SIG Combibloc Systems GmbH is a German subsidiary of the Swiss SIG Combibloc Group AG. The company is a leading system and solution provider for aseptic packaging. Hörmann Logistik is implementing an AutoStore® system for storage of small parts in the existing warehouse in Linnich. All workstations are designed to allow goods receipt or picking at any time. Hörmann is realizing this innovative small parts warehouse in its role as general contractor.


Hörmann Logistik carried out several system simulations with real data during the planning phase for the customised design of the AutoStore® system in the 6-metre high existing hall. Customer requirements and operating times of maximum 10-18 hours on 5 to 6 days, together with the simulation results, led to a system configuration with approx. 22,000 bins measuring 649 mm x 449 mm x 220 mm (L x W x H) over 19 levels.

5 of the 7 autonomous robots are oriented to the south and 2 to the north. They serve for the supply and disposal of the three Carousel workstations, one of which is used for storage and two for retrieval. The AutoStore® system consists of an aluminium grid system covered all around with a total size of 25 m x 22.1 m x 4.3 m (L x W x H), excluding the service platform.

Within the grid, stacks of 19 bins each stand directly on the hall floor. The battery-powered, autonomous robots move on the double-grid rail system above the bin stacks. They pick up the bins, re-sort them as required and serve them at the carousel ports. The maximum total weight of the bins is 35 kg with a net payload of around 31 kg. A weighing unit at the ports prevents exceeding the maximum weight. Separating inserts in the bins allow flexible use for several articles at the same time.

Four pairs of wheels move the robots in two directions. Their geometry allows them to reach any position in the grid. They communicate via WLAN with the AutoStore control system, which assigns the transport orders to the individual robots. If the order load is low or the battery capacity is too low, the robots drive automatically to one of the charging stations located at the edge of the grid. The AutoStore control is located on the adjacent service platform.

The robots move on the grid with an acceleration of 0.8 m/s² and a speed of 3.1 m/s.

HiLIS AS, the warehouse management and control system specially designed for AutoStore®, controls the system. AutoStore® "only" knows the bin number in the system, but not its contents. The higher-level HiLIS AS warehouse management and control system knows the contents of each bin, manages and controls the AutoStore® system and implements all logistical processes including interfaces to the ERP system. The understandable, graphical user interface of HiLIS AS provides clear working and picking instructions via touch screen. In addition, HiLIS AS supports permanent inventory processes, empty bin insertion, status dialogues, special accesses to the bins and much more.

AutoStore® takes over complete picking orders (task group) with all individual picking positions (task). With a lead-time of 30 minutes, AutoStore® with its integrated optimization algorithms ensures maximum efficiency in the processing of orders.

The AutoStore® small parts warehouse at SIG Combibloc Systems in Linnich will is scheduled to go live at the end of November 2019.