Electric Monorail System (EMS)

Electric Monorail System (EMS)

Internal transport system that automates and streamlines the flow of pallets using self-propelled trolleys that move along electrified rails.

The product

Automated solution for high-speed pallet transport. Ideal for long distances

The electric monorail system comprises self-propelled trolleys that move pallets along a closed circuit of electrified rails (fixed to the floor or suspended from the ceiling). This completely configurable solution enables the design of circuits of varying complexity and great length to connect different areas quickly and efficiently.

Guided by software that regulates traffic and assigns the most appropriate route, the trolleys move through the circuit, transferring pallets between the various loading and unloading points. Thanks to its speed, Mecalux’s electric monorail system maximises the flow of goods in all types of warehouses and production centres.

The electric monorail system consists of self-propelled trolleys that transport pallets

Advantages of the electric monorail system

  • High speed: the trolleys reach speeds of up to 100 m/min loaded and 120 m/min unloaded. This makes the system faster than conveyors, delivering a higher flow of pallets per hour.
  • Long distances: electric monorail circuits are an excellent solution for automating the transport of palletised loads between distant points.
  • Intelligent system: the warehouse control system (WCS) assesses circuit traffic and loading/unloading needs in real time to distribute tasks among available trolleys. It assigns each trolley the fastest path to its destination, dynamically modifying routes to avoid bottlenecks.
  • Discontinuous autonomous movement: the trolleys navigate their assigned route independently. Thus, they can follow different paths within the same circuit and take shortcuts and detours.
  • Fully configurable circuits: it is possible to design circuits that range in complexity, with straight and curved sections, intermediate switches, shortcuts, parallel routes, parking areas and maintenance zones.
  • Flexibility and scalability: clients can add new trolleys and expand the circuit to accommodate increased production. Likewise, they can create new pallet loading and unloading stations or modify the location of existing stations.
  • Silent, safe circulation: the design of the trolleys and the implementation of advanced acceleration and braking techniques ensure smooth, quiet movements. Continuous synchronisation between adjacent trolleys ensures that safe distances are maintained.
  • Energy efficiency: parking areas enable users to adjust the number of trolleys in operation to workloads, significantly reducing energy consumption.
  • Easy maintenance: trolleys are diverted to an auxiliary circuit for maintenance tasks, ensuring uninterrupted operation of the rest of the system.
The electric monorail system is a high-speed solution that speeds up the flow of pallets

Applications of electric monorail systems for pallets

Agile, versatile internal transport solution for automating the flow of pallets

This flexible system covers long distances and allows for the configuration of extremely varied routes. It can be adapted to different functions in various types of warehouses and production centres.

Monorail conveyor systems connect different areas within a facility

Connect areas within a facility

Monorail conveyor systems automate the flow of pallets between warehouse zones.

Electrified monorail systems link the production lines with the warehouse

Link the warehouse with production

Electrified monorail systems connect the production lines with the warehouse.

Pallet monorail systems can connect different warehouses

Connect different warehouses

Pallet monorail systems are ideal for linking warehouses in separate buildings, as long circuits can be configured.

An electric monorail system can supply the shipping area

Supply shipping areas

Electric monorail systems expedite the transport of pallets to the shipping zone and their classification into preload channels.

Models of electric monorail systems

Ceiling- or floor-mounted: two options to find the best solution

Trolley conveyor systems can be overhead or floor-mounted, depending on the location of the rail along which the trolleys circulate. The performance of both construction systems is very similar. The choice will depend on their specific use and the characteristics of the client’s facility.

