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3 Months from Production?

Discussion in 'Model 3' started by sandpiper, Apr 26, 2017.

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  1. sandpiper

    sandpiper Active Member

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    Tesla receives massive shipment of robots for Model 3 production line – first pictures

    It's less than 3 months from the start of production and they're just now receiving a bunch of the equipment? Wow. I don't mean to be negative, but the probability that they're running any actual production in 3 months is pretty much zero. That place has to be a complete madhouse right about now.

    At best they'll be getting a small number of mostly hand-built cars out, using "production" tooling.
     
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  2. peigenmann

    peigenmann Member

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    Not necessarily. Assuming they had one production line up and running for the Releasecandidates it's possible to then "copy and paste" said production line for the actual production. And remember, they said to begin production in July and continuously ramp up. All robots etc. might only be in use at full capacity in another 9 months or so...

    But you're right, it probably is a complete madhouse right about now.
     
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  3. sandpiper

    sandpiper Active Member

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    It depends on what they're intending to call a "production vehicle" I suppose. It will take quite a bit of time to clean up the manufacturing processes - stamping, welding, finishing, assembly. I assume that the "release candidates" were mostly hand built using parts that came off of development tooling at the vendor's facilities. Other recent news about them "building the stamping line now" seems to confirm that.

    I expect that the initial cars are going to include a lot of parts that are coming from vendor development tools, and will mostly still be hand assembled. That doesn't really qualify as "production" in my books, but I suppose that's why they're not releasing those cars to the public.
     
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  4. JeffK

    JeffK Well-Known Member

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    No way... maybe back in Spring 2016 but vendors need to be production ready in a few months and if they aren't then Tesla will cancel their contract and find a new vendor. These are supposed to be Tier 1 suppliers.

    I'm assuming they've been hands-on what the vendors and status updates for over a year now.
     
  5. JeffK

    JeffK Well-Known Member

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    It's normal to ship entire production lines. They've typically already been tested and validated. It's a matter of setting them up to spec, retesting, and validating. They are not starting from scratch so no worries.
     
  6. Waiting4M3

    Waiting4M3 Active Member

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    This lead time seems pretty reasonable to me. The guy who posted the photo said they had planned 7 weeks installation schedule, done by the end of June, which sounds right on target with a week of margin. If you have all the robots installed in April/May and not producing, then they've spent the CapEx too early. If you have any info on if the 7 week installation schedule is unrealistic, I would like to hear it.
     
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  7. Garlan Garner

    Garlan Garner Well-Known Member

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    I'm in agreement with you. I wonder what they have been doing for the past 12 months.

    The PC model 3 as posted in this forum is EXTREMELY simple.
     
  8. Wolverinegeoff

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    From what I remember, aren't the parts not being delivered until July 1 anyways, and at pretty low volume? I can't find the reference, but I remember seeing that they ordered relatively few parts from their suppliers in July, a few more in August, then it appeared to be the parts increased significantly around October/November time period. That gives them over 8 weeks to set things up before they start running actual parts from suppliers through, and even then they appear to think it will go pretty slowly while they work out the kinks.
     
  9. sandpiper

    sandpiper Active Member

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    There's a lot of equipment going into that plant. You don't need too many things to get screwed up to stop the new line from producing much of anything for another 2-3 months past July. And with that amount of equipment going in there will, most assuredly, be a bunch of screwups. I've witnessed the startup of a many, much simpler lines, and there are always unexpected problems.
     
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  10. BestRadar

    BestRadar Member

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    "You can’t have people in the production line itself, otherwise you drop to people speed. So there will be no people in production process itself."

    No wonder they are limiting options to make it easier for a robot to build your vehicle. :(
     
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  11. sandpiper

    sandpiper Active Member

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    What they've been doing?! I'm not sure if you're kidding, but in case you're not, they've been madly designing/building/sourcing/testing/validating all of the manufacturing processes / parts suppliers / equipment & automation systems suppliers. And in the meantime they've been discovering all sorts of minor (maybe some major) design problems that have led to mid-stream changes in all of the above.
     
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  12. Waiting4M3

    Waiting4M3 Active Member

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    Can you provide some examples of issues that can cause 2-3 months delay?

