Coffeehouse Thread

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Inside an Amazon warehouse

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    Ian2
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    Bas

    I'm pretty sure I saw someone wheeling the Ark of the Covenant in there.

    Edit: I knew it!

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    Maddus Mattus

    @Bas:hahahaha!

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    Ian2

    and not a bad price considering it is solid gold (hurry, only 3 left)

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    figuerres

    wow....  so do new staff get a map and a radio in case they are lost in the maze ??

    GPS won't work as they are in a giant covered building ...

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    spivonious

    I worked in a warehouse that big once, but it wasn't nearly as full of stuff as that one is. It really is a weird feeling when you look down a hallway and the humidity in the air prevents you from seeing the other end of the building.

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    Harlequin

    If I had to do pallet picks in that place I'd die Smiley

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    Ian2

    @figuerres:

    , figuerres wrote

    wow....  so do new staff get a map and a radio in case they are lost in the maze ??

     

    Since the cut backs they are given a piece of string with one end tied to the doors.  How long?  .........  Who knows?

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    Maddus Mattus

    DELETE FROM ProductWarehouseLocation;

    enjoy the show

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    Dr Herbie

    @Maddus Mattus: Don't joke about that -- we had a developer do just that sort of thing against a customer's live database a couple of years ago.  It's still referred to as "The Pankhurst Incident".

    Herbie

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    SteveRichter

    How soon before they can automate the carts that travel around the warehouse and have a machine that does the picking and replenishment? I do programming in a warehouse and can't  help but notice how labor intensive the process is. A lot of people on the line putting labels on boxes. Boxes being taken off of finished good pallets ( same product code ) and placed on ship pallets ( a mix of product codes to be shipped. ) Fork lift drivers taking the pallets from assembly locations to staging locations and then to the door.  I figure with some Kinect devices, arduino programming and millions of dollars I could automate the entire process. Yet in the Amazon photos I see countless people pushing carts between aisles. What is the holdup?  A social conscience?

     

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    ZippyV

    @SteveRichter: It looks organised but it's not organised enough for a robot. I think robots would need more space to be able to pick an item out of a rack.

    For a couple million $ you can hire a lot of people that don't have these limitations.

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    figuerres

    , SteveRichter wrote

    How soon before they can automate the carts that travel around the warehouse and have a machine that does the picking and replenishment? I do programming in a warehouse and can't  help but notice how labor intensive the process is. A lot of people on the line putting labels on boxes. Boxes being taken off of finished good pallets ( same product code ) and placed on ship pallets ( a mix of product codes to be shipped. ) Fork lift drivers taking the pallets from assembly locations to staging locations and then to the door.  I figure with some Kinect devices, arduino programming and millions of dollars I could automate the entire process. Yet in the Amazon photos I see countless people pushing carts between aisles. What is the holdup?  A social conscience?

     

    a few basic things:

    1) handling fragile items: humans can tell if an item needs careful handling and a machine may not.

    2) odd shapes and sizes: again the human can recognize something and how to pick it up, a machine at this stage can handle standard shapes ok but not all kinds of different ones.

    3) exception handling:  all the odd things that can happen that we can "figure out" better than a machine.

    handle all 3 of them and then you got something to sell to many places.

    also I think that the amazon inventory changes all the time ..   some places use bots in warehouses but in them they have a fixed inventory format - standard containers to move.

     

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    SteveRichter

    1) handling fragile items: humans can tell if an item needs careful handling and a machine may not.

    everything to be picked is in a package or a box. The label on the package references handling instructions.

    2) odd shapes and sizes: again the human can recognize something and how to pick it up, a machine at this stage can handle standard shapes ok but not all kinds of different ones.

    ok. So every item is packaged to the degree necessary so the machine can pick it, transport it and put it away.

    3) exception handling:  all the odd things that can happen that we can "figure out" better than a machine.

    what I am seeing in the warehouse is exceptions occur frequently because the humans did not follow the instructions in the first place. Pallets are putaway with their barcodes blocked by the pallet next to it. The humans do not scan all the cartons on the pallet so we are not sure that the pallet was built correctly.

    I don't know. Google has been able to develop cars that can drive themselves on the highway. Where is the driverless forklift?

     

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    MasterPi

    , figuerres wrote

    1) handling fragile items: humans can tell if an item needs careful handling and a machine may not.

    Why not just assume everything is fragile? How would a machine handle a non-fragile item? Surely it wont throw it to the other side of the warehouse...

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    Bass

    @SteveRichter:

    Are there real world examples of automated warehouse/logistics? I'm under the impression that the USPS is mostly automated, but they still use humans to load the pallets that the machines mostly put together onto the trucks.

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    JoshRoss

    Keep in mind that there is as much stuff, of various sizes, arriving as there is departing. That distribution center might have a hundred thousand suppliers for all that stuff. Each one packs their goods differently from the next.

    Receiving / replenishment is probably a more difficult job than fulfillment. With fulfillment, you need someone to put a sticker on an item and toss it onto a conveyor. 

    If you were to see a robot anywhere, I could envision a box making / packaging robot being deployed. But, to the best of my knowledge, Amazon packs boxes by hand. They don't do it because they are lazy or inefficient, quite the opposite.

    -Josh

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    cbae

    , Bas wrote

    I'm pretty sure I saw someone wheeling the Ark of the Covenant in there.

    Edit: I knew it!

    It would be kinda cool to own, but I don't know how long I'd be able to keep my eyes closed.

     

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