Growing up, I was inspired by my grandfather who was an electrical engineer. He worked on several large projects, including the Newport Transporter Bridge in South Wales, one of only six operational transporter bridges left worldwide. I love working with my hands and solving problems, so it seemed natural to follow in his footsteps and become an engineer as well.

Peter Keay, an Area Manager at a fulfilment centre in Bristol, shares some advice for entry-level employees at Amazon.

Over the last ten years, I have been honing my skills as an engineer and have worked in some of the biggest production sites in the UK, but I wanted to challenge myself by working for a company at the forefront of technological advancements - and for me, that’s Amazon.

An engineer at a fulfilment centre holding a walkie talkie
Geraint Davies on the floor at the Bristol fulfilment centre

Amazon is constantly evolving the technology they use in fulfilment centres, particularly with the use of robots, which truly drew me to the role. So far, this job has been incredibly fulfilling and has provided me with countless opportunities to work on cutting-edge technology.

Helping the flow of work in the fulfilment centres

Our fulfilment centre in Bristol, one of the largest in the UK, is home to thousands of robots who work alongside employees to pick, pack and ship millions of customer orders annually.

Robots moving around the floor holding pods of products
Robots moving around the floor at the Bristol fulfilment centre
Amazon robots work alongside our employees in fulfilment centres across the UK. Here are four things that make them so interesting.

It’s hard to convey just how efficient the robots have made the process of fulfilling customer orders. They travel around the fulfilment centre to retrieve shelves of products and deliver them to employees at their workstations saving time walking around the site. The robots are also capable of lifting pods of products that weigh as much as a grand piano, which can be up to 1250 pounds. This means that employees don’t have to lift heavy items and the fulfilment centres can hold more inventory, increasing the number of packages that can be shipped out each day.

A fulfilment centre employee at their workstation
An employee picking products from pods at the Bristol fulfilment centre

A fun fact about the robots in our fulfilment centres – they have an in-built programme that enables them to move underneath pods to protect themselves from water when the fire alarm goes off – just in case.

My role as an engineer at the Bristol fulfilment centre

As a reliability maintenance engineer, I always put health and safety best practices first. I’m responsible for conducting daily preventive maintenance and addressing machinery, conveyor systems, and robot breakdowns. As an advanced AR technician, I also handle programming and keeping the robots updated with the latest firmware files.

An engineer wearing a vest that lights up
Geraint Davies wearing a safety AR vest

I work with a great team. We maintain constant communication among ourselves and with the operations team to ensure prompt, safe and secure responses to any raised issues. Staying well-informed about the latest projects, concerns, and floor updates helps us minimise downtime on drives and stations. My team have extensive experience in mechanical and electrical work, but we also continuously learn about new systems and robots to ensure that our training and knowledge are up to date.

Discover more about engineering roles at Amazon fulfilment centres.