One Up One Down – Approach to Manage Manual Production Lines

Production lines have fluctuations. Sometimes production takes longer, sometimes shorter, than the average. This makes the line balancing tricky. Besides using a simple buffer between workstations, it is also possible to adjust capacity. Other approaches I have written about include the rabbit chase and the bucket brigade. Here I present a variation of the bucket brigade called “One Up One Down.” Continue reading One Up One Down – Approach to Manage Manual Production Lines

The Inner Workings of Amazon Fulfillment Centers – Part 6

This is the sixth and last post on my series on the inner workings of the Amazon Fulfillment Center. Here I will look at some supporting processes as well as the all-important employee satisfaction. I will look at the process of taking inventory, security, their interesting office locations on the warehouse floor, Amazon Go stores, and Employee Satisfaction.

Continue reading The Inner Workings of Amazon Fulfillment Centers – Part 6

The Inner Workings of Amazon Fulfillment Centers – Part 5

This is the fifth post on my series on the inner workings of the Amazon Fulfillment Center. Here I will look at the software that runs behind all the processes and makes this performance possible. Other companies would probably plaster the label “Industry 4.0” all over this, but at Amazon they just do it.

Continue reading The Inner Workings of Amazon Fulfillment Centers – Part 5

The Inner Workings of Amazon Fulfillment Centers – Part 4

This fourth post in the series on the inner workings of the Amazon Fulfillment Center will continue to look at the outbound material flow, including pack, SLAM, and the loading of the trucks. In the next and last posts, I will also look at the software behind it as well as some surrounding processes.

Continue reading The Inner Workings of Amazon Fulfillment Centers – Part 4

The Inner Workings of Amazon Fulfillment Centers – Part 3

This is the third post on my series on the inner workings of the Amazon Fulfillment Center. In this post I start with the highly interesting process of the outbound value stream (i.e., how the goodies go from storage to your door). Since this is the core process, the next post will continue this outbound value stream.

Continue reading The Inner Workings of Amazon Fulfillment Centers – Part 3

The Inner Workings of Amazon Fulfillment Centers – Part 2

This is the second post in my series on the inner workings of Amazon Fulfillment Centers. In this post I will look at the typical layout of the fulfillment centers and start with the inbound value stream. After all, while we all are looking forward to getting stuff from Amazon, Amazon first has to get the stuff from somewhere else.

Continue reading The Inner Workings of Amazon Fulfillment Centers – Part 2

The Inner Workings of Amazon Fulfillment Centers – Part 1

Recently I had the chance to visit two Amazon Fulfillment Centers to take an in-depth look at their inner workings. While many articles about Amazon go over the basics, I will give you a deep dive into the workings of their fulfillment centers. Due to the amount of information, I divided the content across a series of posts. In this first post I will go through their general layout as well as their Kiva robotics system. Continue reading The Inner Workings of Amazon Fulfillment Centers – Part 1

Industry 4.0 Tour in Germany – A Van Full of Nerds – Presentations and Tryouts

To round up our tour of a van full of nerds to study Industry 4.0 in Germany, here is the report on different presentations and tryouts. These were not plant visits, but different demonstrations by some smaller and one not-so-small (Bosch) companies. The first four were at the Arena 2036, a research collaboration to explore the future of the automobile. The other three were at the respective companies locations. Also quite insightful. Continue reading Industry 4.0 Tour in Germany – A Van Full of Nerds – Presentations and Tryouts