Apr 26, 2017 | By Benedict

Sportswear giant Adidas is collaborating with manufacturing and technology company Siemens to improve the Adidas SPEEDFACTORY, a new production system that makes use of 3D printing and other modern technologies to produce high-quality sporting goods.

3D printed section of Adidas' new Futurecraft 4D shoe

In its mission to achieve “fast, transparent, and individualized production” using additive manufacturing and other cutting-edge production techniques, German sportswear icon Adidas has just recruited an incredibly talented and high-profile partner.

Siemens, also from Germany, is the largest manufacturing and electronics company in Europe, and will lend its expertise to Adidas in order to drive forward the digitalization of the Adidas SPEEDFACTORY, the sportswear company’s new factory concept that could signal the start of mass-produced 3D printed footwear and other revolutionary products.

The announcement of Adidas and Siemens’ new partnership was made at Hannover Messe 2017, the world’s largest industrial fair, where Siemens has already showcased a new online platform for on-demand 3D printing, as well as the fruits of its partnership with 3D printing giant Stratasys in its Mobility division.

By bringing Siemens on board with the SPEEDFACTORY project, Adidas becomes the latest high-profile company to make use of Siemens’ technological acumen. The sportswear company says it will now be able to simulate, test, and optimize the entire production process up front, helping it shorten the time to market, bring greater flexibility to production, and “provide improved manufacturing quality and efficiency.”

"Everything we do is focused on our consumers,” commented Gerd Manz, Vice President of Technology Innovation at Adidas. “They demand the highest level of individuality and quality. With SPEEDFACTORY we can completely rethink conventional processes and live up to these high expectations.

Adidas SPEEDFACTORIES will utilize 3D printing, robotic knitting, and other new tech

“By digitalizing the value chain, we will be able to implement new technological innovations more quickly, make more efficient and transparent use of the resources available and so respond more flexibly to the individual needs of our consumers.”

Adidas’ new SPEEDFACTORIES will initially open in Germany and the US, where the company will use digital manufacturing techniques like 3D printing, computerized knitting, and robotic cutting to create high-quality modern products.

One product that could be made in these SPEEDFACTORIES is Adidas’ new Futurecraft 4D 3D printed shoe, which Adidas says will be mass-produced in quantities of more than 100,000 pairs before 2019.

“The SPEEDFACTORIES run by Adidas are a perfect illustration of where the production of the future is heading,” said Klaus Helmrich, Member of the Management Board of Siemens AG. “The social trend towards greater customization coupled with new technologies capable of actually fulfilling these expectations will permanently change many production processes.”

We’re excited to see how Adidas uses its SPEEDFACTORIES to take its three stripes into the third dimension. With Siemens on board as a partner, the project looks poised for success.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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