Rapid robots staff new Adidas factory
Adidas has announced that it is ready to begin commercial production of footwear at a robot-staffed factory in Germany. The so-called "Speedfactory" in Ansbach will apparently allow the firm to produce more shoes, with greater precision and with new designs.
The 4,600-sq m (49,500 sq ft) Ansbach facility was set up as a pilot in December last year, allowing Adidas to test both the new manufacturing process and a new production model. The automation, it says, allows production to be brought "to where the consumer is," presumably due the the virtual elimination of staffing costs.
Once up and running, the facility will be operated by Adidas' strategic partner Oechsler Motion. In addition to being able to produce goods "faster than ever before," the factory will help to reduce shipping emissions and the use of adhesives, the firm says.
The first pairs of footwear to be produced at the Speedfactory will be revealed later this year, with large-scale production due to begin in 2017. A second Speedfactory is being planned for the US.