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“you build the machines that build the machine.”

Discussion in 'Model 3' started by mickificki, Jun 1, 2016.

  1. mickificki

    mickificki Member

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    Anyone know what exactly elon meant when he said this?
     
  2. Chris

    Chris Member

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    He's referring to the technology required to build the actual cars (i.e. robots, manufacturing lines, etc). I found it interesting what level of optimization he envisions (by orders of magnitude) to make production more efficient.
     
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  3. nwdiver

    nwdiver Active Member

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    [​IMG]
     
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  4. Owner

    Owner Active Member

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    In my former life I worked in developing software for integrated circuit (IC) design. Elon used an analogy to factory production and IC design during the shareholders meeting. Moore's law is a big part of that.

    "The observation made in 1965 by Gordon Moore, co-founder of Intel, that the number of transistors per square inch on integrated circuits had doubled every year since the integrated circuit was invented. Moore predicted that this trend would continue for the foreseeable future."


    Think of all the transistors and information we can now squeeze onto a chip. The rules for how you can wire the gates together have gotten more and more complex as the geometries get smaller and smaller, and the number of layers has increased over the years. Now we are carrying around a computer in our pockets.

    Now if we apply that same thing to a factory floor...

    Tesla can reduce the amount of factory space needed to build a car line. Utilize the space above and below the car by perhaps lifting the car on a track. This is the analogy of more layers of silicon on a chip. You could potentially have robots and humans working above below and around a car at the same time. By doing multiple things at the same time, the throughput of the factory can be much faster. They can also design / build / specify the actual robots to improve efficiency.

    I've never worked on a factory floor, but those are my thoughts given Elon's analogy.
     
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  5. mickificki

    mickificki Member

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    Thank you for sharing that....totally mind-blowing!
     
  6. Owner

    Owner Active Member

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    No problem. I'm totally intrigued by what Elon is thinking he can do. There are a lot of auto manufacturers out there who have likely already optimized the car line as much as they think they can.
     
  7. Krugerrand

    Krugerrand Active Member

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    Or...they've had no incentive to do it differently. This is just the way it's been for x number of decades and it's always worked. Then there's the bottom line to consider. Changing what's been going on is going to cost time and money. Time and money they may not be able to afford. What if changing significantly reduces the number of workers - union workers. What kind of can of worms does that open up? And what if what they're planning on making on those new, more efficient production lines is a dying ICE car? Oops.
     
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  8. SW2Fiddler

    SW2Fiddler Bannd Member

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    A lot are still 'optimizing a line.'
    Some have improved the process in 2-D like on a chip. Elon is talking about thinking ahead in a big game of 4-D Chess.
     
  9. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    It certainly was fascinating to hear Elon musing about how vehicle manufacturing could be radically improved. I think Tesla's second vehicle factory will be quite different from anything currently in operation.

    He is always looking for the next challenge.
     
  10. JeffK

    JeffK Active Member

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    They have plenty of room to try new things in the factory they already have. I think Elon would find this preferable to trying new things at a remote factory where he has less hands on time and direct involvement.
     
  11. HookBill

    HookBill Member

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    Designing and doing something radically different? Oh, you mean like landing a booster rocket instead of dumping it in the ocean for the fish to admire?

    Oh the horrors.
     
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  12. plankeye

    plankeye That Vegan EV Guy

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    Let's just hope Elon doesn't turn the factory into another Model X. :eek: I don't think he has enough time to create his dream factory before M3 production begins, unless he has a REALLY good idea of how to do it already.
     
  13. GregRF

    GregRF Squirrel Power

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    Well he build rockets laying on their side. Maybe he'll build cars standing up. That should double the factory density right there.
     
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  14. mspohr

    mspohr Active Member

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    I think Elon has thrown down the gauntlet yet again to other auto manufacturers. Not only is he building a better car but he wants to build a better factory. We'll see if he can do it.
     
  15. ohmman

    ohmman Maximum Plaid Member

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    It's worth noting that while Moore's law held for a tremendously long time, it no longer holds. That's not pertinent to the ability of Tesla to improve manufacturing processes, but I just wanted to make sure people don't think we're able to continue the trend. At least not right now..
     
  16. JeffK

    JeffK Active Member

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    I personally think Moore's Law has relatively little to do with the comment. It was more about circuit design for efficiency and speed vs die sizes and increased performance. Moore's law is not about the design itself.

    Think: component placement on the manufacturing line and spacial locality to improve throughput.
     
  17. sg021

    sg021 Member

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    I have no auto industry experience, but a lot in industrial process control and safety. Using strategies and equipment that has proven itself in the past and has a large install base around the world does have value. You reduce risk and have better access to experienced 3rd party design and support. I don't know if there is equipment reuse when old lines close or are upgraded. If there is it would restrict what you could do in a new line.

    I think Elon will bring a lot of innovation, but also complexity, to the model 3 line. I have no idea what it will be. Maybe efficiency like packed robotics so any mutually exclusive zones can be worked on simultaneously? Maybe quality like validation of welds or other process steps integrated within the production line? Probably many things I've never thought of. The sky's the limit really. I can say with certainty I'd love to tour the line when it's done.
     
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  18. RichardL

    RichardL Member

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    Its worth noting that Tesla already build a lot of the machines on the assembly lines. When we toured the battery pack assembly level, there were several machines assembling the batteries in the modules, and then connecting the individual cells together (with large plate components across them). Many of these were Tesla made, and they said new tweaks were added on a weekly basis.

    It was noteworthy that the cooling tubes were threaded between cells by hand.

    So what they are discussing is a case of 'much more of the same' :)
     
  19. Drivin

    Drivin Member

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    It's worth noting that that is not true.

    The current road map runs through 2020.

    There was nothing magical about the law - it was a design goal that the industry pushed to meet - but by 2020 when we get to 2nm more fundamental issues come into play than manufacturing and design processes.

    The chips are down for Moore’s law
     
  20. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    Elon's musings yesterday about how vehicle manufacturing can be significantly improved were about future factories, in my opinion. The 3 assembly line is already under construction and he will certainly not attempt to implement new and u tried techniques in the 3 line, as the long term success of Tesla depends on the 3 being a success and 3 production ramping up rapidly. After all the problems ramping up X production, Elon is not going to risk have the same problems with the 3.
     

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