Adidas have revealed plans to open their first ever automated shoe factory in Germany next year.
The advanced plant aims to bring consumers closer to the manufacturer in more affluent countries. It’s no pipe dream either with the German sportswear giant having already signed a contract to receive the necessary technology from a local engineering firm to design and custom manufacture shoe components autonomously.
Adidas has been working with the German government, academics and robotics firms on new technologies it hopes will trigger a significant a shift in the footwear industry as the move led by its arch rival Nike to produce in Asia decades ago.
On top of this, the company believes that the new autonomous factory will allow for faster delivery times whilst reducing freight costs. Given that Nike currently holds the crown as the world’s biggest sportswear firm, there’s also an urgent commercial drive to cut out the need for workers to construct shoes by hand.
Part of this manufacturing technology called ‘Speedfactory’ has already been revealed by Adidas in a recent teaser of their first 3D-printed sneaker which can be precisely tailored to a wearer’s foot.
Adidas’ first ‘Speedfactory’ will be opened in the southern German town of Ansbach near its main headquarters in 2016.