Individual projects » Intralogistics for global ditribution


Global Distribution Center for Rittal

Individual projects » Intralogistics for global ditribution

Rittal GmbH & Co. KG is a leading system provider for housing and control cabinet technology based in Herborn (Hesse). From the central warehouse in Haiger, Rittal supplies customers all over the world with its innovative products. As demand grew steadily, the warehouse strategy had to be renewed from scratch. Here BSS was able to prevail with its automation competence. The result: An increase in productivity by 50% and a halving of the lead time.

With its standardized housing solutions for control technology, Rittal supplies well-known companies from all industries that have something to do with control technology, from car manufacturers and machine builders to telecommunications companies. To ensure timely deliveries around the world, Rittal operates an extensive network: 58 subsidiaries, 7 sales and logistics centers, 40 international agencies and 13 production sites worldwide are supplied from the central warehouse. The delivery must have arrived at the customer’s in 24 or 48 hours – this is the company’s service philosophy. In order to keep up with this in times of increasing order volumes, the new Global Distribution Center must be thoroughly trimmed for speed and efficiency.


"The decisive factor for the decision was not only our long-term automation competence, but also the fact that we act as the responsible general contractor who takes all trades under their wing," emphasizes BSS sales expert Herfried Pichler. At the heart of the new Global Distribution Center is a fully automated high-bay warehouse that BSS built on a greenfield site and fully equipped with automation intelligence. There are a total of 21,000 pallet spaces here at a height of 32 meters. Stacker cranes are under way in eight lanes at a speed of 3 meters per second. The gigantic shelf access vehicles were let into the warehouse through small openings in the roof using a 70-meter-high crane after the outer shell of the building had been completed. A six-aisle automatic small parts warehouse (AKL) was set up for the smaller accessories and can hold up to 25,000 containers; storage and retrieval is carried out by battery-operated, highly efficient shuttle vehicles.


The link between incoming goods, order picking and outgoing goods is a powered pallet conveyor system designed as a round course, which ROFA AG supplied as a partner in the network. The connection to the 18 picking stations was not required in the tender, but proved to be a smart idea to increase the throughput. Since the entire system was designed for maximum efficiency, Rittal happily accepted this initiative proposal. This pursuit of the best solution for the customer may be one of the reasons why BSS was also able to win a follow-up project: As part of the growth strategy, Rittal's production center has now been brought very close to the Global Distribution Center. Here BSS supplied the entire conveyor technology connection between production and logistics areas, as well as various smaller automatic warehouses with retrieval vehicles. These house sheets, stainless steel, and tools for production. The automation, material flow computer, and connection to the customer's own SAP system are also part of the overall scope of supply.


Customer: Rittal GmbH & Co. KG
Project: New Global Distribution Center
Contract volume: 8 million euros

Involved companies:

  • BSS Bohnenberg GmbH: general contractor;
    pallet warehouse, small parts shuttle warehouse, pallet and container conveyor technology, automation technology, coupling to SAP
  • ROFA AG: powered pallet conveyor with 15 vehicles

Project duration:
2.5 years


Type: fully automated high-bay warehouse with 8 lanes
Dimensions: length 110 m, width 38 m, height 32 m
Pallet spaces: 21,500 pallet spaces
Performance: 280 pallet duplicities
Pre-zone: PPC with 15 vehicles
Performance: 280 pallets/h

small parts warehouse with 6 lanes and 18 vehicles
Dimensions: length 45 m, width 24.5 m, height 14.5 m
Storing positions: 25,000 spaces for small parts containers 600 x 400 x 270 mm


Extensive pallet conveyors with 6 commissioning stations and integrated pallet wrapping unit