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Tent production, any worries about build quality?

Discussion in 'Model 3: Ordering, Production, Delivery' started by psyrob, Jun 25, 2018.

  1. psyrob

    psyrob Member

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    Been reading negative reviews of the tent assembly line, some analysts saying it is "madness" and that build quality will be terrible. Anyone have a recent car that seemed shoddy? I'm chalking it up to shorts panicking but is anyone worried about different quality from a Model 3 built outdoors? BTW I am picking up my Model 3 July 14, and I am sure my car will be perfect...
     
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  2. skitown

    skitown Supporting Member

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    #2 skitown, Jun 25, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2018
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  3. Uncle Paul

    Uncle Paul Active Member

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    If you take a look at the new structure it is not at all outdoors.

    It is bigger than 2 football fields with opening on both ends.

    it is a solid structure, but with insulated fabric instead of concrete walls.

    I have been inside other car assembly plants. They are dirty, noisey, hot and uncomfortable working conditions. Believe this new structure will turn out to be better than that.

    Most of the people complaining have an ax to grind with Tesla or have a long background with traditional concrete buildings.

    This structure was much easier to get permits for and went up fast. They are on a goal to become profitable building cars, not buildings.
     
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  4. roblab

    roblab Active Member

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    Negative reviews. Right. I bet GM and Ford are having fits.
     
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  5. Stretch2727

    Stretch2727 Engineer and Car Nut

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    Your not buying the building, just the product. More important the process and equipment that was set up. Somehow I know that Tesla will get it right, even though Elon's comment's (something about scrap from warehouses) doesn't inspire confidence. Sometimes I think he is just trying to bait the short sellers. I have been in manufacturing a long time, and it sometimes it can be messy and not pretty, in the end a good company like Tesla will make sure the end result meets expectations.
     
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  6. mhan00

    mhan00 Member

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    The “tent” isn’t some burlap sheet hung over a line, it’s a reinforced material that is sturdy and long lasting. It can be air conditioned and can be quite clean and comfortable. I believe the Hawaiian Gardens Casino was built using a similar method over 20 years ago, and it was fine before the owners decided to renovate to compete with other casinos, and because the tent was past its 15 year warranties lifespan.
     
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  7. gambit48

    gambit48 Member

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    It's not the tent that worries me. It's the "line made from scraps" and "all manual production" that worries me. No idea how true any of it is, but this is a company not exactly known for its expertise in car manufacturing. If they're pushing for number of produced cars and are winging it on quality to hit those numbers, that could be bad.
     
  8. Economite

    Economite Member

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    The LA Times has an article on this subject: Tesla is building Model 3s in a tent. Elon Musk says it's 'pretty sweet'; expert calls it 'insanity'

    The experts quoted in the article seem worried that there will be quality problems with cars assembled on a quickly designed largely-manual line that has been set up largely with repurposed elements from a more automated line. That certainly makes sense to me.

    Of course, other folks on this board will (correctly) point out that those experts didn't have access to the "tent" line, and are therefore merely speculating in abstract. And, notwithstanding that the reason why this new line exists is that the previous (Elon-endorsed) automated line didn't work well, many on this board will cite Elon's manufacturing brilliance to assume that there shouldn't be problems with the new line.
     
  9. jaguar36

    jaguar36 Active Member

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    The so called 'expert' that the articles are quoting is Max Warburton and he has been hating on everything that Tesla does for as long as I can remember. Every few months he comes out with something new to pick at with them. Not surprising as it probably drives a huge amount of publicity for his firm.

    I wouldn't put much stock in what he has to say.

    Plenty of industries use temporary structures to do high quality work, from Aerospace to defense. I wouldn't be concerned about the structure. However I would be concerned that they weren't able to see this coming.
     
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  10. trmmcd

    trmmcd Member

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    I think this quote has been significantly misunderstood. I believe the scraps refered only to the tent - presumably the frame. That sounds like a good use for scraps. The same folks who have criticized the over automation are now criticizing built by hand. I am thinking Tesla got it right. My only concern is why it took them until so late in the game to figure out they didn’t have room and needed to build a tent in two weeks. Presumably there was some unanticipated bottleneck that this let them resolve.
     
