Adidas announced on Monday that it’s closing its high-tech Speedfactory facilities in Atlanta, U.S., and Ansbach, Germany, and shifting some of the technology to existing factories in Asia.The robot-powered facility launched with much fanfare when the first one began producing sports shoes in Germany in 2016, followed by the Atlanta location a year later.But now Adidas says both sites will close down by April 2020.The Speedfactories were designed to quicken the production of Adidas’s sports shoes, while at the same time helping to speed up distribution and cut down on shipping emissions (and costs) by making the goods closer to customers in its major markets.Adidas declined to go into detail about the reasons for closing the Speedfactories, but it mentioned that shifting production to two of its suppliers in Asia (where it already makes most of its gear), and using what it’s learned from its Speedfactory experience, would enable its sports shoe business to be “more flexible and economic.”Ending production at the American and German sites also appears to bring the curtain down on Adidas’s earlier-stated plans to open a network of Speedfactories around the world.
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If you're a serious runner with a serious desire for the perfect shoe, this Adidas offering may be the perfect fit (though you'll have to live in one of five cities).The first major project undertaken by Adidas’s automated Speedfactory plant in Germany is underway, with the robot army pumping out the new AM4 shoe aimed at runners.Adidas said the factory, located in Ansbach in the south of the country, will help the firm “to explore, test and co-create with consumers, as well as constantly invent and reinvent design, and define the future of how the brand creates.”Speaking of co-creating with consumers, the robot-made AM4 will appear in several city-specific editions following interviews with local athletes about their running habits and styles, as well as the running conditions in the places where they live.We’ve asked Adidas to offer up some details about the design of the AM4(LDN) shoe and how the consultations with London runners influenced its design, and will update when we hear back.For now, though, let’s assume the interviewees got around to mentioning the U.K.’s rainy weather, which hopefully led to the inclusion of some waterproofing in the final design.
Facebook has found itself embroiled in a dispute with German state authorities following allegations that it did not cooperate with criminal investigations.The social network has released a statement denying claims made by the country s spy chief, and echoed by regional ministers, who are calling for a law to be passed regarding the handover of social media data.Facebook insists that it provided round-the-clock assistance to authorities in the wake of a series of violent attacks in Munich, Wuerzburg and Ansbach last month.The social network s transparency report calculates that it received a total of 16,000 information requests from Germany over the last three years.In 2015, Facebook produced data for 42% of requests from the country, in comparison to 54% in France and 82% in Britain, reports Reuters.German officials say this lack of compliance has to change, especially when inquires relate to terror suspects.
View photosMoreA Facebook logo is displayed on the side of a tour bus in New York's financial district July 28, 2015.REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo - RTX2JH2WBERLIN Reuters - Facebook rejected on Monday claims made by Germany's state authorities that it was reluctant to co-operate with them on criminal investigations, saying many of the requests it received for user data were incorrectly formulated.Several regional interior ministers have complained that the social media group is hesitant to respond to requests for data and have called on the Federal Justice Ministry to introduce new laws.But Facebook said it had provided "round the clock assistance" to the authorities in Bavaria following a spate of violent attacks in Munich, Wuerzburg and Ansbach last month.A spokeswoman for the Justice Ministry said it was examining whether there was a need to change the law or whether there was a problem with its implementation.
It's ditching the Chinese workhouse approach favoured by many of today's top brands, and bringing production back to Germany.The bad news is it's giving the job of gluing bits of rubber together in the fashion of the day to a bunch of robots.The sportswear giant has been showing journalists around its new Speedfactory in Ansbach, where manufacturing will begin again in the firm's home country for the first time in 20 years; with the shoes going on sale in 2017.If successful, a second factory is planned for the US, although it shouldn't end the human involvement in the process altogether, as company technology boss Gerd Manz said that "full automatisation" is not something he is reaching for.Surely a robot will never be able to do up laces with those stupid, inflexible fingers.The company's global ops boss Glenn Bennett said: "It s a new era in footwear crafting -- with greater precision, unique design opportunities and high-performance.
Adidas is bringing some of its manufacturing back to the homeland with an ultra-modern, 15,000 square-foot facility in Ansbach, Germany, reports the Guardian.Now, the company produces 301 million pairs of shoes each year, with a target of 331 million by 2020.But, as wages in Asia continued to increase, the sportswear and equipment company had to look elsewhere for cheap labor.The World Economic Forum projected that the Fourth Industrial Revolution will automate 5 million jobs by 2020.By bringing production back to its major markets, Adidas will save on shipping costs while cutting back on carbon emissions that result from shipping products halfway around the globe.The move may have been unfortunate for low-paid laborers, but helped the company increase it s profits by 16 percent, according to International Business Times.
View photosMoreAn Adidas logo is pictured at a shirt before the company annual general meeting in the northern Bavarian town of Fuerth near Nuremberg, Germany, May 12, 2016.REUTERS/Michaela RehleANSBACH, Germany Reuters - Adidas will launch mass production of running shoes at a German factory operated largely by robots next year and plans to open a similar plant in the United States next year, the company said on Tuesday.Founded by German cobbler Adi Dassler in 1949, Adidas had closed all but one of its 10 shoe factories in Germany by 1993 as it shifted most production from Europe to lower-wage Asia, particularly China and Vietnam.The company gave journalists a first look at its new "Speedfactory" in the southern German town of Ansbach on Tuesday, saying large-scale production will start in 2017 after producing the first 500 prototypes for sale later this year."With the Adidas 'Speedfactory', we are revolutionizing the industry," said Chief Executive Herbert Hainer.Hainer said Adidas hoped to open a similar plant in the United States next year and expects the two factories to produce at least a million pairs of shoes a year combined within the next couple of years.
It's ditching the Chinese workhouse approach favoured by many of today's top brands, and bringing production back to Germany.The bad news is it's giving the job of gluing bits of rubber together in the fashion of the day to a bunch of robots.The sportswear giant has been showing journalists around its new Speedfactory in Ansbach, where manufacturing will begin again in the firm's home country for the first time in 20 years; with the shoes going on sale in 2017.If successful, a second factory is planned for the US, although it shouldn't end the human involvement in the process altogether, as company technology boss Gerd Manz said that "full automatisation" is not something he is reaching for.Surely a robot will never be able to do up laces with those stupid, inflexible fingers.The company's global ops boss Glenn Bennett said: "It s a new era in footwear crafting -- with greater precision, unique design opportunities and high-performance.
Adidas said the robots would not replaces human workers in Asian factories immediately.Photograph: Christof Stache/AFP/Getty ImagesAdidas, the German maker of sportswear and equipment, has announced it will start marketing its first series of shoes manufactured by robots in Germany from 2017.More than 20 years after Adidas ceased production activities in Germany and moved them to Asia, chief executive Herbert Hainer unveiled to the press the group s new prototype Speedfactory in Ansbach, southern Germany.The 4,600-square-metre plant is still being built but Adidas opened it to the press, pledging to automate shoe production – which is currently done mostly by hand in Asia – and enable the shoes to be made more quickly and closer to its sales outlets.Large-scale production will begin in 2017 and Adidas was planning a second Speed Factory in the United States in the same year, said Hainer.Adidas produced 301m pairs of shoes in 2015 and needs to produce 30m more each year to reach its growth targets by 2020.
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