Bloomberg got a first-hand tour of the Tesla Model 3 production facility in Fremont.
Bloomberg's Tom Randall (one of the creators of the publication's Model 3 tracker) recently enjoyed a pretty amazing experience. He had the chance to check out the robots that build the Tesla Model 3, while they were resting during the recent shutdown and when they fired back to life as manufacturing resumed. Randall shared:
If Elon Musk can make this dance of robots and people work, it will change how cars are made.
Tom explained that during the recent shutdown, Tesla workers added the new production line, fixed ventilation issues after paint shop fire, and serviced several machines. He was clear that there are still additional issues to resolve, but progress is continual.
As most of you are aware, Tesla has experienced a myriad of setbacks related to Model 3 production. There's not a single problem to blame, but rather a combination of issues. Musk holds himself accountable for the excessive automation in the factory and the slowdowns it has caused, but assures that once everything is working as it's supposed to, Tesla will set a new bar for production speed, precision, and scalability in the industry.
Let's have a quick look at a few facets of the facility as shared by Tom Randall:
- Stamping - Tesla uses an advanced Schuler servo stamping press, which is one of only 35 on the planet and the first in the U.S.
- Assembly - While most top-notch car factories rely on people for many aspects, the Model 3 line is about 95 percent automated.
- Seat Factory - Most automakers outsource seats (since it's a tedious, highly-skilled process). However, Tesla built its own seat factory with the capacity to exceed its 2018 production goals.
- Quality Control - According to Tesla, 47 robots are situated in Model 3 body-line scanning stations to measure and record 1,900 points down to 0.15 millimeters. These calculations follow each car's VIN for better diagnosis of potential issues down the road.