More than a facade: New KEB warehouse takes shape

Current status of the construction of the high-bay warehouse

KEB Automation is further expanding its headquarters with a modern high-bay warehouse. About a year after the groundbreaking ceremony, the dimensions of the warehouse are becoming more visible day by day. After various preparatory works, the roof and the facade elements were recently installed. An overview of the current status of the 14 million euro project.

The cranes next to KEB's Plant 1 have been dominating the image of the headquarters in Barntrup (North Rhine-Westphalia) for weeks. They are supporting the construction of the free-standing warehouse with its impressive dimensions of 45x70x25 metres (WxDxH). The elements of the roof and the facade, which were put together step by step, are correspondingly large and already give an impression of what the warehouse will look like from the outside in the end.

Beforehand, however, extensive preparations were necessary. First of all, earthworks had to be carried out in the construction area of the high-bay warehouse. A total of 4,000 cubic metres of soil was excavated and new, highly compactable gravel was placed to ensure the load-bearing capacity of the soil. Then the new sprinkler tanks were built, which are used in case of fire and store two times 320 cubic metres of water. This is equivalent to almost 3,600 full bathtubs. Further on, the old and new sprinkler centres were connected via a pipeline to enable an even better supply of extinguishing water. The concrete wall that separates Halls 14 and 15 on the site from each other in terms of fire protection also quickly catches the eye.

80,000 bags of cement and 1,000 tonnes of steel

In total, 1,000 tonnes of steel were used for the high-bay warehouse. Of this, 300 tonnes were needed for the reinforcement of the base alone. The concrete for the floor plate, which was placed after the completion of the steel construction, was delivered in three stages by a total of around 200 truck mixers. In standard 40-kilo ready-mixed concrete sacks, this adds up to approximately 80,000 sacks of cement.

"The breakthroughs already show how the conveyor technology will run in the future, connecting the warehouse with the order-picking zone in Hall 14 to ensure the fully automated transport of goods from individual shelves to the order-picking workstation," says Phillip Hannesen, Digital Transformation Manager Production at KEB.

In the coming weeks and months, the focus will now be on completing the technical building equipment, such as sprinkler lines, ventilation and lighting, so that shelf construction can begin. The plan is to bring in the 20-metre-long storage and retrieval machines through the roof opening of the warehouse using a large crane before the end of the year. Parallel to the work in the new high-bay warehouse, the shell of the goods receiving building has been erected from prefabricated concrete parts, so that the roof and façade can follow here as well. So that the loading ramps can be approached by the trucks, the floor level of the traffic yard must then be lowered over a wide area and an appropriate slope created in front of the ramps.

Update September 2022

Most recently, the facade of the building was completely closed and the construction of the high racks inside the warehouse was able to begin.

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Author: Tim Schöllmann