A high-bay warehouse is a warehouse with very high racks from a height of 12 m to a current maximum of over 50 m. Due to these structural conditions, high-bay warehouses are made of steel structures. The capacities of high-bay warehouses vary from a few hundred pallets to hundreds of thousands of pallets. A high-bay warehouse therefore usually offers a very large storage volume, but in return is associated with high investment costs. A wide variety of goods can be stored in the high-bay racks.
In many cases, high-bay warehouses are operated with fully automated warehouse management systems and electronic storage and retrieval machines transport the goods. In addition to this fully automated high-bay warehouse operation, they can also be operated manually and there are many other mixed forms.
High-bay warehouses are built in the silo construction method, when the racks also serve as a load-bearing structure for the roof and side walls. Otherwise, high-bay racks are usually installed in halls.
Automation in high-bay warehouses
The individual high shelves are arranged in rows. In the aisle in between, the storage and retrieval machines usually move on rail systems in the longitudinal direction of the aisle. The storage and retrieval machines thus fully automatically store or retrieve the pallets at the storage locations. By means of further conveyor technology the goods are transported to the feeding area for picking up by a forklift.
In the pre-zone, the area upstream of the high-bay warehouse, goods are picked and identified for the warehouse management system. This is booked into the storage system by means of a barcode or other label and is then booked out again when the goods leave the warehouse.