Technology and apparel are playing together now more than ever and Nike is capitalizing on the melding of the two sectors in a new partnership with smart product manufacturer Flextronics.
With Flex, Nike will see added innovations in its manufacturing processes and supply chain and new, high-performance customized solutions for its athletic footwear. The sportswear brand has been working to better its manufacturing with investments in innovative technology for automation, modernization, sustainability and the kind of new manufacturing methods Nike channeled to develop its featherweight Flyknit technology.
“Flex’s proven expertise in design, engineering and manufacturing in industries like automotive, medical and consumer electronics make them a perfect partner to help us revolutionize footwear manufacturing,” Nike COO Eric Sprunk, said. “Together, the future of personalized, rapidly-delivered product that is made more efficiently and with less waste is well underway.”
Nike and Flextronics are working jointly at Flextronics’ innovation campus in California testing new manufacturing methods and what Flextronics calls “disruptive technologies.” Expertise from outside of the footwear sector brings Nike new capabilities and could “catalyze innovation” across its global supply chain.
At its investor meeting in Beaverton, Oregon this week, Nike also announced its Advanced Product Creation Center, a new facility at its Beaverton headquarters where engineers, material scientists and designers will work together with advanced manufacturing methods in the hopes of creating Nike’s next big thing.
“When you combine the new Advanced Product Creation Center at our world headquarters in Oregon, the product customization project in Memphis, and the innovation work at Flex’s Lab in California, we have a powerful opportunity to deliver new performance innovation to consumers through advanced, world-class manufacturing,” Sprunk said.