Adidas to close German, US robot factories

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Berlin

Adidas plans to close high-tech “robot” factories in Germany and the United States it launched to bring production closer to customers, saying on Monday deploying some of the technology in Asia would be “more economic and flexible”.
The Adidas factories were part of a drive to meet demand for faster delivery of new styles to its major markets and to counter rising wages in Asia and higher shipping costs. It originally planned a global network of similar factories. The German sportswear company did not give details for why it was closing the facilities, which have proved expensive and difficult to extend the technology to different products.
Martin Shankland, Adidas head of global operations, said the factories had helped the company improve its expertise in innovative manufacturing, but applying what it had learnt with its suppliers would be “more flexible and economic”.
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.—Reuters