Manufacturing innovation and 3D printing central to Nike's growth, says CEO
Mike Parker, the President and CEO of popular footwear brand Nike has revealed much of its success is down to manufacturing innovation. “At the heart of our ability to achieve long-term growth is our unrivalled ability to innovate,” he said last week.
He said that the company’s innovations were driven by input from consumers and top athletes as well as new technological, design and material developments. Nike is committed to constantly pushing boundaries in terms of materials used, concepts tried and designs tested and this has kept it at the cutting-edge of sportswear development for many years.
These innovations include its Flyknit technology and Nike Pro and Nike Dri-Fit brands. In terms of Nike’s innovation pipeline, Parker said we can expect “new products that are better for athletes, consumers and the planet.”
Parker added that Nike’s ‘manufacturing innovation’ initiatives – aimed at redefining how its products are made and what they are made from – is a key focus for the business. “It’s not only a place where we can see some margin opportunity by scaling some of these innovations. They are truly, in a sense, game changing,” he said.
“We’re talking beyond Flyknit. We’re on the verge of moving some other manufacturing revolution innovations to a much larger scale. So there’s opportunity there,” he continued.
Manufacturing innovations and improvements are allowing the company to improve product performance while saving time and money. “We’ve got a steady flow of innovations beyond Flyknit to speed up our manufacturing, to make the whole process of manufacturing more efficient, more sustainable, and offset some of those higher input costs. Specifically 3D printing, that has tremendous opportunity for us,” said Parker.
Parker is determined to continue focusing on innovation to place Nike at the “forefront” of 3D printing potential.
Lion Electric to Construct US EV Manufacturing Facility
Who is Lion Electric?
Founded in 2008, is an innovative manufacturer of all-electric, zero-emissions, medium and heavy-duty urban vehicles. Lion Electric designs, manufactures, and assembles all components for its vehicles that have unique features specifically adapted to the users and their needs. “We believe that transitioning to all-electric vehicles will lead to major improvements in our society, environment and overall quality of life,” believes Lion Electric.
Lion Electric’s new Illinois Manufacturing Facility
Just two months after announcing plans to construct a battery manufacturing plant and innovation centre in Quebec, Lion Electric is expanding its locations further, selecting Joliet, Illinois for its new manufacturing facility in the US.
The new facility is said to “represent the largest dedicated production site for zero-emission medium and heavy-duty vehicles in the US,” as well as being the company’s biggest footprint in the market. The new facility will give Lion Electric the capacity to meet increasing demand for ‘Made in America’ zero-emission vehicles and bring production closer to customers.
It is expected that the first vehicles off the production line will be in the second half of 2022.
“Lion’s historic investment to bring its largest production facility to Illinois represents not only a win for our communities, but a strong step forward in our work to expand clean energy alternatives and the jobs they bring to our communities,” said Gov. J.B. Pritzker.
“The new Joliet facility will put Illinois at the forefront of a national movement to transition to zero-emission vehicle use, advancing our own goals of putting one million of these cars on the road by 2030. In Illinois, we know that a clean energy economy is about more than just vehicles – it’s about healthier communities and jobs for those who live there. We are excited to welcome Lion to the Land of Lincoln and look forward to their future success here.”
Lion Electric’s Agreement with the Government of Illinois
Over the next three years, Lion Electric will invest a minimum of US$70mn into Illinois. The new facility - totalling 900,000 square feet - is expected to create a minimum of 745 clean energy direct jobs in the next three years, and have an annual production capacity of up to 20,000 all electric buses and trucks.
Scaling electric bus production and decarbonising freight and transportation
As the US moves to electrifying its school buses, the additional production capacity at the facility will help Lion Electric to scale its electric bus production, as well as produce an increased volume of heavy-duty zero-emission trucks to help governments and operators in the US further the decarbonisation of freight and transportation fleets.
“Lion is the leader in electric school buses and has always been dedicated to the U.S. market, and our commitment to be close to our customers is one of the core values we have as a company. This significant expansion into the U.S. market will not only allow us to drastically increase our overall manufacturing capacity of electric trucks and buses but to also better serve our customers, while adding critical clean manufacturing jobs that will form the backbone of the green economy,” said Marc Bedard, CEO and Founder of Lion.
“I also want to acknowledge the crucial role that P33 and Intersect Illinois, civic groups committed to developing developing a long-term roadmap for the local tech industry, played in connecting Lion with the Chicago area’s business and civic community to help further commercial traction, as well as engagement with key workforce and supplier partners.”