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VOA慢速英语:亚马逊打包机器工作效率超过人类

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Report: Amazon Boxing Machines Work Much Faster than Humans

报道:亚马逊打包机器工作效率超过人类

There have been many reports in recent years that warn of future job losses as machines replace humans in many industries.

近几年有很多报道都在警告机器在很多行业可能取代人类从而导致未来人类工作的丢失。

Many companies, however, have denied they plan to use robots to replace workers. They say that, instead, machines will work along with humans to improve work processes. Some businesses have also said that many workers replaced by technology can be retrained to keep their jobs. 

然而很多公司已经表示他们不会使用机器人来代替工人。他们表示,相反机器会同工人一起合作来改进工作程序。 一些公司也表示很多被科技取代的工人可以重新参加培训来继续保留他们的工作。

U.S.-based online seller Amazon is one company that has already added robot assistance to some of its warehouse operations. Now, a new report from Reuters news agency describes one Amazon process that could replace many humans.

总部位于美国的网络电子商务公司亚马逊就是一个已经将机器人配备到它的仓库来协助一些操作流程。现在来自通讯社路透社的一篇报道描述了一个机器可以取代人类的亚马逊操作流程。

Amazon has added new machines in warehouses that can fully load boxes in preparation for shipping, Reuters reported. The news agency says it got the information from two people who worked on the automation project for Amazon. 

亚马逊在仓库里配备了能够自动包装等待被运输的纸箱的新机器,路透社报道。通讯社称它从亚马逊全自动项目工作的两名人员得知消息。

Goods marked with identifying information enter the machine on a moving belt. The machine has a computer system that recognizes each product and designs and creates a box to exactly fit its size and shape. The machine then places the products inside the box and marks the container for shipping.

打上辨认信息的商品在运送带上进入机器。该机器自带一个电脑系统,该电脑系统能够识别每个产品,接着设计制造一个符合产品大小和形状的盒子。然后机器将产品放进盒子并且在箱子上打上标签等待被运输。

An Italian technology company named CMC built the system called CartonWrap. Officials there did not comment for the story. But Reuters said people who worked on the Amazon project said the machines can process about 600 to 700 boxes an hour. This is about four to five times faster than humans could do the job.

该系统被称为CartonWrap,由意大利CMC公司制造。公司的高级职员未对此报道作任何评论。但是路透社告诉人们在亚马逊生产项目工作的员工说,机器能每小时处理大约600到700个箱子,是比人类打包速度快的4到5倍。

The machines require one person to load products, another to refill the box material and a third to be available to fix possible issues with the machine, Reuters reported. Unlike people, the machines can operate continuously without breaks. 

这样的机器需要一个人装载产品,另外一个人装满制作箱子的材料,还有一个人随时准备着解决机器可能出现的问题,路透社报道。不同于人类,机器可以无休止地持续工作。

The people involved in the project said Amazon has so far only used the machines at a small number of its 55 U.S. warehouses. Each warehouse employs about 2,000 people.

参与到此次生产项目的人员表示亚马逊到现在只是在一小部分数量的仓库中使用了这样的机器,而亚马逊在美国一共有55个仓库。每个仓库雇佣了大约2000名员工。

Amazon reportedly has considered putting the systems in many of its U.S. warehouses. If that happens, up to 24 jobs could be removed from each warehouse, Reuters reported. This could amount to more than 1,300 total cuts in jobs. The news agency reported it is unclear when the machines might be added to additional warehouses. Such major deployments of new technology at companies generally take a long time because they require many tests and approvals.

据报道亚马逊已经考虑在它的很多美国仓库里配备这样的系统。如果能够实现的话,24种工作岗位可能要从每个仓库里消失,路透社报道。这将可以减少共1300多个工作岗位。通讯社报道称其他的仓库还不能确定何时能配备这样的机器。 在公司如此大规模地部署新的科学技术通常需要很长一段时间,因为他们需要很多次试验和改进。

A spokeswoman for Amazon provided a statement to Reuters. “We are piloting this new technology with the goal of increasing safety, speeding up delivery times and adding efficiency across our network,” the spokeswoman said. “We expect the efficiency savings will be re-invested in new services for customers, where new jobs will continue to be created.”

亚马逊发言人向路透社作的一次陈述中称“我们试行这种新科技的宗旨是增加安全性,加速运输速度以及提高全网的工作效率,” 发言人说。“我们期望通过提高效率节省的开支能够被再投资到为消费者提供的新服务中去。新服务可以继续创造更多的工作岗位”。

Dave Clark, Amazon’s top vice president of worldwide operations, tweeted about the Reuters report. He noted that the system being tested is good because it “makes packages smaller with less overall cardboard waste.” And on the issue of technology replacing humans, he wrote: “For all this fear of lost jobs - the #1 issue for most of us is finding enough people to fill the jobs we have and the new ones we are creating.”

