Amazon acquires warehouse machinery and robotics maker Cloostermans to build next-generation supply chain mechatronics
Amazon has acquired Cloostermans, a 138-year Belgian private company and maker of warehouse machinery and robotics, the retail giant announced Friday. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The announcement comes less than a month after Amazon acquired the maker of Roomba robot vacuum cleaner iRobot for $1.7 billion in an all-cash deal.
In a blog post, Amazon vice president of Global Robotics Ian Simpson said the company began working with Cloostermans in 2019, using its technology to move and stack heavy palettes and goods, as well as package products together for delivery.
The retail behemoth said it will leverage Cloostermans’s deep experience in engineering, machinery, and robotics, to “rapidly deploy solutions in our workplace that support employees in their roles and improve safety at work, and also help reduce packaging waste.”
“Amazon’s investments in robotics and technology are supporting how we build a better and safer workplace for our employees and deliver for our customers,” said Ian Simpson, vice president of Global Robotics at Amazon. “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.”
As part of the acquisition agreement, Amazon said that Cloostermans will become part of Amazon Robotics, Amazon’s division focused on automating aspects of its warehouse operations. The unit was formed after Amazon acquired warehouse robots maker Kiva Systems in 2018 for $775 million.
Simpson said the company is investing in robotics and other technology to make its warehouses safer for employees, adding that expanding the company’s design and manufacturing capabilities is just one of the many ways Amazon continues to invest in technologies within our operations.
“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,” Simpson said.
In addition, Amazon said Cloostermans’s team of approximately 200 employees will be joining Amazon Global Robotics’ growing presence in Europe. Last year, Amazon launched the European Innovation Lab in Italy, which focuses on new ergonomic technologies.
Founded in 1884, the Belgium-based Cloostermans started out as a repair shop for textile companies and went on to build industrial machines. Today, the company designs and manufactures mechatronics solutions, advanced technology that is used in Amazon operations to help move and stack heavy palettes.