USA- E-commerce giant, Amazon has acquired Belgium-based robotics company Cloostermans in an effort to boost its automation capabilities.
The deal is the culmination of a collaboration between the two businesses that started in 2019 where the Belgium company supplied Amazon with robotic capabilities.
Since then, Amazon has employed Cloostermans’ technology to assist with product packaging, move and stack large pallets and totes, and more at its facilities.
The e-commerce firm plans to incorporate Amazon Global Robotics with the former supplier and its 200 employees.
Amazon stated that it would concentrate Cloostermans’ technical efforts on “more rapidly deploy solutions” that would help employees, enhance safety, and lessen packaging waste.
Since 2012, when Amazon first started integrating robotics into its facilities, the business has deployed more than 520,000 robotic drive units globally and added more than a million new jobs.
They stated that “automation has led to new roles at our facilities, including jobs such as robotics and mechatronics maintenance technicians as well as flow control specialists.”
Amazon highlighted Cloostermans’ capacity for producing customized, custom-designed technology.
Cloostermans was founded in 1884 and has been a privately owned company for six generations.
“We’re thrilled to be joining the Amazon family and extending the impact we can have at a global scale,” Cloostermans CEO Frederik Berckmoes-Joos said in the release.
“Amazon has raised the bar for how supply chain technologies can benefit employees and customers, and we’re looking forward to being part of the next chapter of this innovation.”
Amazon ups investment in technology
Amazon has increased its investment in its technological design capabilities in recent years through the establishment of research facilities in the US and Europe.
In April, Amazon established a US$1 billion venture fund to assist supply chain innovation, logistics, and consumer fulfillment.
The initial round of financing focused on robotics intended to complement and coexist with people’s life and wearable technology that improves safety in fulfillment buildings.
In June, the firm deployed its first fully autonomous mobile robot, Proteus which was developed to automatically move around employees.
At first, Proteus was used in Amazon’s fulfillment centers and sort centers for the handling of outbound GoCarts — the non-automated, wheeled transports used to move packages through the facilities.
The company said in a post that it planned to automate all GoCart handling throughout Amazon, which would reduce the amount of manual labor on employees.
“As we continue to broaden and accelerate the robotics and technology we design, engineer and deploy across our operations, we look forward to welcoming Cloostermans to Amazon and are excited to see what we can build together,” Amazon Vice President of Global Robotics Ian Simpson.
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