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  11. mongo

    mongo Well-Known Member

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    The structure itself is not piecemeal.
    Other TMC poster had the idea the scraps refer to the line being made from the decommissioned automated conveyor/ material transport system.
    Besides, who doesn't have a pile of 80/20 lying around?

    In terms of rapid implementation, the GA lines may have quickly become the bottle neck (positive sign). Plus, this allowed an additional line without disrupting the activities inside the main plant.
     
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  12. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Member

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    From what I have read and seen, the "tent" is actually a sprung structure - something that has been around for decades and is a proven way to get a building up fast. Once up, the building can last for many years with no problems. Read more at their website - Portable Buildings, Fabric Buildings - Sprung Structures
     
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  13. kengchang

    kengchang Member

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    Until it's the tent that builds the car, then no.
     
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  14. psyrob

    psyrob Member

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    It's not the tent at all that seems concerning, is that the critics are saying the line is slapdash and held together with paper clips and duct tape. I don't know anything about manufacturing so I can't read anything into it on my own. The proof will be in what comes off the line, and that comes down to one's confidence in Elon, I guess. He still has my confidence and I will see for myself on July 14th, when I get my Model 3...
     
  15. shrspeedblade

    shrspeedblade Member

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    Having seen the structure myself yesterday, your fears are unfounded and the articles disparaging "the tent" like so many Tesla articles probably have a hidden agenda.

    Considering how fast they put it up and are getting the line up and running is impressive- in person the size is incredible! And calling it a "tent" is rather quaint because it's clearly a semi-permanent structure.

    If it's a tent, then it's a Big ****ing Tent! #BFT
     

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  16. jbcarioca

    jbcarioca Active Member

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    People who oppose Sprung and other such 'tent-like' buildings may not know that they are easier to heat and cool than are conventional concrete constructions, are typically much more energy efficient, as well as being cheaper and faster to build, plus making much less pollution in the building process.

    Anybody who's been around military bases and/or airports has seen more than a few of these buildings. Oddly they are very well suited for very heavy industrial processes that use heavy presses because their center is very tall. In such cases the lighter work often takes place on the sides and the heavier in the middle.

    Tesla's is not among the largest and I'll wager it will be far from the last one. As Elon suggests, they are almost magical in how quickly they can be built and how adaptable they are, once built.

    FWIW, I have both lived and worked in such structures. They're great! They don't infinitely scale, so they'll not suit every application, but they're unbeatable who the application fits. Final assembly seems an ideal one to me.
     
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  17. mongo

    mongo Well-Known Member

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    The critical thing is a torque wrench set correctly with the right size socket. Ever seen a car repair shop? zero fixturing. My cars get fixed in the open air...
     
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  18. Moderatefan

    Moderatefan Member

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    Obviously, they are not having this one air conditioned.
    Curiously, they now use semis to obstruct views into the open sides of the tent.
    I would close them halfway up with the same material as the rest of the tent. Could be cheaper than using semis for privacy, still provide ventilation in place of A/C, and probably block some external contaminants like sand from the entry into the tent.
     
  19. gambit48

    gambit48 Member

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    Like I said, I have no problems with it being built in that "tent". However, the amount of automation vs hand built is concerning. Both are needed obviously, but if this new line differs significantly from the one they've been adjusting for years, then that could be a big problem. The whole point is to reproduce making the car in the exact same way. When you introduce changes in different assembly lines, quality is going to be off.

    I definitely don't want a handbuilt car. Aston's are beautiful, but have serious quality issues you don't see in a Toyota.
     
  20. mongo

    mongo Well-Known Member

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    Original 3 line is barely one year old (not sure that your are talking about with adjusting for years).
    Most manufacturers have fully manual GA lines.
    Body and paint are automated.
    Manually assembled from manufactured parts is not the same as hand built. Bolting in a seat is bolting in a seat, not hand stitching leather...
     
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