Clad-rack or self supporting warehouses are compact structures formed basically by shelves, the roofing and walls, and the main characteristic is that the system integrates these shelves as a part of the supporting structure. They are defined as a high density storage capacity in height.
In the latest years they have been used more and more because it has a lot of advantages when compared to a traditional warehouse:
- The major construction height is just limited by the local regulations or by the scope of the handling means, and it can even overcome 35 m high. This is a really good feature because it enables to maximize the available space.
- It is not necessary any previous building for installing a self-supporting warehouse, so the investment cost and the runtime are reduced.
- It is easy to do future expansion and space losses are avoid because it is projected according with the necessary means.
- It is possible to apply different automation levels in order to obtain the maximum yield.
This kind of warehouse allows the use of very different storage systems and with a high degree of automation. In order to obtain the highest capacity, the loads are placed in line with the principle of “empty space”; that means, when there is an entering pallet, it is assigned the first empty space in the hall where the lifting equipment is working in that moment and the computer memorize the shelf and position for the next extraction following the set out criteria in the store.
There are many companies that work building these structures. Mecalux, for instance, is a multinational company leader in Spain, whose business is about designing, manufacturing, commercializing and serving logistics solutions, and one of the products that they offer is clad-rack warehouses both for pallets and boxes, as we can see in its webpage:
Also, if you are interested, I suggest that you watch in the link below a 5 minutes video of a large clad-rack warehouse construction.