Tesla CEO Elon Musk said that they made the mistake of being over ambitious when it comes to the automation of the Model 3 production line.
It contributed to a lot of issues with the early production ramp, but now Tesla is gradually going back to automation across various parts of the Model 3 production process, including the Model 3 body line, which is now almost completely automated, according to the automaker.
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Tesla invited Bloomberg to take a look at the Model 3 production line in Fremont after the most recent production shutdown to add the new line.
The article mostly recaps things that Tesla and Elon Musk already disclosed about Model 3 production, like the problems with Model 3 battery module production and the conveyor system that had to be replaced, but it adds a few interesting tidbits of information learned through their visit.
For example, Tesla told Bloomberg that the body line, one of the most complex parts of the production process after general assembly, is now almost entirely automated:
“Tesla says the Model 3 body line is now 95 percent automated, including the transfer, loading, and welding of parts.”
Tesla also had an issue with the “marriage” of the body and the Model 3’s battery pack, but as we reported last month, it was fixed right before the production shutdown.
They also took a look at Tesla’s quality control for the Model 3, which includes 47 robots scanning the Model 3 bodies body line at 1,900 different points to match them to design specs with a precision of 0.15 millimeters.
Bloomberg also said about the quality control:
“During the final test drives on the track, sound recorders measure squeaks, rattles and wind and road noise that a test driver might miss. All of this data is stored with each car’s unique Vehicle Identification Number, or VIN, so service centers can trace any issue back to a root cause in the factory. The idea is that Tesla will be able to improve its cars, even after they’re in a customer’s driveway.”
At the shareholder meeting earlier this week, Tesla claimed that Model 3 build quality has improved significantly since the start of production has shown by the service time after deliveries:
That’s the bulk of the new details from Bloomberg’s visit, but they also had some great shots of the production line, including of the body line, a high-end Schuler servo stamping press, and more. Check them out on Bloomberg’s website.
As we reported earlier this week, Musk gave a Model 3 production update at the shareholder meeting saying that he is confident that Tesla will reach its goal of 5,000 vehicles per week by the end of the month.