Tesla is one of the most famous car factories in the world. How can Tesla Cars be built so quickly? At Tesla’s manufacturing plant in Fremont, California – rolled-up aluminum transforms into fully assembled cars in just 48 hours.
How Tesla build their cars?
The vehicles begin to take shape in the stamping center where the metal sheets are unrolled and cut so they can be turned into doors, hoods, trunks, and other parts. The machine that presses them into various forms operates with extreme precision. Look at how the robot arm narrowly escapes being crushed. The parts are then placed on a conveyor belt in the video provided by CleanTechnica.
Workers inspect every component – in this case, side panels – before sending them off for storage inside a massive warehouse. The next stop is the body shop – where robots weld them together to form the car’s skeleton. 5,000 welds are required for the Model 3, Tesla’s first affordable vehicle. The body line is far more automated than those being used to make the Model S or the Model X.
Unlike those two vehicles, the Model 3 is meant to be manufactured on a mass scale as it attracts a broader clientele. Tesla’s methods of production can change on the fly. A few years ago, when the company struggled to build cars quickly, it determined that some 300 welds were not necessary and reprogrammed the robots to eliminate them to save time.
How many cars will Tesla produce by the year 2030?
Time is precious when you plan to produce 20 million cars a year by 2030. After the welding is complete, the cars head off to get painted. The electric car company uploaded this video – a humorous video – of a paint applicator that resembles a cow’s udder.
Next comes the main attraction: the general assembly. All of the major components of the vehicle including the battery pack are joined together – known as a “marriage”. Marriage is the hardest part. As the saying goes: If you’re going through hell, keep going. Elon Musk described the entire assembly process as “production hell” a few years ago when Tesla struggled to build its cars fast enough. It even set up an additional assembly line under a big white tent in the factory’s parking lot to push out more Model 3s.
“Big” doesn’t properly describe the size of the tent. It was larger than two football fields. Tesla blamed the delays on bottlenecks in the Gigafactory in Nevada where it makes its batteries.
Interview Talk with Elon Musk
But in an interview with CBS’s Gayle King, Musk explained there were also issues here at Fremont.
Elon, part of the thing I heard about the Model 3 is that there are too many robots.
That maybe…yah, yah, I agree. You think so, too?
Yah. That maybe you need more people in here working. We do. In some cases, the robots actually slowed the production.
Yes, they did. We had this crazy, complex network of conveyor belts and it was not working, so we got rid of that whole thing. Musk spent a lot of time in the factory, including sleeping there overnight to try to solve the problems.
Tesla managed to pull through that difficult period by striking a better balance between the number of robots it uses and the number of human hands that help.
A good example of that balance is a few blocks from the main factory where Tesla makes seats. Fine fingers are essential in the production of car seats. Pulling the synthetic material over the foam of a chair, making it fit properly, stretching it out, getting rid of the wrinkles. Most automakers outsource seat-making and Tesla used to do the same. But when a contractor had trouble building seats for the Model X, Tesla decided to move that entire operation in-house.
What is so special about Tesla cars?
Machines do have a big role to play as well, especially when the seats are ready for final assembly. Even here Tesla is focused on saving time. This tube feed bolts to the robots so they don’t have to physically pick them up. An airgun shoots them through the vacuum tube as illustrated by CleanTechnica and shaves off about a second or so. Every second count.
Once the seats are ready, they’re fitted into the car. And after the Teslas receive their wheels and tires, they roll off the assembly line. Designing one of the most advanced and efficient automotive factories in the world is insanely difficult. And now – Tesla is replicating it in its factories in Berlin and Shanghai. Inevitably helping to bring an end to fossil fuel vehicles.
Consumer demand for Tesla’s cars is spurred by modern design, innovative technology, and high performance that makes the cars a “green energy” favorite. In addition to high demand, the other reason for Tesla cars‘ high price is the high cost of the electric battery packs that supply the vehicles with power.
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