Late last year Adidas announced the creation of its new “Speedfactory. The purpose of this cutting edge facility is to manufacture products quickly and is operated mostly by robots. As head of technology innovation at Adidas, Gerd Manz said to reporters:
Our consumers become more challenging and demanding…Customization to markets and individuals will become the norm.
The same high tech facility will now also have a home in Atlanta, Georgia. This new location will be a massive 74,000 square feet, which makes it 1.5 times the size of a football field. Adidas plans to have the plant up and running by the end of 2017 and has a “mid-term aim” to fabricate approximately 500,000 pairs annually. The Atlanta location will not be fully automated, as it will be home to 160 human workers.
The company also had this to say in a release:
As the creator brand that challenges convention and looks to co-create the future with our consumers, we are obsessed with bringing all steps of the creation process home to America. We’re fueling design at the ground level of creativity in Brooklyn and reinventing manufacturing with the first adidas SPEEDFACTORY in Atlanta. This allows us to make product for the consumer, with the consumer, where the consumer lives in real time, unleashing unparalleled creativity and endless opportunities for customization in America.”
There are concerns that automations like the Atlanta and Germany outfits will have adverse affects on the over 1,000 mostly human factories currently making Adidas products. However last year Mr. Manz insisted that the Speedfactory is “separate business model” to compliment rather than extinct the human manufacturing element.