This article, written by Adrien Danjou of Digital Sport, introduces a new chapter in the world of sporting goods production...
In something you’d more likely see in a sci-fi film, sports brand adidas is opening a new factory completely controlled by robotic technology this year.
Named Speedfactory, the completely automated factory aims to speed up production times while decreasing production and delivery costs, emissions and the use of adhesives. The launch of the first factory of its kind works in with the brands’ goal to make available unique design and custom products, in-store customisation and interactive digital technology.
Following up on their introduction of “Infinity Cycling”, the factory is set to produce the first concept shoes comprising of 500 pairs of running footwear which would be revealed in the first half of 2016, with large-scale commercial production set to launch in the near future.
Located in Herzogenaurach, 45 minutes away from the adidas Group HQ, it will feature revolutionary automated production concepts to offer high-performance quality to consumers and an unique design to the product.
CEO of adidas group Herbert Hainer said that Speedfactory’s flexibility will allow them to open new doors in production as well as improve their relationship with consumers.
“(The factory’s) automated, decentralised and flexible manufacturing process opens doors for us to be much closer to the market and to where our consumer is,” he said.
“Ultimately we are at the forefront of innovating our industry by expanding the boundaries for how, where and when we can manufacture our industry-leading products.”
One million workers currently work in production for the German brand with most of them based in Asia. However, in order to satisfy consumer needs in Europe as well as growing concern by consumers over how the products are made, adidas are relocating a significant portion of its production.
As part of their step-by-step plan, adidas is set to develop similar facilities in different strategic locations with a network between the different factories being one of the end goals. Then, the factories would be able to exchange information about components, production, trends, product availability etc.
Exciting, and scary times.
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