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Model S production process

Discussion in 'Model S: Ordering, Production, Delivery' started by jdevo2004, Nov 18, 2012.

  1. jdevo2004

    jdevo2004 Member

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    65 reservations a day in America for the last 4 days not including international reservations. All those awards are really making a difference. Tesla is going to have to increase production. I wonder if it will affect the Model X timeline since that vehicle was supposed to use the excess production capacity for the machines building Model S.
     
  2. Lyon

    Lyon 2016 S P100DL, 2016 X P90D

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    Both of these are good points. My understanding is that Tesla can add a 2nd shift and, once production is fully ramped up, essentially double production of the Model S without adding any machinery. It is going to be interesting to see what they do with Model X. I would assume that they'll have to add at least some new infrastructure. Obviously the presses can make any shape body panels (just swap the dies), the robots can be programmed to create either vehicle and the paint bays can do both cars. I would think that they would need some a separate line for the interiors though, right?

    I'm sure someone who knows about manufacturing will corroborate, or correct, my suppositions.
     
  3. Zzzz...

    Zzzz... Member

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    Musk mentioned that they got some CAPEX intensive machinery that they keep busy.

    I know Tesla ordered dies for Model S from Japan and waited 4 months for dies to be delivered.

    Correct. But they also would need to invest in supply chain. The things like motor production factory in Taiwan, battery pack production, PEM factory etc - they probably would need additional tooling/machinery. At least some of them. Some would need to be expanded, move to new buildings etc.

    The great source of info, for general understanding of modern car building process, would be National Geographic Megafactories BMW X3 video(but X3, not old Z4 one).

    US residents could probably use link below:
    National Geographic Megafactories BMW X3 - YouTube
     
  4. Omer

    Omer Member

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    Wow, that video was great! Thank you very much for sharing. It's obviously orders of magnitude different from Tesla but very informative regarding the assembly process at an advanced factory.
     
  5. derekt75

    derekt75 Member

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    Depending on what it means, it's not obvious to me that it's "orders of magnitude different". :)
    At this point, it seems quite believable that Model S will sell 20k units in a year. BMW X3 highest annual sales was 114k according to wikipedia. That's not even 1 order of magnitude of difference.

    For another point of comparison, BMW M5 sells maybe 4k units per year. I think Model S Performance will likely beat that!
    So for individual expensive cars, Tesla's production is not small.

    On the other hand, BMW as a whole does manufacture a couple orders of magnitude more cars than Tesla as a whole.

    BMW's market cap is only one order of magnitude bigger than Tesla's, so either Tesla is more profitable per car than BMW (seems unlikely), Tesla is expected to quickly grow by a factor of 10 (we can hope), or its stock is over valued (I don't own TSLA).
     
  6. Zzzz...

    Zzzz... Member

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    #6 Zzzz..., Nov 19, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2012
    The featured factory is designed to build 463 cars a day. Tesla Factory designed to build over 400 cars a week (5 days, one shift). So BMW plant is only 5 to 6 time bigger.
    Besides, TM is using some more advanced techniques then BMW, at least in some arias of production.

    But my point was, if you watch the video, you will get general understanding of production process. Like people keep mentioning batching based on color. While there is a buffer between paint shop and assembly - in BMW plant it is more then one day supply of painted bodies. So assembly line do not generally wait for paint shop. And vice versa. If one part of factory stalled because of break down or whatever the other parts keep working.
     
  7. derekt75

    derekt75 Member

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    Yeah, I just think it's somewhat amazing that Model S is really not that low-volume. Tesla Motors is low volume, but Model S isn't.
    Maybe I'm just a stickler for people saying "orders of magnitude", but (unlike Fisker Karma) Model S is not selling at even one order of magnitude below many of its competitors. That's an impressive achievement.
     
  8. Omer

    Omer Member

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    The factory in the video is currently producing 1000 cars/day (they also produce X5,X6). Tesla is currently producing 30 cars/day with the intention of ramping up to 55 cars/day. So yes, i believe that fits the definition of order of magnitude.

    - - - Updated - - -

    BTW, I don't imply anything negative towards Tesla. I was purely speaking about the structure and scope of that factory. Tesla's business structure is far different. I am VERY positive about Tesla's future business specifically because of this thread. We're seeing customer order rate right now exceeding already Tesla's expected production rate for 2013 with no advertising, very few locations (expected to double over the next year), almost no cars on the road, the need for customers to pay $5k up front for a car that won't be ready for 9-12 months and only one model. By the time Gen 3 is in full swing I could easily see Tesla doing 150 - 200k annual sales of S, X, Gen 3 sedan, Gen 3 SUV, truck, sports car, and a few other variants.

    Anyway don't mean to take the thread off-topic so let's stick to reservation #'s. I'm giddy every time I recheck and see it jump so fast.
     
  9. Babylonfive

    Babylonfive Power12

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    Quick review: Order of Magnitude means factor of ten. Orders of Magnitude would mean 100 times as much, or more.

    Isn't it more fair to compare cars/week? Perhaps BMW doesn't build on the weekend? (I don't know). Either way, 20x is not 100x, therefore not orders of magnitude.
     
  10. Omer

    Omer Member

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    You're right I meant order not orders. BTW it was just a quick comment regarding how cool the production process is in producing 1000 BMW's / day. Not meant to disparage Tesla in any way and certainly the misuse of the plural was never meant to sidetrack this thread - back to topic.
     
  11. ChrisC

    ChrisC see signature

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    I believe that's incorrect. I recall Tesla press saying that they specifically did NOT have to wait for a loop through Japan every time they wanted to tweak a die. Rather they bought die machines and so can do a tight die-change feedback loop within the factory. No iteration delays through Japan.

    Getting well off topic here.
     
  12. Zextraterrestrial

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    Sorry OT
    They 'bought' a big CNC machine to alter the dies if needed (or so I was told). No sending them back for alterations.
    IMG_2211sm.JPG
    maybe all of these could go in a production thread?
     
  13. Zzzz...

    Zzzz... Member

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    #13 Zzzz..., Nov 19, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2012
    That is interesting! I was reading about it in some article, it was coming from journalist, not from Tesla. But die machines are much better and more believable because of Musk's favor of vertical integration.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Thank you for clarification!
     
  14. ckessel

    ckessel Active Member

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  15. Trnsl8r

    Trnsl8r Blue 85kwh since 12/8/12

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    Tweaking for Model S is one thing. Wouldn't they need a whole new set of dies for Model X?
     
  16. jcstp

    jcstp Active Member

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    every .... panels stamped, die's must be replaced! if tesla wants to do all inhouse, they can produce their own dies! This one cnc sure looks able to do it!

    maybe spacex, orders parts too! ;-)
     
  17. Robert.Boston

    Robert.Boston Model S VIN P01536

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    #17 Robert.Boston, Nov 19, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2012
    Moving this thread.
     
  18. Causalien

    Causalien Reaper of Trolls

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    Any idea what this machine is? I am in the manufacturing industry for CNC plasma cutters, it looks similar but that thing looks way to big to be one. Is it a milling machine?
     
  19. Brian H

    Brian H Banned

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  20. Brian H

    Brian H Banned

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    Unique Gross Margin

    The 25% gross margin (minimum; Musk is actually shooting for 30) is considered extreme, unique in the biz. Vertical integration? Note that SpaceX' precedent is similar.
     

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