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Adidas Employs Speed Robots at New Factory

Apart from unveiling a rather futuristic-looking 3-D printed running shoe this week, Adidas is also revealing a glimpse of a new factory in Germany that may serve as a pilot for how all its shoes are produced someday.

Speedfactory, located in Ansbach, Germany, will use intelligent, robotic technology to create high-performance sporting goods faster than ever before. Five hundred pairs of the first concept running shoe developed in the pilot Speedfactory will be available in the first half of 2016, with high-volume production for consumers set to launch in the near future.

“Speedfactory combines the design and development of sporting goods with an automated, decentralized and flexible manufacturing process,” said Herbert Hainer, Adidas Group CEO. “This flexibility opens doors for us to be much closer to the market and to where our consumer is. 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.”

Adidas is currently setting up the pilot Speedfactory with Oechsler AG. In addition to better meeting the needs of consumers, the Speedfactory network will have a significant, positive impact on the environment by cutting down on shipping emissions, while drastically reducing the use of adhesives.

“The set-up of the first Speedfactory has kicked off in Ansbach, Germany, to propel a global network of automated production which brings cutting-edge technology to cities around the world,” stated Gerd Manz, Vice President Technology Innovation at Adidas. “These first 500 pairs will help us set the scene for large-scale commercial production so each consumer can locally get what they want, when they want it, faster than ever.”