Amazon Opens a “European Innovation Lab”

Online retailer Amazon has opened a “European Innovation Lab” for logistics technology. The new lab in Vercelli, Italy, will develop warehouse automation solutions tailored to Europe.

The latest innovations in Amazon logistics are united under the umbrella of the innovation lab in Vercelli in northern Italy, the group says. The technologies developed at the innovation lab follow Amazon’s successful rollout of more than 350,000 transportation robots worldwide. In Germany, these robots are deployed in five logistics centers.

The focus of the new lab, the company says, is on developing and testing future technologies designed to increase workplace safety at its sites in Europe. The new supporting technologies include item sorting systems, palletizing robots, and automatically guided vehicles, sorting robots and lifting devices. The fully automated sorting system reduces the workload for employees, who no longer have to search through bins for individual items, it says. Sorting and palletizing robots are already in use in Germany, and Amazon plans to deploy them in other European locations later this year.

Since the first robotics technologies were introduced about ten years ago, the company has created more than one million new jobs for logistics employees, it says. Of these, around 16,000 are in Germany. The employees in the logistics centers take care of picking, packing and shipping customer orders. Stefan Perego, vice president EU operations Amazon EU Sarl, said the company is prioritizing the safety of all employees. “In fact, we want to become the safest workplace in the world – in all areas of our business. That’s why we continue to invest in technology and training for our employees,” he said.

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