What does the back office of one of the largest online stores in the world look like? I visited the Amazon Center in Gliwice to learn about it.
Have you ever wondered what happens when you visit an online store and click the “Buy Now” button? Yes, yes, the money disappears from the account and after a few days the package you want ends up in the locker / door. But do you know what else happened?
It turns out that behind every online shopping is a huge logistics machine. I had the opportunity to learn about it by visiting one of the company’s logistics centers Amazon. The Gliwice Center I visited is the largest of its kind in Poland. Above 2000 workers, 4000 robots and 210,000 m2 area.
It makes an impression, doesn’t it? And imagine that to launch this giant machine, just go to Amazon and click the “Add to Cart” button.
However, it could not be otherwise. The range offered by Amazon is huge and extremely diverse. It is a miracle that books, electronics, cosmetics and the strangest exotic devices are sent from the same warehouse. Because how can all this be accepted?
The answer is simple: robots.
No, it’s not a joke. Simply put, if you have views directly from the Terminator in your brain, I advise you to adjust your thoughts a bit. We won’t be able to find Schwarzenneger’s fighting androids in Amazon’s logistics centers (probably?). However, here we find an advanced automation system that is even more impressive in its own way.
Looking for a needle in a haystack
Well, imagine this scenario: as connoisseurs of rock classics, you order the Nickelback album “Best of Volume 1”. We are talking about a CD in a small box lying somewhere in a huge warehouse. Now think, will anyone have to look for it on their own? As someone who has a hard time finding the album I want on the shelf in Empic, I think I’m cold.
Fortunately, no one has to look for such a CD, because the systems deal with it Amazon Robotics. They ensure that all products are properly cataloged and, if necessary, delivered quickly to the ordering staff.
What does it look like in practice? One of the floors of the logistics center in Gliwice is almost entirely reserved for robots. This is where all products are stored on high shelves. What happens when you need one of them? Then one of the robots moves such a shelf under the window where the worker (already made of meat and blood) is waiting. Its role is limited to collecting and transmitting the relevant item.
The whole process is fully automated. The system ensures optimal storage and transportation of products, thus accessing them quickly and, more importantly, making people’s work easier. The products on the shelves are placed in such a way as to distribute the load properly and at the same time reduce the need to remove heavy elements from a high level.
First of all, people
The latter, of course shook his head at the workers works on fulfillment of orders. Not alone, because we can find more of them here. For example, after changing the shelf, the right product is highlighted, so there is no need to waste time looking for it. Workstations are also equipped with special mats that reduce the load on the spine and joints, and there are tight-fitting benches at each level of the center where workers can relax.
I write about this, because this “human” side of the activities of Amazon logistics centers is often published in the media. Robots actually do the biggest part of the job, and I have to admit, it’s incredibly impressive. But All these automated systems are available to make things easier for people and pay attention to their safety.
Because people are involved in all stages of the execution of the order. When the goods arrive in the warehouse, people take the products out of packaging and put them in special places. When it comes to completing an order, people take care of it. Same with packaging. However, this would not have been possible without self-propelled elevators, automated arms and a dense conveyor network covering the entire huge hall.
In any case, it is almost fascinating to observe the parcels moving on them. Thats it It’s easy to forget how accurate the whole process is. For example, did you know that cardboard packaging is chosen to take up as little space as possible for each order? Of course, the automated system deals with this, and the role of employees is only to pack the goods. You don’t even need to stick the address sticker, because the right machine takes care of it.
Of course, this is a small issue in terms of the whole process, but it perfectly shows how far automation can go at the Amazon Center in Gliwice. I do not know you, but it makes a great impression on me. It’s like watching the gears move for a few hours – he had to “just” change the hand, but the technical idea behind it is impressive.
This is similar to the operation of Amazon logistics centers. We just press the “Buy Now” button and wait for the courier, but What happened along the way is such a small miracle. Behind many advanced technologies and, above all, the miracle behind which people stand.
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Photo source: own
Text source: Own
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