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First Trainers Run Off Adidas ‘SpeedFactory’s’ Production Line in Germany

Updated: Feb 24, 2023

Adidas’s new highly automated and very flexible manufacturing plant called the SpeedFactory has begun to produce trainers. The machines carrying out this work are highly automated and use processes such as computerised knitting, robotic cutting and additive manufacturing, which involves building up shapes layer by layer. These new techniques reduce the time and number of trainers required to manufacture a design, which may allow Adidas to sell more sneakers at full price. Typically, retailers must begin the design process about a year before production, and make the sneakers in batches of about 50,000 to 100,000 pairs. However, the SpeedFactory enables Adidas to shorten its manufacturing time from months to perhaps as little as one day, and reduce its batches to as little as 500 pairs. This helps ensure that Adidas can accurately meet demand, limiting excess stock that would end up being marked down. Currently the factory is set to manufacture a series of city specific running shoes designed for running in cities such as London, Paris and Los Angeles. Adidas is utilizing data from local customers to see how they use their shoes. For example, it rains more frequently in London, and customers often use their sneakers to run to or from work, so Adidas created shoes that are reflective and more waterproof than its typical designs.

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