racking system
  • The storage and retrieval machines are installed (through the roof or at the front)

If insulated panels are used, the high-bay warehouse can also be designed as a refrigerated or deep-freeze warehouse.

Precision - Experience - Technology

From a storage height of approx. 20 meters, the implementation of the pallet warehouse / high-bay warehouse system in silo design can make sense - simply contact us, we will be happy to advise you on your individual requirements.

In-house high -bay warehouse: Unlike a silo warehouse, the in-house high-bay warehouse is installed free-standing in an existing hall.

Automated high-bay warehouse with shuttle or stacker crane

Storage and retrieval machine (SRM) - What is it?

A stacker crane for high-bay warehouses is a rail-guided automatic vehicle that transports the goods in a high-bay warehouse and automatically stores the load carriers. It travels along the aisles of the warehouse, transports goods from a transfer point to a rack compartment and retrieves the pallets when they are needed.
As a rule, a separate storage and retrieval machine is installed for each individual rack aisle.
Storage and retrieval machines implement fully automated storage and can be individually adapted to requirements: one or two load handling devices, as well as single, double or multiple-deep storage and retrieval are possible.

Operational reliability in daily operations is significantly higher compared to shuttle warehouses and, as a result, maintenance intervals with servicing measures are longer and relate to just one device - the SRM. Communication faults also rarely occur with a storage and retrieval machine. However, in the event of a fault, the maintenance technician may have to climb up the ladder of the stacker crane to the shelf compartment, as the shelves are not easily accessible on foot.

Storage and retrieval machines are controlled using our UniWare software. This consists of a multi-level concept. The storage and retrieval machines and the conveyor technology are equipped with sensors and motors. Our own control technology connects these components and coordinates all movements of the automated systems. The control technology communicates with the material flow computer, which coordinates the flow of goods across the entire logistics center. The system visualization gives the user an overview of the status of the system and each of its components at all times. At the top of the communication pyramid is the warehouse management system (WMS), which is also part of UniWare. The WMS controls all processes in the logistics center - from goods receipt and warehouse strategy to picking, packing and shipping.

Shuttle storage - What is it?

Shuttle warehouses are considered the more flexible logistics solution for various reasons.
The shuttle is a warehouse vehicle that is used for the automatic operation of rack storage systems and performs both storage and retrieval.

The shuttle vehicle is guided along the rack front of a warehouse on rails. The loading units, which the shuttle vehicle can access directly, are located to the side of the rails. Depending on the design of the system, the shuttles can change levels or even aisles.
A shuttle warehouse can adapt flexibly to the geometry of a building. In addition, individual driving strategies can be implemented. An increase in capacity can also be easily realized by increasing the number of moving shuttles.
The expandability of the shuttle warehouse offers a strategic advantage for long-term corporate planning.

A filigree shuttle system contains significantly more technical components than a comparatively robust mini-load warehouse with stacker cranes. Depending on the design of the system, there are, for example, 20 shuttles and one lift per aisle compared to one storage and retrieval machine. Due to the higher number of vehicles, a shuttle system is more failure-tolerant, but also more susceptible to malfunctions. However, in the event of a fault, the shelves can be reached on foot.

At the communication level, the shuttle system is significantly more complex than the SRM. Shuttle vehicles are connected via an industrial WLAN. The industrial wireless LAN, which is now technically fully developed and resilient. However, to ensure smooth data exchange, general contractors must develop a good network concept with a large number of access points and take into account a number of possible interference factors such as reflections from metal and shading from other vehicles.

The shuttle system

  • Very high performance possible with limited space
  • Performance can be adjusted by the number of vehicles and lifters - can also vary from aisle to aisle
  • More flexible adaptation to the building
  • Individual driving strategies can be implemented
  • High failure tolerance due to simple replacement of vehicles
  • Warehouse accessible
  • Higher costs in relation to the storage capacity
  • More susceptible to faults due to the many components
  • Racking system is very complex and must be coordinated with shuttles
  • the lifter quickly becomes a bottleneck
  • Complex access concept for personnel access in the aisles



The high-bay warehouse with storage and retrieval machine

  • Clearly defined performance
  • reliable operation
  • low maintenance
  • lower costs in relation to capacity
  • no scalable performance
  • Storage compartments difficult to reach on foot
  • If the SRM malfunctions, the entire aisle comes to a standstill



Storage system must fit the overall logistics concept

Unitechnik - as the general contractor - decides between SRMs and shuttles in specific individual cases on the basis of clear technical considerations.

