Tesla is taking delivery of yet another giant casting machine, known as Giga Press, at Gigafactory Texas as the automaker moves to produce entire car bodies in just a few pieces.
Over the last few years, Tesla has been heavily investing in casting and alloy technology to enable larger casted parts that have the capability to greatly simplify manufacturing.
The company acquired several units of the biggest casting machines in the world. Those giant, multi-million dollar machines are developed by Idra. Tesla’s first Giga Press, which was installed at the Fremont factory, was put into operation in 2020. The machine, nicknamed Giga Press, was the first of its kind at the time and has a clamping force of 55,000 to 61,000 kilonewtons (5,600 to 6,200 tf).
Tesla has already been producing the Model Y with a single rear body piece that replaced 70 different parts in the vehicle.
Now Tesla has started deploying those machines at other factories in the US, Berlin, and China. Gigafactory Texas in Austin has been getting a lot of them.
Jeff Roberts, who often flies drones over Gigafactory Texas, spotted another Giga Press delivery at the factory this week:
This is believed to be the delivery of the fourth Giga Press at Tesla’s new Texas factory.
Last year, a picture of the first single front casting part of the Model Y produced at Gigafactory Texas leaked. In October, we reported that Tesla produced the first Model Y with both front and back single-piece casting.
While Tesla has slipped behind in starting production at Gigafactory Texas, which was supposed to kick off last year, it looks like the automaker is going to start production with its front and back single-piece casting with Giga Press and possibly link both with its structural battery pack.
This will drastically reduce the number of parts needed to produce a vehicle body, which will simplify production and greatly reduce the capital needed to deploy production capacity.
It was disappointing that Tesla didn’t manage to start production at Gigafactory Texas in 2021, but as I have often stated, the ramp is more important than the start of production. And with four Giga Presses now deployed, it looks like Tesla is preparing for a massive ramp-up at Gigafactory Texas.
I think the bottleneck is going to be 4680 battery cell production, which we have been hearing less about.
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