LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Amazon recently took the wraps off of its largest fulfillment center in Nevada Thursday. The facility is located just off of I-15 near the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, and it spans roughly 15 football fields.
It’s the first in the ‘silver state’ to utilize a team of humans and robots to fill orders.Call the center ‘lucky number 7,’ because it’s Amazon’s seventh facility here in the valley.
It opened just a couple of months ago, and on Thursday they gave 8 News NOW Reporter Patrick Walker a tour to check out how everything works.
At over 850,000-square-feet, the newest Amazon facility depends on 1,500 workers, along with a bunch of robots to fill millions of orders every year.
It all looks like organized chaos at first glance, but it’s actually quite a process.
Thousands of retailers provide the products that stock the fulfillment center, then workers stow those products.
“Bring inventory in, stowing it randomly, and then our robotic drive units essentially drive away until somebody orders that product, and then brings them back again,” said Zeshan Kazmi, an Amazon spokesperson.
Next: Robots drive whichever bin has your item on it to the picking station.
“Once you click ‘buy’ on Amazon, our robotic drive unit knows exactly where your product is sitting. It picks up a yellow pod and brings it to the associate for picking,” Kazmi said.
They grab it, scan it, put it in a yellow tote, and send it on down the line to the pack station.
Computers tell the packer which sized box to choose, along with how much tape to use. That allows them to complete the task in seconds.
Reporter Patrick Walker wanted to see how long it would take him to pack a box and it took him 57 seconds. That’s not as fast as other packers, but his time was pretty good.
From there the box was loaded on the conveyor belt where it gets a shipping level before reaching the end of the line.
“The packages are kicked out on chutes, and they’re sorted by destination, their shipping speed and they get to you after that, so they get kicked into ship dock trucks, and they make its way to the customer after that,” said Kazmi.
With prime day coming up next week, that will be the first major shopping holiday to test the new Amazon facility. We’ll see how it goes!