Since 1760, the time when the 1st Industrial Revolution began in the United Kingdom, the technology has not stopped yet, creating a new world that we cannot imagine in another way. With the Industrial Revolution II, new and better materials and chemical products were introduced into the production process accompanied by a considerable increase in the supply of energy, which was diversified. Finally, in the Industrial Revolution III, in which we are now, microelectronics, the commitment to R&D and renewable energies have been a step further. However, it seems that Amazon is determined to lead the leap towards the 4th Industrial Revolution through logistics.
Amazon, the change maker of Logistics
If the Industrial Revolution IV starts in a few years, Amazon will have a lot to do with it. This company, a pioneer in innovative logistics systems, has in recent times developed an intelligent machine capable of replacing a large number of workers when scanning and packaging products. Along with picking, these are the most important jobs within a logistics center, but … How does it work?
It consists of a huge machine that scans the products on a conveyor belt and, then, the machine wraps the products in carton, creating a carton box which fits perfectly the products. As we can imagine, this is completely revolutionary because the machine does almost everything.
Implications of the machine on Amazon warehouses and logistics centers
– The machine scans the products, packages them, seals the boxes and put the label for the delivery
– The machine packages between 600-700 boxes per hour
– Every machine replaces 24 workers, but it needs 3 workers to control the performance
– Reuters agency affirms that the installation of these machines in 55 American logistic centers would suppose 1.300 layoffs
– It improves the safety
– It improves delivery times
– More efficiency
One step forward … or one step back
With this advance, Amazon would be initiating a new industrial revolution that, as we can see, will be focused on the Internet of Things, the digitalization of the companies and the irruption of Artificial Intelligence in the machinery used every day. If we think as consumers this means a huge advance in logistics, when we thought that Amazon couldn’t improve much longer its service. However, it is a huge risk for thousands of workers who depend on the jobs that will be eliminated in the coming years.