Case studies

A 100% automated, turnkey warehouse for Würth in La Rioja

The German fastener, connector and assembly component company Würth has opened a new automated clad-rack warehouse in La Rioja (Spain). This very large installation means the company can supply its Wúrth stores throughout Spain, as well as customers who have purchased tools, drill bits, nuts and bolts online. Read more

Mecalux stands alongside Congelados de Navarra in its steady growth

Case study automated clad-rack chambers for Congelados de Navarra in Spain designed by Mecalux and other examples of storage systems. Read more

Mecalux stands alongside Congelados de Navarra in its steady growth

A large warehouse to hold the juices of Sokpol in Poland

The huge warehouse of juice manufacturer Sokpol in the city of Myszków (Poland), connected automatically to the manufacturing centre by means of an electrified monorail system (EMS). The centre includes two warehouses, one with drive-in racking and the other with pallet racks and automatic operations. Read more

A large warehouse to hold the juices of Sokpol in Poland

A high profit-automated warehouse for one of the leading manufacturers of beverages in Poland

Example of automated solution for the Zbyszko warehouse in Poland developed by Mecalux and other examples of storage systems. Read more

A high profit-automated warehouse for one of the leading manufacturers of beverages in Poland

The Luís Simões logistics centre in Cabanillas del Campo (Guadalajara)

Luís Simões, the logistics operator for food, beverage, perfumery, cosmetics and retail companies, has set up a warehouse. Mecalux has equipped it with pallet racks and a warehouse with automatic Pallet Shuttle with transfer cars for sequencing and organising prepared orders. Read more

See more case studies

Components of the electric monorail system

The circuits of the electric monorail system are characterised primarily by an electrified rail, which defines the path, and by autonomous trolleys that move along it, transporting pallets.

Mecalux’s electric monorail system is equipped with a set of safety devices and mechanisms. They prevent collisions between trolleys and enable their smooth navigation along the entire circuit.

Floor-mounted trolleys include 2 drive heads and 2 wheels

Trolleys (floor-mounted system)

Extremely robust, compact vehicles used to transport pallets along floor-mounted monorail circuits. A drive unit is responsible for moving the trolleys along the electrified rail.

Floor-mounted rails are secured to the warehouse floor

Rails (floor-mounted system)

Aluminium profiles anchored to the floor of the facility. These components form the circuit along which the trolleys move. They include copper conductors that supply electrical power to each trolley.

Overhead trolleys circulate along a rail mounted on the ceiling of the facility

Trolleys (overhead system)

High-performance, autonomous vehicles employed in overhead conveyor systems. These trolleys move along a ceiling-mounted electrified rail by means of a drive unit.

Overhead rails are installed on the warehouse ceiling or another elevated structure

Rails (overhead system)

Aluminium profiles suspended from the ceiling or another elevated structure in the facility. They define the circuit along which the trolleys travel in warehouses with overhead electric monorail systems. These rails incorporate copper conductors, which supply the energy that enables the trolleys to move.

Los cabezales motrices posibilitan el movimiento de los carros

Drive heads

Comprising a motor and a wheel, these components are designed to ensure agile, efficient movements. Integrated into both overhead and floor-mounted trolleys, they are charged with moving the trolley along the rail.

Cada carro del circuito de electrovías está equipado con un transportador


Each trolley — whether overhead or floor-mounted — is equipped with a roller or chain conveyor that enables it to transfer pallets to the loading and unloading stations.

El PLC embarcado comunica cada carro con el software de gestión de flotas

On-board PLC

The trolleys are fitted with an on-board programmable logic controller (PLC) that communicates with the fleet management software to receive orders with the tasks to be carried out. The on-board PLC also controls the status of the trolley, sending orders to start and stop its movements.

El vallado de seguridad delimita el circuito de electrovías

Safety fencing

Perimeter enclosure that delineates and restricts access to the monorail conveyor circuit.

Las fotocélulas refuerzan la seguridad del sistema al asegurar la distancia adecuada entre carros


These ensure a safe distance is maintained between the trolleys at all times.

Los topes suavizan la fuerza generada en caso de contacto con otro carro


Parts designed to absorb the force generated by possible contact with another trolley (e.g., during maintenance tasks).

Los amortiguadores hidráulicos otorgan estabilidad al movimiento de los carros

Hydraulic buffers

These components compensate for the force exerted by the load on the trolley. They prevent swaying or tilting and provide stability as the vehicle moves along the circuit.


