What We Can Learn From Tesla’s Manufacturing Process
Why is Tesla so popular, when it can’t even meet public demand? People have to order their cars and wait for years to get them. How on earth does this make sense? Tesla does so well because they have a technological vice grip on all-electric cars and recharging. Although Tesla can only make 500,000 cars a year right now, it’s manufacturing process is the best in the world. The aim of the company is just to scale up a working model and thus, they will make about 2,000,000 cars a year by 2022. We should all learn something from this incredible upswing that is especially occurring in the manufacturing process.
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Handling semi-raw material
Unlike many car manufacturers, Tesla will uncoil rolls of stainless steel by itself. It doesn’t have cut sheets ready to work with. Many car manufacturers will order cut sheets according to their own size. However, because Tesla has its own machines that can pick up, transport and cut the metal rolls itself, it speeds up the process. Tesla cuts panels of its cars every 6 seconds. That means an entire car may be cut every single minute. Handling of semi-raw material such as this involves a lot of investment. In fact, it requires a new approach. Tesla actually cuts it’s panels in a separate area that is linked to the warehouse. This way they just transport tons of panels to the main factory which is a short drive aways, rather than waiting for the stamp press to churn them out one by one.
Many car manufacturers will use a belt line to transport vehicles around the plant. However, Tesla uses a ‘smart cart’ vehicle which will transport the shell of their vehicle to the next stage. This means there is a lot more area to work in. Rather than a large heavy belt to transport vehicles that cuts the plant in two, Tesla’s factor remains open.
As you can guess, it also means the factory isn’t fitted down and thus, unable to be changed depending on the situation. An open plan like this is more versatile and fewer large machines need to be bought and installed.
Robots building robots
Tesla does make extensive use of robots throughout it’s manufacturing process. In fact, far more so than other car manufacturers. Tesla’s Elon Musk calls his manufacturing plants, ‘alien dreadnought’ plants. Modern agv manufacturers create incredible manufacturing solutions such as the tugger AVG which transports vehicles around the plant as mentioned. The tunneling tool AVG is also so useful to carry heavy rocks and debris away from the tunneling area. Considering that the exit paths from tunnels are very long, this type of AVG removes the backbreaking work of material extraction.
Tesla may not have hit 1 million cars yet but judging by Tesla’s Manufacturing Process, that 2 million targets by 2022 seems like it could be managed; just about. It’s the use of automation, open plan factories and handling of semi-raw material really make it the brand of the future.
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