Adidas to Return Shoe Production to Germany using Robots

After moving sportsware production facilities from Germany to Asia more than 20 years ago, Adidas has announced it is building its first fully-automated production facility in Germany. The factory will deliver a test set of 500 pairs of shoes in late 2016, and large-scale production will begin in 2017.

The robot-manufactured line of shoes will have a similar cost to those sewn by hand in Asia, but they will be able to be produced more quickly and closer to consumer markets.

Herbert Hainer, chief executive of Adidas, unveiled the prototype “speed factory” in Ansbach, southern Germany. He said Adidas is planning to build a second automated factory in the United States in 2017.

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