Tesla has taken delivery of the world’s biggest casting machine, and it is installing it outside under a carport-like structure at Fremont factory.
With the Model Y, Tesla has introduced some important underbody engineering and manufacturing improvements.
CEO Elon Musk said that Tesla managed to turn what was originally 70 parts in Model 3’s rear underbody into just two parts in the Model Y electric SUV.
Fewer parts facilitate the body assembly process and create fewer potential failure points.
It results in a less expensive and more durable product.
Here’s a side-by-side of Model 3 rear underbody and the Model Y rear underbody:
But Musk has been saying that it’s only the beginning of Tesla’s focus on massive casted parts.
The CEO added that Tesla is planning to make the entire underbody in just one part by the end of the year:
We are going to be making a single-piece casting later this year, meaning like essentially the rear third of the body is cast as a single piece. There is no casting of the size and complexity that has ever been done before.
Last month, Musk admitted that it has been “tricky to maintain rates and keep growing the rate for Model Y casting.”
The CEO added that Tesla is currently assembling the “world’s biggest casting press” to be able to accelerate the production rate and move to a single piece casting:
“We’re going to have a — the world’s biggest casting press is getting assembled right now actually in Fremont, for the Model Y rear-body casting. It’s enormous and looks awesome.”
The machine has now been spotted at the Fremont factory, and it has been assembled outside the plant.
Tesla is apparently building a carport-like structure over it at the moment:
Though the automaker might close up the structure with walls later on, TSLA shorts are already making jokes about after Tesla building a general assembly line under a tent, it is now building a casting line under a carport.
They can joke all they want but the GA4 line was crazy successful, so I don’t get why it would be negative to compare the two.
Speaking of GA4, we reported on Tesla upgrading the line earlier this month.
Tesla has now two parallel lines under the GA4 tent and another subframe line in another tent next to it.
Now it looks like this new casting machine is going to be able to feed more parts to those lines and increase Model Y production significantly.
The timeline for that is not clear, but I expect it should start to ramp up this quarter.
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