Adidas To Close Robot 'Speedfactories' in Germany and US

Saturday, 23 November 2019
Adidas will its close high-tech “robot” Speedfactories in Germany and the United States, it has emerged some days ago. Some of the technology would be deployed in Asia where it would be “more economic and flexible”. Story and quotes via Reuters.

Called "Speedfactory", the Adidas factories were part of a drive to meet demand for faster delivery of new styles. It was originally planned as a global network of similar factories.

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Adidas did not give details for why it was closing the facilities - the factories will be discontinued by April 2020. Adidas will use the technologies they developed to produce shoes at two of its suppliers in Asia.

Martin Shankland, Adidas head of global operations, said the factories had helped the company improve its expertise in innovative manufacturing, but applying what it had learnt with its suppliers would be “more flexible and economic”.

Adidas started production of shoes largely by robots at its “Speedfactory” in Ansbach near its German headquarters in 2016 and opened another near Atlanta in 2017.

Adidas also said that they would continue to work with Oechsler, the German company which operates the two factories, in other areas, "including producing soles for its springy Boost shoes, as well as soles for soccer shoes and advanced 3D printed soles.

Adidas relies on more than 1 million workers in contract factories, particularly in China and Vietnam.

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