Tag Archives: Material Flow

Flexible Manpower Lines 1 – Introduction

Flexible Manpower Line 1 OperatorProduction lines with manual labor often have the possibility of adjusting manpower due to demand. Such flexible manpower lines can work with different staff numbers, and can adjust the production output to the customer demand. At Toyota, such lines are also called Shoujinka (少人化, literally “few people production”). A gender neutral term would be “flexible staffing line”. This blog post will go into the details on how to set up such a line. Continue reading Flexible Manpower Lines 1 – Introduction

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

Maintaining Weak FIFO in Parallel FIFO Lanes

Sometimes you would like to put more material in a single FIFO lane than the space you have available. In this case you would have to use a combination of two or more parallel FIFO lanes. In my last post I described how to maintain a strict FIFO sequence in parallel lanes. This post looks at an easier but less accurate method. Continue reading Maintaining Weak FIFO in Parallel FIFO Lanes