It is important not to be guided by prejudices.

For example, it is often said that a shuttle system is more energy-efficient than a miniload with a stacker crane due to the relatively small moving masses. However, in conjunction with intelligent control technology, the braking energy of storage and retrieval machines, for example, can be fed back into the system. All in all, this creates an energy pool from which the vehicle motors can draw again.
With regard to an actual evaluation of energy consumption, a case-by-case analysis is therefore always required.

The opinion that a shuttle system can generally generate a higher throughput than a classic high-bay warehouse can also be refuted with counter-examples.

Overall, it always depends on the overall logistics concept and the respective driving strategies in the general contractor's warehouse. If all of these factors are carefully integrated into the solution concept, the customer will receive a system that best reflects their individual material flow. General contractors should always keep this goal in mind in order to establish and maintain long-term partnerships.
Unitechnik is your contact for an automated logistics system consisting of the high-bay racking, the appropriate storage and retrieval machine (or shuttle), coordinated conveyor technology and the right software.

We develop a tailor-made solution for your application.

Free download: The 7 pitfalls when building a high-bay warehouse

We have been implementing logistics projects as a general contractor for over 20 years. In the process, we have repeatedly noticed things that hinder the success of projects. We have described seven pitfalls in a PDF.

High-bay warehouse planning

A good planning process requires clear and transparent structures. Different phases must be worked through for a successful project. We are happy to be your partner for high-bay warehouse planning and support you in every phase of the planning process.

Find out more about high-bay warehouse planning here

Automated high-bay warehouse Costs

Would you like to know how much a warehouse costs? No problem, use our new warehouse planning tool. Enter the number of storage locations you require and we will compare two alternative solutions with space and personnel requirements as well as the investment budget. Try it out - quickly and anonymously.

Click here for the warehouse planning tool

Worth knowing

High-bay warehouse: Videos

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42 m hohes Tiefkühllager in Rumänien
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Europe's highest deep-freeze high-bay warehouse for the Romanian company Macromex

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Montage des Hochragallagers für CLAAS im Zeitraffer
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Assembly of the high-bay warehouse for CLAAS in fast motion

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FAQ: High bay warehouse

High-bay storage systems offer numerous advantages - they offer the possibility of using racking systems with a height of up to 45 meters. This means that the available floor space can be optimally utilized. Large storage capacities can be realized with a high-bay warehouse.

Fully automated high-bay warehouse systems guarantee fast and direct access to all items or products. Thanks to the warehouse management system and automation, a smooth picking process (goods-to-person) can be realized with high process speed and simultaneous safety.

In addition, automation leads to shorter throughput times and thus to increased warehouse efficiency.

The different components of a storage system always depend on your requirements. Unitechnik will work with you to select the most suitable components based on your requirements in order to design your high-bay storage system efficiently.

We work with you to determine a storage system that is optimally adapted to the storage of your items or products. In this context, we work out the shelf heights for your high-bay warehouse that are individually tailored to your requirements.

When considering whether a warehouse should be built in a silo or in-house, the current conditions and the requirements for the storage system must also be taken into account.
The space requirement is of course an important point of reference here. From a storage height of 20 meters, for example, silo construction can make sense.
Unitechnik will advise you on finding the right solution for your company.

It is important to find the right system solution for your high-bay warehouse from the many different manufacturers.
Unitechnik provides expert and objective advice when selecting suppliers in order to implement an intelligent overall system that is optimally connected to the functional areas of your logistics center.

Single-deep, double-deep or multi-deep storage and retrieval - it's a question of space utilization versus speed. We will work with you to find the right storage system to make your high-bay warehouse as efficient as possible.

The question of shelf heights is closely related to the products or items you store. Different compartment heights increase your flexibility.