Has adi actually figured out how to fully assemble footwear with machinery alone? Or is this just posturing and PR? I know when they first talked about creating the Speedfactory, the major issue was how they would attach the sole of the shoe to the upper. Perhaps they did indeed figure out a way of doing that using machinery normally used in automotive construction. And if the did, then bravo adi, this is potentially huge. Hyper local, hyper manufacturing, allowing customers the ability to customize and receive their footwear in a matter of days (i’m assuming).
Looking ahead past just customization, with machinery doing the majority of the heavy work, adi forgoes a lot of the issues generally associated with local manufacturing. The main one being that they don’t have to worry about increased labour costs. I’m assuming that the initial outlay costs and upkeep of the machinery will pale in comparison to the cost of employing a full factory of local workers. There’s also no lengthy/costly shipping from Asia, they’ll have more control over product quality and working conditions and can be even more intimately involved in a lot of the development process. For those of you that think a lot of workers will lose their jobs if machines take over, I wouldn’t fret too much about that just yet. Shoe factories in general are actually a fairly small (but obviously very important) part of the process. There would still have to be many people involved in the making of each part of the shoes (mould factories, material suppliers, etc…), which would then be sent to these Speedfactories to be assembled.
There’s a lot of pluses if this really has been figured out properly. It’ll be interesting to see if they manufacture some of their Futurecraft projects in these Speedfactories as well.
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