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How the Tesla Model S is Made | Tesla Motors Part 1 (WIRED)
How the Tesla Model S is Made | Tesla Motors Part 1 (WIRED)
Published: 2013/07/16
Channel: WIRED
Manufacturing Process of Model S in TESLA Factory
Manufacturing Process of Model S in TESLA Factory
Published: 2015/08/26
Channel: OFweek eMarketplace
Tesla Documentary | World
Tesla Documentary | World's Best Electric Cars | National Geographic Megafactories
Published: 2016/11/26
Channel: charlie funrg
Tesla Fremont Factory Tour
Tesla Fremont Factory Tour
Published: 2016/07/26
Channel: Roadshow
Tesla Gigafactory Grand Opening Elon Musk July 29, 2016 Full
Tesla Gigafactory Grand Opening Elon Musk July 29, 2016 Full
Published: 2016/08/01
Channel: ScienceNET
Tesla Factory - Fremont California tour
Tesla Factory - Fremont California tour
Published: 2017/09/22
Channel: California Phantom
[4K] CAR FACTORY: HOW IT
[4K] CAR FACTORY: HOW IT'S MADE TESLA GigaFactory TIMELAPS + Motor PRODUCTION Plant
Published: 2017/01/05
Channel: GommeBlog.it: Car & Performance
CAR FACTORY : TESLA MODEL S PRODUCTION l Fremont Plant (US)
CAR FACTORY : TESLA MODEL S PRODUCTION l Fremont Plant (US)
Published: 2017/07/17
Channel: Motor.TV
Inside Tesla
Inside Tesla's enormous battery factory
Published: 2016/07/27
Channel: CNNMoney
Meet
Meet 'Iceman' and 'Wolverine' — the 2 coolest robots in Tesla's factory
Published: 2015/10/06
Channel: Business Insider
Tesla Factory Workers Are Working So Hard They Are Passing Out: Bottom Line | CNBC
Tesla Factory Workers Are Working So Hard They Are Passing Out: Bottom Line | CNBC
Published: 2017/05/18
Channel: CNBC
Tesla Factory Tour - Fremont
Tesla Factory Tour - Fremont
Published: 2017/06/04
Channel: michael subasic
Tesla Model 3 Production Factory
Tesla Model 3 Production Factory
Published: 2017/10/10
Channel: DPCcars
90 second tour around the Tesla Factory
90 second tour around the Tesla Factory
Published: 2015/11/05
Channel: Tesla
Tesla Factory Drone Flyover- Note all of the Model III
Tesla Factory Drone Flyover- Note all of the Model III's below on the left hand side of the building
Published: 2017/09/20
Channel: DRONE USA
Tesla Gigafactory 1 - Full factory Tour - Gigafactory opening, Nevada
Tesla Gigafactory 1 - Full factory Tour - Gigafactory opening, Nevada
Published: 2016/08/01
Channel: Electric Motors Club
Tesla Model S Factory Tour - Production Assembly Line
Tesla Model S Factory Tour - Production Assembly Line
Published: 2016/10/17
Channel: Ma9mwah Cars
Tesla Factory Workers Sue
Tesla Factory Workers Sue
Published: 2017/10/17
Channel: Wochit News
✔ Tesla Motors Megafactories - The Future of Electric Cars
✔ Tesla Motors Megafactories - The Future of Electric Cars
Published: 2013/02/07
Channel: Green Power
BRAND NEW TESLA MODEL 3 SEEN AT FACTORY!
BRAND NEW TESLA MODEL 3 SEEN AT FACTORY!
Published: 2017/08/06
Channel: TAVA
Tesla
Tesla's new 2170 battery cell
Published: 2017/01/23
Channel: Portable Electric Vehicle
Racing Extinction Bonus Footage - Tesla Factory with Elon Musk
Racing Extinction Bonus Footage - Tesla Factory with Elon Musk
Published: 2016/02/23
Channel: Oceanic Preservation Society
Tesla factory overview
Tesla factory overview
Published: 2017/07/02
Channel: Inventions
Tesla Mega-Sizing Fremont Factory
Tesla Mega-Sizing Fremont Factory
Published: 2016/10/11
Channel: CBS SF Bay Area
Tesla Factory by Drone in 4K
Tesla Factory by Drone in 4K
Published: 2015/07/17
Channel: Stephen Powelson
Tesla Gigafactory Grand Opening
Tesla Gigafactory Grand Opening
Published: 2016/08/23
Channel: Official Car Reviews
Tesla Factory VIP Tour - In Depth
Tesla Factory VIP Tour - In Depth
Published: 2017/06/05
Channel: Now You Know
The Tesla plant in Fremont CALIFORNIA, July 2017
The Tesla plant in Fremont CALIFORNIA, July 2017
Published: 2017/08/07
Channel: Michael Koenig
Tesla the Most American Car Company? (Pretty Much)
Tesla the Most American Car Company? (Pretty Much)
Published: 2017/10/18
Channel: Teslanomics by Ben Sullins
Elon Musk
Elon Musk's Tesla Factory Upgrade
Published: 2017/07/14
Channel: Cool Videos
Exclusive! - Fremont Tesla factory visit
Exclusive! - Fremont Tesla factory visit
Published: 2015/12/14
Channel: The Car Guide
TESLA GIGAFACTORY August 2017 Aerial Construction Update
TESLA GIGAFACTORY August 2017 Aerial Construction Update
Published: 2017/08/04
Channel: Duncan Sinfield
Tesla Mega Gigafactory
Tesla Mega Gigafactory
Published: 2017/06/01
Channel: Cool Videos
How Tesla cars are built: Model S assembly Fremont Factory production  - Autogefühl
How Tesla cars are built: Model S assembly Fremont Factory production - Autogefühl
Published: 2015/10/15
Channel: Autogefühl
Tesla Tube Factory Visit—Czech Republic 1998
Tesla Tube Factory Visit—Czech Republic 1998
Published: 2014/12/29
Channel: Analog Planet
Tesla Model S Motor Production
Tesla Model S Motor Production
Published: 2015/10/06
Channel: The Wheel Network
Tesla
Tesla's production growing at expense of worker safety?
Published: 2017/05/24
Channel: CBS This Morning
Tesla
Tesla's Gigafactory: Drone's Eye View of the Massive Battery Factory
Published: 2015/05/22
Channel: Bloomberg
Tesla Gigafactory Construction Update - August 17, 2017
Tesla Gigafactory Construction Update - August 17, 2017
Published: 2017/08/17
Channel: California Phantom
My First Tesla Factory Tour
My First Tesla Factory Tour
Published: 2017/06/04
Channel: James Cooke
Tesla Model S - Production [CAR FACTORY]
Tesla Model S - Production [CAR FACTORY]
Published: 2016/04/03
Channel: YOUCAR
Inside Tesla Motors 2017
Inside Tesla Motors 2017
Published: 2017/01/24
Channel: MrBattery
Tesla Gigafactory Tour
Tesla Gigafactory Tour
Published: 2016/07/28
Channel: Roadshow
Tesla Factory Drone Fly Over, Don’t Tell Elon!
Tesla Factory Drone Fly Over, Don’t Tell Elon!
Published: 2017/04/03
Channel: KingCole
Tesla Giga Factory 2 Aerial Fly Over
Tesla Giga Factory 2 Aerial Fly Over
Published: 2017/09/04
Channel: Timothy Bell
Tesla Fremont Factory Tour - Day 3
Tesla Fremont Factory Tour - Day 3
Published: 2017/06/22
Channel: Now You Know
Tesla Model S Factory Delivery
Tesla Model S Factory Delivery
Published: 2013/01/07
Channel: Ben Goodwin
Tesla Model 3 in the factory
Tesla Model 3 in the factory
Published: 2017/10/13
Channel: Mashable News
TESLA GIGAFACTORY: November 2016 Construction Update
TESLA GIGAFACTORY: November 2016 Construction Update
Published: 2016/11/06
Channel: Duncan Sinfield
Tesla Factory
Tesla Factory
Published: 2017/06/12
Channel: MrPolvaris
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WIKIPEDIA ARTICLE

