Thursday, 11 November 2010

Going to Cambridge (1)

I had my first 'field trip' on Monday. Most of our class went to Cambridge to see the university press. It was a miserable day, rain and wind and freezing temperatures. We had great fun anyway. Thankfully we spend most of our time indoors.

The day started with a little introduction to CUP. Apparently it is the oldest and most respected press in the world (according to their promotion video). Then we split into two groups. My group headed over to the warehouse (through the rain) and had a tour. I've never been to a warehouse. They had a big storage area where they can have up to 6 million books! It's massive. The big numbers you see kept counting up to T if I remember correctly.

So that's where the books are stored. For delivery they are put into another part of the warehouse, I think it was called the front pick. That's basically another big area, but this time with shelves only as tall as a person stands. The pickers go through that with little wagons were they have up to 12 packages on and a computer tells them with route to take and which book to pick up and even in which package it goes! Very cool.

 Again, tons of books around. Wanted to steal them all!

 There is a blue light above each package. It will light up to show the picker where to pack a book.

 This is the machine that puts the bands around it. You really don't wanna get your fingers in there. That thing is a beast!

Ready to ship out!

I didn't get a good picture of the delivery of new stock to the warehouse. Every new book that comes in is weighted and measured and put onto a database. From that the computer decides where it would be best to store. I thought there would be fancy machines for that. But no, just a guy taking out every book, putting it on an old kitchen scale, and then measuring it with a little measuring tape. Pretty old fashioned.

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