Adidas opened a factory in Germany and one in the U.S. over the past two years, both of them very modern and automated. They’ve just confirmed that they will be ending production at those facilities and moving the machinery to Asia. The New York Post announced, “American robots lose jobs to Asian robots as Adidas shifts manufacturing.”
Increasingly, that’s the news for manufacturing. Reshoring didn’t live up to the high expectations people had for it a few years ago, but automation has already reduced the number of unskilled workers in manufacturing. In fact, it’s estimated that 80% of jobs lost in manufacturing went to automation. Just 20% of jobs lost during offshoring went to human workers in other countries.
Recently, wages have risen in China and automation improvement in the U.S. has made offshoring less appealing. But the cost of running a factory in the U.S., according to Adidas, is still higher than the cost of running a factory in Asia.
Combining automation with offshoring may help manufacturers keep costs down. As long as U.S. consumers are price conscious, low cost is the highest priority in manufacturing.
One way to keep costs down — keep your machinery in top shape. We can help you keep your Rexroth electric industrial motion control in great form… even legacy machines. Call us first when you need Rexroth drive and control service. We’re specialists, and we can probably help you avoid replacing your machinery with new models.