Automatic small parts warehouse (ASPW) Fast access, high handling rates

Fast and compact – a brief description

Automatic small parts warehouses (ASPW) are an ideal and efficient solution for storing small-volume goods in containers, cartons or on trays in a space-saving manner. Using intelligent replenishment strategies, they can then be provided dynamically and quickly – for picking, for example.

Storage and retrieval are handled by stacker cranes (SC) or shuttles. ASPW can be used across all sectors and are suitable as spare parts, picking or buffer storage in logistics and distribution centres.

What does an ASPW do?

One thing that speaks for automatic small parts warehouses (ASPW) is their high degree of space utilisation: This allows the storage volume to be fully utilised in terms of height. The possibility of multi-depth storage can save even more space. In addition to the increased storage density, the use of suitable, high-performance stacker cranes or shuttles enables high throughputs to be achieved, which in turn decisively influence and maximise the picking performance.

The decisive factors for performance are the short travel distances and access times resulting from the devices’ cycle rate. In addition, multiple load handling devices can be used.


What are the components of an ASPW?

An ASPW essentially consists of a racking system, usually aisle-bound storage and stacker cranes (SC), the automatic control, a pre-zone as well as devices that protect against fire and unauthorised access. According to the warehouse management system’s specifications, the goods are assigned to a SC or shuttle via storage risers and brought from these to the specified storage location. Removal from the warehouse takes place in the same way via retrieval lanes.

For picking provision, there is a choice of using laterally arranged throughput channels for direct removal or connected conveyor technology sections for supplying the pick workstations (goods-to-person) in the pre-zone.


What types of ASPW are offered as an option?

Automatic small parts warehouses are constructed both in the form of a silo and within existing halls. An ASPW is normally selected if, based on previous logistics planning, operation via a stacker crane (SC) or shuttle represents the most economically sensible and permanently practicable solution.

Whereas stacker cranes allow vertical space utilisation up to a height of 30 metres, shuttle systems can be implemented for heights of up to 20 metres (approximate figures, dependent on manufacturer). The achieved benefits are often roughly comparable. However, in direct comparison, shuttle solutions have the edge when it comes to increased redundancy or fail-safety. And shuttles are mainly used for high-performance requirements.


Advantages in a nutshell

  • Fully automatic handling of varying ranges of items
  • Fast access and high handling rates
  • Maximum storage density thanks to optimised volume utilisation
  • Control optimised for material flow via SAP Extended Warehouse Management/SAP Material Flow System (SAP EWM/MFS)

  • High process reliability and availability
  • Modular, energy-efficient and scalable design as required
  • Intelligently integrated order picking
  • Suitable for distribution logistics and production supply


  • Many years of experience as an SAP EWM general contractor
  • IGZ offers all forms and extension stages of automatic small parts warehouses (ASPW)
  • Manufacturer-neutral selection consulting and implementation
  • Giving you the best value for money
  • Individually tailored, efficient and future-proof automation solutions (without any dependence on a particular manufacturer and technology)
  • Engineering expertise for all phases of a project – from strategy consulting and SAP software implementation to SAP technology integration
  • Everything from a single source – one contact for cross-discipline availability and sustainability
  • Proven best practices for accelerated implementation with guaranteed success


Do you have further questions? Contact us!

Speak with our logistics consultants about your logistical tasks, needs and expectations. Benefit from our extensive expertise in project planning, implementation and the direct SAP connection of warehouse technology and production facilities, regardless of type and supplier.

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