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How the Model S is Made - Wired Magazine

Discussion in 'Model S' started by bonnie, Jul 16, 2013.

  1. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

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    #1 bonnie, Jul 16, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 13, 2016


    One of the better videos I've seen.
     
  2. Enadler

    Enadler Member

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    Thanks. Great video!
     
  3. phat78boy

    phat78boy Member

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    That is a cool video! Nice find, thank you. Its amazing how much they do in house and how quick they can build one of these cars. Being electric really simplifies the build process. I've seen videos of them building Corvettes and the engine alone takes a ton of time.

    Man I can't wait to get mine already!
     
  4. Todd Burch

    Todd Burch Electron Pilot

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    Very cool. With so much automation, you'd expect that scaling up to higher production levels and/or creating another local factory (ie Europe, Asia) would be much easier than without so much automation. You can replicate the robot programs, floor layout, and there are less people to train up.
     
  5. PaceyWhitter

    PaceyWhitter Member

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    Considering NUMMI's size, I would doubt that Tesla would ever need to create another factory. (if it did, it would be emerging as a major car manufacturer)
     
  6. HHHH

    HHHH Member

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    I heard a rumor that they might be build Model X in Texas. Could be just that though, a rumor.
     
  7. AireV

    AireV New Member

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    Agree. It is one of better videos covering the factory.
     
  8. Zephod

    Zephod Member

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    Great video Bonnie. Thanks for sharing with all of us. Makes me salivate as I wait for my Model X.
     
  9. PV4EV

    PV4EV Member

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    #9 PV4EV, Jul 19, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2013
    Thanks for posting that - its an amazing insight into how sophisticated Robotic assembly has become, especially the one that fits the seats then changes tooling to do the screens.



    Not sure if the following two videos ever aired in the USA, but worth a watch to see how things have come along …

    Firstly, here's an ancient 1979 TV advert from FIAT as they proudly display their new Robots building cars in Europe (.. that didn’t help the cars survive more than a few years due to serious rust problems !!!) :-

    Fiat Strada - Hand built by Robots - CDP 1979 - YouTube



    . . . and swiftly turned into this BBC comedy sketch in 1981 !!!

    Hand built, by......... - YouTube
     
  10. PaceyWhitter

    PaceyWhitter Member

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    The Fremont plant is massive. Right now Tesla is only using a small fraction of it. When NUMMI was running at full capacity it was putting out 6000 cars a week, and that was without a lot of the automation that Tesla has introduced into the plant.

    I doubt Tesla would ever build another plant in the US. There is a possibility they might think about building one overseas down the road but that would be in order to insulate them from currency fluctuations more than due to the need for greater production.
     
  11. EdA

    EdA Model S P-2540

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    Remember certain things (hundreds) are built by outside suppliers (tires, door handles, computer, etc.) and you need a supply of everything to build a car.
     
  12. rsquared99

    rsquared99 Member

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    The connection with Texas might have come from a comment by EM when he said he might want to build a truck production facility and was looking at Texas as a possible location. Lots of "ifs and buts and candy and nuts" in the comment.
     
  13. AudubonB

    AudubonB Mild-mannered Moderator Lord Vetinari*

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    I've never been to Fremont, let alone visited the NUMMI/TM factory, but I'm wondering if there isn't a significantly larger effective factory "footprint" per-vehicle manufactured when so much of each Tesla IS being manufactured in-house versus outsourced? The result therefrom, of course, would be that a plant that could supply Toyota + GM "X" number of finished vehicles might be able to supply Tesla only "X/Y".
     
  14. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    There are (were) significant tax breaks for recycling dead factories.
     
  15. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

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    IIRC, that was from a "misleading" television news program. They were talking about MotoX. I don't have the forum thread handy, sorry.

    Update - Found it:
    Tesla on Nightly Business Report - Model X factory in Texas?
     
  16. retinadoc

    retinadoc Member

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    Thanks to Bonnie's organizational skills I was able to tour the factory prior to Teslive. Although I have no basis of comparison, I quickly came to the conclusion that not only does the Model S represent the state of the art, but Tesla's factory also represents a new manufacturing paradigm. Our tour leader made the excellent point that almost all auto design elsewhere is barely evolutionary and never revolutionary. Look at any highend BMW, Audi, and MB. An A8 in 2013 is very similar to an A8 in 2008. The economics of their factories are that they have the expection of a forty year life span for a major machine such as a panel stamper. The designers at Audi et al. may want to use a novel body design on the next A8 but they are limited by machinery that is 20 years old and can't produce any radically new parts without a major retrofit. Like the Model S, with software enhancements the factory will continue to evolve allowing Tesla to continue to innovate for years to come. There is a reason that the largests auto makers in the world, with billions of cash, have failed to respond to Tesla. Without building entire new factories and starting from scratch, they can't.
     
  17. Volker.Berlin

    Volker.Berlin Member

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    With the notable exception of the BMW i3.
     
  18. HHHH

    HHHH Member

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    I just watched it again with my wife, she was amazed how much it automated too. Such a beautiful process. It's fitting for Tesla.
     
  19. tdelta1000

    tdelta1000 Active Member

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    Two thumbs up for the video. Thank you Bonnie
     
  20. AustinPowers

    AustinPowers Total Smeghead

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    Same here. Although I live near the home of the company Reiss Robotics (which makes similar robots to those from Kuka Tesla seems to use) and have seen them in action at open days to the factory, I am still amazed to see something like this. How easy it looks when they put those seats in the car, and that is not even taking into account the retooling bit. Just think of the amount of programming that goes into something like that.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Funny though, how similar (apart from the final product and the cleanliness of the factory) that video is to the current one.
     

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