    From what I've seen, often issues such as incorrect fittings, electrical connections, facilities, those can be corrected in days by electricians and facility people. Broken parts should be easily replaced, especially if they're installing 100s of these, there should be spare parts. no In production they won't have One-of-a-kind tool besides the big stuff like the die press, but we already know the press is installed and working. So these robots are all redundant tools, so even if a few of the 100s of tools run into any extended problems, the rest of them will still keep the line running. You only take a slight hit in the initial throughput until you get all of them up and running.

    Other stuff can be missing certification delaying permits, but if these are the same robots that are used for MS/MX, the certification should already be in place. They just need a final walk-thru and check-off by the city of Fremont/Fire martial to make sure things like seismic bracing are done, emergency machine off (EMO) are installed and working. None of these things can cause months of delay.

    Another big unknown is the programming you will need to run the tools, you don't know until you've tried it and got a working product, and tuning it could be time-consuming and unpredictable. My guess is that Tesla has used these robots (likely borrowed a few from MS/MX line during the Feb shutdown), to test the programming for M3 and made sure it worked.
     
  13. sandpiper

    sandpiper Active Member

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    #13 sandpiper, Apr 26, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2017
    The robots are the easy bit. The bad problems are inevitably in the process, which you talk about in your last paragraph, that crop up as you start to attempt to run production, and then again as you start to increase volume.

    You can have parts that crack, distort, or don't meet repeatability requirements when being formed or welded. You can have heat treating issues. You can have machined parts that don't hold tolerance. You can have visual quality issues. Yada yada.... And any of these issues may require revisions to the design of the part, tooling, manufacturing process or the supply chain.

    And of course you can have supplier issues - which do happen even when you're dealing with good suppliers. Sometimes the equipment supplier is just late, and it's too late in the process to change suppliers.

    I really really do hope Tesla executes this well. Maybe they've really got their poop together. I have zero doubt that they'll get production going; there's no rocket science there. But... they're surely not leaving any slack in the schedule.
     
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  14. dsvick

    dsvick Active Member

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    July 1st was the date by which suppliers had to be ready to deliver parts, however, Elon even said it would most likely be an "impossible date". From one of the quarterly report conference calls parts orders are for 1,000 a week in July, 2,000 a week in August, and 4,000 a week in September. Not really a low volume ...
     
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  15. Waiting4M3

    Waiting4M3 Active Member

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    So why the big worry about these robots being delivered/installed in late Apr for July production? My guess is that they've tested the robot programming in the Feb build, and the RC cars are out there being tested now. Sure suppliers could always be a problem, but specifically the robot suppliers seem to have come through. I'm just not understanding why the photos posted yesterday about these robots are suddenly cause for concern.
     
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  16. Trips

    Trips Member

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    I am sure that they realize that they need time to get everything working properly. Elon said that it will be 3 years before the factory is a FULL speed.

    If you haven't seen the NatGEO documentary about the production setup of the Model S it is interesting. At 9 minutes in they spend a couple minutes showing tiny changes that needed to be done to a welding bot that had a small job. Yes, this was 5 years ago but still shows on a much smaller scale some of the issues they could have.

     
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  17. JeffK

    JeffK Well-Known Member

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    Depends on your definition of "full speed"

    If you define "full speed" as their original 2020 production goal of 500,000 cars (S,3,X) per year then they are targeting 2018 not three years.

    Later they will increase capacity even further which is why "full speed" is subject to interpretation.
     
  18. cizUK

    cizUK Member

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    The "full speed" they're referring to is the production line moving at 1 metre/second
    As opposed to the Model S lines moving at 5 cm/sec

    EM said that this production line was version 0.5, and 1 m/s was for version 3.0
     
  19. JeffK

    JeffK Well-Known Member

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    He also said there'd be 1.0 after a year and a new version every two years so that puts versions 3.0 at 5 years out minimum and even that doesn't mean it's "full speed"... there's always room for improvement.

    So I still have to ask where did the 3 years come from and what was meant by "full speed"?
    They expect to be at planned capacity of 500,000 cars a year in 2018 (next year).
     
  20. gregincal

    gregincal Active Member

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    But that's what they've already been doing with the existing installed equipment. According to Tesla the RC cars we've been seeing were built almost entirely with production tooling.
     

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