We know well that Amazon has been one of the pioneers in betting on automated technology to increase its production rate, even if this means eliminating jobs. Now, according to Reuters, Amazon is implementing new machines in its warehouses, which are responsible for putting products in custom boxes.
According to the information, Amazon has been testing this technology for some years, which consists of a large machine that scans the products on a conveyor belt, to later wrap them in cardboard, creating a box of the right size, and leave them ready for delivery.
Machines that are up to five times faster than humans
According to Reuters sources, Amazon is looking at at least two packing machines per warehouse , this for a dozen of its facilities in the United States. Each machine would replace the work of 24 people, who each day are in charge of packing the products, sealing the boxes and placing the corresponding label so that they are later sent.
According to Reuters’ estimate, installing these machines in 55 of Amazon’s “standard-size” fulfillment centers in the United States would represent more than 1,300 layoffs. Amazon expects to recoup the costs of each machine, which is priced at $ 1 million, in less than two years.
The machines, dubbed CartonWrap, would be manufactured by the Italian company CMC and would offer a packaging capacity of between 600 and 700 boxes per hour, that is, four to five times more compared to a human.
The machine is not 100% automatic, since it still requires three people for its operation : one to load and accommodate the items on the conveyor belt; another that is pending to load the cardboard and the glue; and the third would be a technician who would be there to solve possible traffic jams.
Speaking to Reuters, Amazon mentioned:
“We are testing this new technology with the goal of increasing security, speeding up delivery times and increasing efficiency across our network. We expect the efficiency savings to be reinvested in new services for customers, where new jobs will continue to be created. job”.
So far CMC has not confirmed that it is collaborating with Amazon for the installation of its machines. On the other hand, people familiar with this issue assure that these types of machines are already being used by companies such as JD.com Inc. Shutterfly Inc. and even Walmart. In fact, they claim that Walmart has been using them for more than three years.