Adidas Automates to Make Shoes Faster

Issue 10-09-17   |   Reviewer:   Eric Cardella


Halfway between Munich and Frankfurt, Adidas AG recently opened a new automated shoe manufacturing factory, aptly names their “Speedfactory”. This facility, along with a twin facility scheduled to open this fall in Atlanta, is designed to produce shoes in a day, compared to what used to take months working through the supply chain. At the factory, Adidas is replacing traditional manufacturing steps of manual stitching and gluing with automated molding and bonding. Adidas is hoping that these new automated Speedfactories will help them get shoes from the designers to the customers much quicker and much cheaper.

As a result, Adidas is confident that the increased flexibility and prospect of lower prices will help retain customers in a product space that is full of cutthroat competition. Many believe that these innovative manufacturing processes represent the biggest revolution in shoe making. While automating more of the production process does displace some jobs in the short-run, Adidas thinks that their projected growth and increased production will be enough to keep jobs available at their suppliers.

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