Under Armour has opened a facility in its hometown of Baltimore devoted to manufacturing and design innovation.
The 35,000-square-foot facility, called the UA Lighthouse, is located in Baltimore’s City Garage, a location that also houses The Foundery, which provides community access to industrial-grade tools and training, and Main Street, an incubator for early-stage companies with market-ready ideas and products.
“As Under Armour celebrates 20 years in business, we are more committed than ever to staying ahead of the curve and creating cutting-edge product for athletes around the globe,” said Kevin Plank, chief executive officer and cofounder of Under Armour. “By coupling incredible machinery, technologies and material sourcing under one roof, UA Lighthouse will offer immediacy in manufacturing and will allow us to be more responsive to the needs of athletes in local community. This venture will allow Under Armour to make product better, faster and more efficiently while working hand-in-hand with our manufacturing and factory partners across the world.”
The processes and technology developed in the UA Lighthouse will be shared with the company’s factories and facilities around the world to improve speed-to-market and responsiveness for apparel and footwear.
Among the technologies that will be used are 3-D design and body scanning, which will allow for the design of custom footwear and apparel; 3-D printing and rapid prototyping, where ideas are turned into tangible products; apparel and footwear prototyping, where designers and developers test and refine products and processes, and the creation of apparel and footwear pilot lines.
Under Armour has partnered with Dow Chemical Co., Huntsman, Lectra, Bemis, Epson, Desma, 3dMD and the University of Maryland’s Engineering Department on the facility.
“Under Armour’s approach to open innovation and collaboration can be seen through our strategic partnerships brought to life within UA Lighthouse,” said Kevin Haley, president of product and innovation for Under Armour. “In this center, we will establish new industry standards for design and manufacturing that will elevate our shared supply chain partners worldwide and lead the advancement of product across our company.”