Adidas will launch a robot-powered factory in Germany
Adidas closed almost all of its German factory in...
As of 2017, Adidas will be producing footwear in a robot-powered German factory, named SPEEDFACTORY.
Adidas closed almost all of its German factory in the '90s, but the SPEEDFACTORY facility will begin large-scale production next year with a view to expand the concept into the US.
This news ushers in a new era for the company's products. The flexible model challenges the idea of centralised production, and allows the creation of products completely unique to the specific needs of the consumer through a combination of cobbling craft and cutting-edge technology.
Herbet Hainer, CEO of Adidas, said: “As a sports company we know that Speed wins. That’s why we defined Speed as one of the key choices of our strategic business plan ‘Creating the New’. With the adidas SPEEDFACTORY we are revolutionising the industry. It’s a constantly changing world out there and our consumers always want the latest and newest product – and they want it now. That’s what adidas SPEEDFACTORY delivers, starting right here in Germany, with best-in-class German technology.
“Every day our teams come together to bring speed to life, and with the adidas SPEEDFACTORY, we have a game changer in our hands. It enables us to combine speed in manufacturing with the flexibility to rethink conventional processes. Our goal is to give consumers what they want when they want it,” said Glenn Bennett, Executive Board Member of the Adidas Group responsible for Global Operations. “It’s a new era in footwear crafting – with greater precision, unique design opportunities and high-performance. Products of tomorrow are going to look different to what we have today.”
The pilot adidas SPEEDFACTORY in Ansbach was set up in December 2015 to provide a testing ground for this trailblazing model. The first pairs of high-performance footwear to come out of the Adidas SPEEDFACTORY will be revealed later this year.
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Ultium Cells LLC/Li-Cycle: Sustainable Battery Manufacturing
Ultium Cells LLC - a joint venture between General Motors and LG Energy Solutions - has announced its latest collaboration with Li-Cycle. Joining forces the two have set ambitions to expand recycling in North America, recycling up to 100% of the scrap materials in battery cell manufacturing
What is Ultium Cells LLC?
Announcing their partnership in December 2019, General Motors (GM) and LG Energy Solutions established Ultium Cells LLC with a mission to “ensure excellence of Battery Cell Manufacturing through implementation of best practices from each company to contribute [to the] expansion of a Zero Emission propulsion on a global scale.”
Who is Li-Cycle?
Founded in 2016, Li-Cycle leverages innovative solutions to address emerging and urgent challenges around the world.
As the use of Lithium-ion rechargeable batteries in automotive, industrial energy storage, and consumer electronic applications rises, Li-Cycle believes that “the world needs improved technology and supply chain innovations to better recycle these batteries, while also meeting the rapidly growing demand for critical and scarce battery-grade materials.”
Why are Ultium Cells LLC and Li-Cycle join forces?
By joining forces to expand the recycling of scrap materials in battery cell manufacturing in North America, the new recycling process will allow Ultium Cells LLC to recycle cobalt, nickel, lithium, graphite, copper, manganese and aluminum.
“95% of these materials can be used in the production of new batteries or for adjacent industries,” says GM, who explains that the new hydrometallurgical process emits 30% less greenhouse gases (GHGs) than traditional processes, minimising the environmental impact. Use of this process will begin later in the year (2021).
"Our combined efforts with Ultium Cells will be instrumental in redirecting battery manufacturing scrap from landfills and returning a substantial amount of valuable battery-grade materials back into the battery supply chain. This partnership is a critical step forward in advancing our proven lithium-ion resource recovery technology as a more sustainable alternative to mining, " said Ajay Kochhar, President, CEO and co-founder of Li-Cycle.
"GM's zero-waste initiative aims to divert more than 90% of its manufacturing waste from landfills and incineration globally by 2025. Now, we're going to work closely with Ultium Cells and Li-Cycle to help the industry get even better use out of the materials,” added Ken Morris, Vice President of Electric and Autonomous Vehicles, GM.
Since 2013, GM has recycled or reused 100% of the battery packs it has received from customers, with most current GM EVs repaired with refurbished packs.
"We strive to make more with less waste and energy expended. This is a crucial step in improving the sustainability of our components and manufacturing processes,” concluded Thomas Gallagher, Chief Operating Officer, Ultium Cells LLC.