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Discussion in 'Model S: Ordering, Production, Delivery' started by mcornwell, Sep 5, 2012.
Elon Musk: Actually, building Tesla Model S will be rocket science
I work for a company that makes software to perform measurement and analysis with precision portable measurement devices. We also write software to calibrate robots so that laser scanners at the end of these robots can provide more accurate measurements. One place these scanners are used is in measuring gap and flush in body panels.
I know for a fact that these devices are used in other auto plants, such as Audi factories. I'm not sure specifically what Elon's referring to, but it sounds like he's talking about portable metrology devices which in fact are not extreme or even all that uncommon in auto plants.
We use these lasers when prototyping front end components
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Regarding rockets I'd guess they use the lasers not to calibrate robots, but to calibrate the rocket components themselves when assembling them. Would that make sense?
I've recently noticed an Audi SUV with a rather large gap around the hatch. Perhaps they aren't using lasers on that model, or not to minimize the gaps?
Yes, these devices are typically used for measuring production parts and assemblies themselves, and comparing as-built conditions to the perfect nominal design (I teach classes on this all the time).
I can't speak for specifically where or on which models Audi uses them. Most auto plants use a variation of these devices for measuring gap and flush (Google "Gap Gun"). I know for a fact that Audi uses laser scanners at the end of calibrated robots (the measurement process itself is automated by robots) because I've spoken with the engineers responsible for the design and have seen them give a presentation about it.
Give me a break. People are (impatiently) waiting for their cars, the success of the company depend on the cars being delivered and revenue coming in, and Elon is fine tuning cars that are in good enough condition to be delivered because he's a perfectionist?
I don't buy it. If there are some issues with the Model S or issues with the supply chain they should at least inform reservation holders what the hold up is so that everybody isn't just sitting in the dark. I really don't think they're putting every thing on hold because Elon wants to fine tune all the cars with a laser.
Did anyone...the article or the posters in this thread...imply that cars were being held up for this? All the article said was that Tesla is purchasing metrology equipment to improve their QA process. The discussion is about whether that process--the use of "laser equipment" for improving QA--is a unique or special thing. Unless Elon's referring to something very unique, it's not.
But nobody is implying Tesla's holding cars up for this.
I saw "Ultimate Factories" the other day. State of the art robots included a laser measurement and aliignment tool putting on doors. Previously a job only humans had done. They were building BMW X3s in the USA.
Tons of robots featured in BMW X3 Ultimate Factorie tv episode. I highly recommend everyone interested in current state of art of robotics in auto manufacturing to watch it.
Hulu do not work in Canada, but I think US residents can watch it here: Watch Ultimate Factories | BMW online | Free | Hulu
Full version of the Elon Musk interview is now up on AutoblogGreeen.com
In deep with Tesla CEO Elon Musk: Financials, Falcon doors and finding faults in the Model S
Sure it is more automated cuz they produce 465 X3 daily, up to 160 000 yearly. And their stamping, body and paint facilities are producing even more, since same factory produce X5 and X6. So it is economically feasible to put more robots&custom made automation.
Model S production target is 83 cars per shift, up to 20k yearly...
But use of lasers by BMW... It barely tells anything by itself. $300 Neato X11 robotic vacuum cleaner also use lasers to detect obstacles/walls. Not to mention laser rangefinders that retail for as low as $25. But Elon was talking about "laser calibration devices" that most likely have way higher precision then what currently is used in the auto industry. At least this is my understanding of what he said.
Yeah indeed, great stuff! Really enjoyed reading!