亚马逊全球经营副主席戴夫·克拉克推特了关于路透社的报道。 他表示被试行的系统表现良好。因为它“将包裹打包得更小,从而减少硬纸板的浪费”。 并且在科技代替人类这个问题上,他写道:“对于所有关于丢失工作的担心—我们大多数人需要做的最重要的一件事是找到足够的人填充我们现有的工作以及我们正在创造的新工作”。

Amazon has been growing its worker base for years and is one of the largest U.S. employers. After facing criticism for low wages and long working hours, the company announced an increase in starting pay for all U.S. employees to $15 an hour. Amazon has already moved to automate part of its warehouse operations. For example, Amazon uses robot machines to price goods and transport products to workers in warehouses.

多年来亚马逊一直在扩大它的员工基础,并且亚马逊为美国最大的雇主之一。遭到低报酬和工作时长过长等指责后,亚马逊宣布为美国员工增加起始工作报酬到每小时15美元。亚马逊已经向仓库部分操作自动化发展。例如,亚马逊使用机器人来给商品标价并将产品运输到仓库的工人手里。

Last month, a Reuters reporter visited a fulfillment center in Baltimore, Maryland. Amazon officials there told the reporter that widespread automation is unlikely to happen quickly. A major reason for this is that Amazon and other businesses have failed to find the right kind of robotic hand. It has been difficult for companies to develop a robotic hand that can handle many different kinds of products with the same care and effectiveness as humans.

去年,路透社记者参观了位于马里兰州巴尔的摩的实施中心。那里的亚马逊高级职员告诉记者,分布广泛的自动化并不会很快实现。一个首要原因是亚马逊和其他公司没有找到合适的机械手。 公司研发一种能够与人类一样高效安全地抓取很多种类产品的机械手并非易事。

I’m Bryan Lynn.

布赖恩·林恩为您报道。

Report: Amazon Boxing Machines Work Much Faster than Humans

There have been many reports in recent years that warn of future job losses as machines replace humans in many industries.

Many companies, however, have denied they plan to use robots to replace workers. They say that, instead, machines will work along with humans to improve work processes. Some businesses have also said that many workers replaced by technology can be retrained to keep their jobs. 

U.S.-based online seller Amazon is one company that has already added robot assistance to some of its warehouse operations. Now, a new report from Reuters news agency describes one Amazon process that could replace many humans.

Amazon has added new machines in warehouses that can fully load boxes in preparation for shipping, Reuters reported. The news agency says it got the information from two people who worked on the automation project for Amazon. 

Goods marked with identifying information enter the machine on a moving belt. The machine has a computer system that recognizes each product and designs and creates a box to exactly fit its size and shape. The machine then places the products inside the box and marks the container for shipping.

An Italian technology company named CMC built the system called CartonWrap. Officials there did not comment for the story. But Reuters said people who worked on the Amazon project said the machines can process about 600 to 700 boxes an hour. This is about four to five times faster than humans could do the job.

The machines require one person to load products, another to refill the box material and a third to be available to fix possible issues with the machine, Reuters reported. Unlike people, the machines can operate continuously without breaks. 

The people involved in the project said Amazon has so far only used the machines at a small number of its 55 U.S. warehouses. Each warehouse employs about 2,000 people.

Amazon reportedly has considered putting the systems in many of its U.S. warehouses. If that happens, up to 24 jobs could be removed from each warehouse, Reuters reported. This could amount to more than 1,300 total cuts in jobs. The news agency reported it is unclear when the machines might be added to additional warehouses. Such major deployments of new technology at companies generally take a long time because they require many tests and approvals.

A spokeswoman for Amazon provided a statement to Reuters. “We are piloting this new technology with the goal of increasing safety, speeding up delivery times and adding efficiency across our network,” the spokeswoman said. “We expect the efficiency savings will be re-invested in new services for customers, where new jobs will continue to be created.”

Dave Clark, Amazon’s top vice president of worldwide operations, tweeted about the Reuters report. He noted that the system being tested is good because it “makes packages smaller with less overall cardboard waste.” And on the issue of technology replacing humans, he wrote: “For all this fear of lost jobs - the #1 issue for most of us is finding enough people to fill the jobs we have and the new ones we are creating.”

Amazon has been growing its worker base for years and is one of the largest U.S. employers. After facing criticism for low wages and long working hours, the company announced an increase in starting pay for all U.S. employees to $15 an hour. Amazon has already moved to automate part of its warehouse operations. For example, Amazon uses robot machines to price goods and transport products to workers in warehouses.

Last month, a Reuters reporter visited a fulfillment center in Baltimore, Maryland. Amazon officials there told the reporter that widespread automation is unlikely to happen quickly. A major reason for this is that Amazon and other businesses have failed to find the right kind of robotic hand. It has been difficult for companies to develop a robotic hand that can handle many different kinds of products with the same care and effectiveness as humans.

I’m Bryan Lynn.

_____________________________________________________________

Words in This Story

warehouse — n.large building for storing goods to be sold

automation — n.the controlling of something using machines and not people

belt — n.part of a machine that moves objects

delivery —n.the taking of things from one place to another

efficiency — n.a good use of time and energy, without wasting time and money


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