14 Jun Adidas Begins Slow Exit of Asian Manufacturing; Announces German and US Robot Factories
German footwear giant Adidas is once again making shoes at home. No, not by hand, but rather with the help of some speedy new robots.
The new 4,600 square meter Speedfactory, located in Ansbach, Germany, uses intelligent robots to create shoes at faster speeds, and allows for greater creative flexibility in the manufacturing process. The factory, which was first piloted late last year, is set to begin large-scale production in 2017, with the first pairs of high-performance footwear to come off the robotic assembly line to be revealed later this year.
The Speedfactory marks the first time in 20 years Adidas is manufacturing shoes in its home country, having previously moved all of its production activities to Asia, where it currently employs about one million workers. Most of this work is done by hand, but the German company is facing rising production costs, and must greatly increase the number of shoes it produces to reach its growth targets by 2020.