The global corporation adidas, headquartered in Herzogenaurach, Germany, plans to manufacture its athletic footwear digitally in the future. The goal is to make the manufacturing process faster, more customized, and more flexible. In the future, consumers will configure their own personalized athletic shoes right in the store or on their laptop, place the order, and receive their shoes a short time later. In the first phase, the amount of time required from designing a shoe to selling it in the store is expected to be reduced from several months to only weeks using the so-called SPEEDFACTORY– and it should take just a few days or even hours in the future. By comparison, the development and manufacture of athletic shoes by designers in Germany and factories in Asia currently take about 18 months, including transportation.
“Our goal is to establish a global network of automated factories that brings the latest cutting-edge technology to cities around the globe,” says Gerd Manz, explaining the company’s vision. Manz is Vice President of Technology Innovation at adidas. Together with his team, he has already launched many top products under the adidas brand – innovative, performance-enhancing athletic shoes as well as a number of soccer balls for World Cup championships and the Champions League. He’s convinced of one thing: “SPEEDFACTORY helps facilitate commercial mass production, so that every consumer can get whatever they want, whenever they want it, right on site – faster than ever before.”