In 2017, ADIDAS will start marketing its first series of robot-manufactured sportshoes in Germany.
It would seem that moving one's factory to one or the other developing country (where the many job-seeking citizens are ready to work inhumane work hours for literally pennies, so capitalists can sell overpriced goods to uncaring consumers), is to become a thing of the past once the robot revolution really gets into full swing. Pretty soon, robots will replace millions of jobs, making the manufacturing processes cheaper than ever.
With this in mind, Adidas is already making the first steps toward a robotic future of their shoe-manufacturing business. End of last year, Adidas announced a 6-month trial period of a new automated manufacturing process that was to be tested in Speedfactory - a facility situated in the Bavarian town of Ansbach. The testing period proved to be a successful one, so beginning next year, the new factory will begin large-scale production of Adidas running shoes, manufactured by robots.
Adidas, however, won't stop there. The group is expected to open a second Speedfactory in the U.S. next year and after that more factories with automated manufacturing processes are to be built in Western Europe. "With the Adidas 'Speedfactory', we are revolutionizing the industry," stated Chief Executive Herbert Hainer for Reuters. "Our consumers always want the latest and newest product – and they want it now."
According to Financial Times, the company estimates it will be producing 1m running shoes in developed markets within the next three to five years. Robot-led factories will have many benefits - they will be more efficient, one range of trainers would be able to be produced in a single location, thus reducing logistics and storage costs of the company. But, as the company representatives stated, it's not about replacing human workforce, it's about speeding up the production in order to deliver their products more quickly.