Amazon has taken another step in automating its manufacturing process by purchasing Cloostermans, a company known for developing technology to manage robotic traffic flow in warehouses.
- The Belgian company will join Amazon’s robotics system as the company takes further steps toward fully automating its logistics.
- The engineering and automation design company has around 200 employees and has been in existence since 1884, originally as a textile machinery manufacturer. Terms of the deal between Amazon and Cloostermans were not disclosed.
- Amazon has been using Cloostermans’ technology in its warehouses since 2019. Now, it will use the company’s technology to improve employee safety and help employees work alongside robots.
Why it’s news
Amazon’s acquisition of Cloostermans comes shortly after the online retail giant closed several facilities in the U.S. and canceled plans for construction on new locations.
During the pandemic, Amazon expanded rapidly, now leaving the company with an excess of employees and warehouse space. Amazon’s employee headcount was down by 100,000 in the second quarter, a historic number for the company.
Online orders have declined as more shoppers are making their way back to in[person shopping. Typically, Amazon orders increase during the holiday season, however the drop in sales could mean a change for the company this year.
Amazon looking to expand its robotic force is no surprise. Since acquiring Kiva Systems in 2012, Amazon has used over 520,000 robots in its warehouse operations. More recently, the company launched a fully autonomous mobile robot, capable of driving around employees and having full access to the warehouse.
Cloostermans’ technology will be another step on Amazon’s path toward automation.