American robots lose jobs to Asian robots as Adidas shifts manufacturing two years after opening its ‘Speedfactories’

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US robots will lose jobs to Asian machines amid Adidas’ plans to shift its trainer manufacturing two years after opening its “superfactories”.

Adidas has announced it plans to shut down its high-tech robot factories in Germany and The States.

One of Addidas’ high-tech trainer-making robots which are being moved to Asia
Adidas
The firm launched the factories to increase the pace it produced its trainers
Adidas

The sportswear giant said on Monday it will shift it technology to Asia to allow the business to be “more economic and flexible.”

The state-of-the-art Adidas factories were part of a drive to meet demand for faster delivery of new styles to its major markets.

It originally planned a global network of similar factories.

The German firm has remained tight-lipped on why it was closing the facilities, which have proved expensive and where the technology has been difficult to extend to different products.

SUPER FACTORIES

Adidas’ head of global operations Martin Shankland said the factories had helped the company improve its expertise in innovative manufacturing, but it aimed to apply what it had learned with its suppliers.

Adidas started production of shoes largely by robots at its “Speedfactory” in the southern town of Ansbach near its Bavarian headquarters in 2016 and opened another near Atlanta in 2017.

The firm was Founded by German cobbler Adi Dassler in 1949 but has now shifted most of its production from Europe to Asia.

The firm relies on more than one million workers in contract factories mainly in China and Vietnam.

However, Adidas said Monday that production at the two factories would be discontinued by April 2020 at the latest as it focuses instead on using technologies.


The suppliers would use the techniques to make a broader range of products with a short production time.

Adidas will keep testing manufacturing processes at its so-called adiLab site in Scheinfeld, Germany.

It said it would continue to work with Oechsler, the German company that operates the two factories, in other manufacturing areas, such as producing soles for its springy boost shoes, as well as soles for soccer shoes and advanced 3D-printed soles.


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