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Adidas to Stop Production at US, Germany Speedfactories

By April 2020, Adidas will discontinue production at its two Speedfactory facilities in Atlanta, Ga. and Ansbach, Germany in favor of a new Asia-based supply chain the brand said will allow it to expand and improve its Speedfactory product lineup.

Adidas will begin to produce athletic footwear in Asia using Speedfactory technology by the end of the year as production winds down in the U.S. and Germany between now and April, tapping two Asia-based supply partners for the project. The decision, according to Adidas, will allow the company to better utilize its existing production capacity and give it more flexibility when it comes to product design.

“In the future, Adidas will concentrate its resources and capacities even more on modernizing its other suppliers and using 4D technology in footwear production,” Adidas said in a statement Monday.

The new focus is expected to provide for more varied Speedfactory footwear models in the future, with production expanding beyond footwear.

“Going forward, not only running shoes, but also models of other product categories will be able to be produced in a short period of time by using the production processes tested in the Speedfactories,” the company noted.

Adidas will still continue to develop and test manufacturing processes in Germany, with process innovations driven forward at its adiLab production site in Scheinfeld.

“The Speedfactories have been instrumental in furthering our manufacturing innovation and capabilities. Through shortened development and production lead times, we’ve provided select customers with hyper-relevant product for moments that matter,” said Martin Shankland, a member of the executive board of Adidas AG responsible for global operations. “This was our goal from the start. We are now able to couple these learnings with other advancements made with our suppliers, leveraging the totality of these technologies to be more flexible and economic while simultaneously expanding the range of products available.”

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Oechsler, the firm that currently operates the two existing Speedfactories, will continue to work with Adidas in other manufacturing pursuits—specifically the production of soles used for Adidas’ Boost midsole technology and for its 4D printing and football-related products.

“The knowledge we gained from setting up and operating the Speedfactories was made possible through constructive cooperation with Oechsler and the team there,” Shankland said. “With this, we have pioneered new manufacturing processes, including significant reduction in production time of athletic footwear.”

Just months after announcing the Speedfactory concept in 2016, Adidas unveiled its 4D Futurecraft technology, a production method that uses light and oxygen to manufacture footwear at a pace and intricacy it claims cannot be matched by 3D printers.