api Computerhandels GmbH

Multi Access Warehouse for high efficiency and flexibility in the IT distribution

api Computerhandels GmbH is an IT distributor for hardware components, accessories and software. About 10,000 customers from the IT retail and wholesale trade are supplied from a portfolio of 115,000 products each month.


api Computerhandels GmbH,
52499 Baesweiler | Germany


Distribution center with 96,000 tote locations
142 vario.sprinter shuttles
18 integrated tote lifts
6 rotapick high performance order picking systems
56 combined workplaces goods-in/packaging

Design criteria

The very positive corporate development finally led to the decision to reorganize the entire intralogistics. Eight separate warehouses located throughout the region had to be merged in order to increase the efficiency of the operations and to establish the basis for further growth through bundled automation. Key criteria when planning the intralogistics system were maximum flexibility to be able to react to changing demands as well as high delivery capacity and simple processes.

The solution

Play Video
Multi Access Warehouse for high efficiency and flexibility in the IT distribution

This project has been implemented with an exceptional warehouse concept: the patented Multi Access Warehouse from psb. In the warehouse block (24 m high, 145 m long) of the plant implemented for api there are three aisles, each divided into 50 levels. The totes are stored in and out by vario.sprinter shuttles developed by psb. In total, 142 vario.sprinter shuttles in two versions are utilized: standard shuttles plus vario.sprinter flex with width-adjustable gripper arms that allow to transport totes of 570 mm and 800 mm width. The warehouse has been designed for 7,100 double cycles per hour. With double-deep storage of the totes of two different sizes, the system provides 96,000 tote locations.

The orders are processed by two groups of three rotapick high-performance order picking systems each. These systems are connected with the warehouse and its 18 tote lifts by two separate loops to the infeed/outfeed lanes. The target totes are located inside the three rotapick disks. On a feeding lane, the source totes move laterally to the rotapick units, which are designed for 750 picking operations per hour.

The psb concept for api includes combined goods-in and packaging workplaces: at the beginning of the day almost all workplaces are used for goods-in processes. The closer the end of order entry or cut-off times, the more workplaces are used for packaging. The maximum shipping capacity of 56 combined workplaces is then 1,400 parcels per hour.