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High bay solution with a difference

15 October 2013

Swisslog is expanding an organic food distribution centre for Alnatura in Germany providing high bay racking to 17.5m.

The high-capacity warehouse is said to be the only one of its kind made of wood, which has been designed to be in keeping with ecological principles of Alnatura. Swisslog GmbH CEO Volker Jungbluth says: "The organic food retailer can still rely on modern technology, since the warehouse will soon be automated.”

The new structure will be a fully automated high-bay warehouse connected to an adjacent building, which will provide the interface to the existing logistics space.

Swisslog is providing storage systems & conveyors, control technology and warehouse management as well as project managing the building’s construction and its sophisticated energy solution.

The 120m x 67m x 20m warehouse and distribution centre will have a functionality and dynamics shaped largely by automation technology, with nine Swisslog Vectura stacker cranes serving up to 32,000 pallet locations. Pallet conveyors, picking robots, extensive peripheral and safety components as well as modern software control systems make the Alnatura warehouse an extremely safe and high-performance environment, says the company.

The logistics centre is also designed to cut CO2 emissions wherever possible: through energy savings, using renewable energy sources and building with wood. The high-bay facility is made from sustainably managed spruce. 

With a high level of insulation and natural cooling, the logistics centre will not require heating or artificial refrigeration when it goes into operation. 

To do this, the building was sunk 2.5 metres into the ground, which allows it to use the natural cooling effect of the surrounding earth. A photovoltaic system will be installed on the roof, so that the building will be operated with green electricity. A total of 3,800 q m of open storm water infiltration basins collect rainwater from both the roof of the high-bay warehouse and all yard areas, preventing rainwater from contaminating the public drainage ditch.