An electric monorail is an automated discontinuous pallet transport system consisting of trolleys driven by an electric motor. These vehicles move along a closed circuit of electrified rails, transferring pallets between the various loading and unloading stations located at different points along the route. This highly agile, effective solution covers long distances, considerably speeding up the internal transport of palletised loads. It can be tailored to the requirements of different types of warehouses.

The trolleys of a monorail material handling system are high-speed vehicles, reaching up to 100 m/min loaded and 120 m/min unloaded.

Each trolley has a maximum payload of 1,500 kg.

The trolleys are compatible with pallets measuring 800 x 1,200 mm, 1,000 x 1,200 mm and 1,200 x 1,200 mm as well as 600 x 800 mm half pallets. Likewise, they can be adapted to handle pallets of other sizes as per client requirements, such as GMA (North American) pallets.

Electrified monorail systems are suitable for a wide range of temperatures, from -30 °C to 40 °C. Therefore, they are the perfect solution for automating the flow of palletised loads in cold storage and freezer warehouses.

The software monitors traffic along the electric monorail circuit in real time, assigning the tasks to be performed by the different trolleys. This program receives work orders from the warehouse management system (WMS) and distributes them among the trolleys. It indicates the loading and unloading stations to which each trolley should proceed, assigning these vehicles the most efficient route to complete the task.

In the circuits of overhead conveyor systems, the self-propelled trolleys move along aluminium rails secured to the ceiling or another elevated structure. In the case of floor-mounted monorail conveyors, on the other hand, the rails are anchored to the warehouse floor.

Overhead trolley conveyors are used when it is necessary to clear the warehouse floor of obstacles to enable the circulation of other handling equipment. Additionally, they facilitate cleaning tasks in environments with stringent hygiene requirements, such as in companies in the food sector. They are also ideal for buildings with flooring that is poorly levelled or lacks the necessary strength.

Floor-mounted electric monorail systems are typically employed when designing medium-length circuits. They are easy to install and allow for a small turning radius.

Like electrified monorail systems, pallet conveyor systems are designed to automate the internal flow of palletised loads. Conveyors stand out for their ability to move continuously, fostering the simultaneous transport of large volumes of pallets. Moreover, unlike electric monorail systems, conveyors can accumulate pallets; that is, they can keep them on standby to create a temporary buffer or regulate flows.

Although electrified monorail systems are a discontinuous internal transport solution, they are faster than conveyors. They can reach speeds of up to 100 m/min loaded, compared to the 20 m/min of conveyors. Therefore, electric monorail systems are the right choice when designing medium or long circuits or maximising pallet transport speeds.

Electric monorail systems and autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) are automated solutions designed to transport individual loads between two points. The electrified monorail system relies on the use of trolleys that transport pallets along a closed circuit with a defined perimeter. AMRs, meanwhile, move freely throughout the facility, following dynamic routes adapted to each task. Likewise, they are not bound by closed navigation circuits or restricted-access operation zones.

AMRs can be integrated into the warehouse layout more easily than electric monorail systems, as they do not require the installation of rails or safety fencing. However, electric monorail systems are often the optimal alternative in scenarios with high demand for pallet flows. This is because to handle such a workload with AMRs, it would be necessary to invest in a very large fleet.

Yes. The electric monorail system is a highly versatile internal transport solution adapted to the characteristics of the client’s facility. Thanks to this flexibility, the circuit can be tailored to meet specific requirements. For example, curves and switches can be added to create shortcuts, parallel routes, diagnostic stations or parking areas.

Yes. An electric monorail system can be used to link storage systems in separate warehouses, for instance. To do this, a tunnel or bridge is normally designed to house the section of the circuit used to connect the two buildings.

Yes, monorail material handling systems are equipped with several safety devices. These include photocells, bumpers and buffers for smooth, stable trolley movement throughout the circuit. Additionally, safety fencing marks off the perimeter of the circuit to restrict access to the trolley operation area, preventing incidents with people or other machinery.

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