The future of sports shoes is located in Aachen

Dr. Gloy © Cluster of Excellence Integrative Production Technology for High-Wage Countries

Since autumn 2013, the Institute for Textile Technology (ITA) at RWTH Aachen takes part in the research project “Speed Factory”. There, scientist Dr.-Ing. Yves Gloy researches together with sporting goods manufacturer ADIDAS and other partners on the question of how companies can produce innovations in the future. Dr. Gloy has worked in the field of “self-optimizing production systems” of the Cluster of Excellence “Integrative Production Technology for High-Wage Countries”  for more than five years.  


Talking with Dr. Gloy it is obvious: this man loves his job! Dr. Gloy, who was born in Bonn, had already a focus on textile machinery during his studies at the RWTH,  and remained true to the city. He wrote his doctoral thesis in the field of self-optimization of the weaving process at the Aachen Institute for Textile Technology (ITA) as part of a project of the Cluster of Excellence “Integrative Production Technology for High-Wage Countries”.

Gloy’s work in the Cluster of Excellence-research area “Self-optimizing production systems” went far beyond the fundamental researches. “The own demands to do excellent research are very high and conducive at the same time. The transfer of my results to the industry is an additional motivation. You can wish no better for your promotion”, Gloy underlines the advantages of a close cooperation between research and industrial reality within the Cluster of Excellence. By the fact that the Cluster-projects extend - future-looking - over long time periods and the research teams work on an interdisciplinary basis Gloy perceives the environments and exchanges as ideal conditions and a pleasant change to other project works. “We have a lot of opportunities beyond the institute’s boundaries and to work closely together.”

Dr. Gloy is currently working on the project “Speedfactory”, supported by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy.The team consists of the adidas Group, the automotive supplier Johnson Controls, KSL Keilmann, fortiss (an affiliated institute of the TU München) and the scientists of the ITA. The preparatory work by the Cluster of Excellence was pointing the way ahead for this project - because Gloy still takes the networking-idea up. And finally, one has a lot in common when it comes to sports. “The team of adidas is in top form! They all run a half-marathon after work”, recognizes the former German Student Champion in foil fencing.

What the Cluster of Excellence with its wide range of research fields focussed on the sustainability of the production capability in high-wage countries like Germany strives for, has already been in prospect by the sporting good manufacturer: To make a part of the production more flexible and to produce highly individualized shoes directly onsite. Finally the demand on customized sport shoes increases. The objective is to radically shorten the delivery time from weeks to days and to produce right where the customers are. In this way Gloy describes the current developments, which lead to the rethinking.

The main content is the research of the necessary communication between human being and textile machine as well as the finding of innovative materials and development of completely new Supply Chain Management aiming on the automatization of the complete production process.

Gloy’s motivation does not only set on fire, but is also a part of his success recipe. So it is not wondering that he lately became Adjunct Professor of the Clemson University in the US-State South Carolina. The university is situated directly in the Cotton Belt of the USA. The objective is to strengthen the relationship to the RWTH and to research on joint projects regularly. A student exchange has already been organized this year.


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