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Tesla Factory
Industry Automotive industry
Predecessor
Founded 2010 (2010)
Headquarters Fremont, California, United States
Products Battery electric vehicles
Services Automotive manufacturing
Owner Tesla, Inc.
Number of employees
6,000[1]
Website Official website

The Tesla Factory is an automobile manufacturing plant in south Fremont, California, and the principal production facility of Tesla, Inc.. The facility was formerly known as New United Motor Manufacturing, Inc. (NUMMI), a joint venture between General Motors and Toyota.[2] The plant is located in the East Industrial area of Fremont between Interstates 880 and 680, and employed around 6,000 people in June 2016.[1]

Background[edit]

Tesla had planned for an assembly factory in Albuquerque, New Mexico, as a central location for shipping.[3][4] Construction was supposed to begin in April 2007, but was canceled.[5]

A separate greenfield factory to be built in San Jose, California was also announced.[6] However, the cost was prohibitive, and the company looked for alternatives. Tesla initially also dismissed NUMMI for being too big and costly.[7]

Some of the current facility was operated as the GM Fremont Assembly from 1962 to 1982, and between 1984-2009 used as a plant for New United Motor Manufacturing, Inc. (NUMMI),[8] a joint venture between General Motors and Toyota[2][9] producing 357,809 cars and trucks in 1997.[10] Efforts to continue the site after 2010 included Aurica EVs, state incentives to Toyota, and a stadium, but none of them succeeded. The mayor of Fremont viewed the site as dead.[11]

The plant is located in the South Fremont District between the Warm Springs BART station[12] and the California State Route 262 connecting I880 and I680. Union Pacific Railroad has tracks at the plant[13][14] delivering finished cars.[15] Rail freight transport is also to be used to receive batteries and Model 3 drivetrains from Gigafactory 1.[16]

On May 20, 2010, Tesla Inc. and Toyota announced a partnership to work on electric vehicle development and collaborate on the "development of electric vehicles, parts, and production system and engineering support". This included Tesla's partial purchase of the former NUMMI site, mainly consisting of the factory building,[17][18] for $42 million.[19][20]

Tesla officially took possession of the site on October 19, 2010,[11] and opened it on October 27.[21] The state of California has supported the renewal, expecting tax income from sustained jobs.[22][23][24] The first retail delivery of the Tesla Model S took place during a special event held at the Tesla Factory on June 22, 2012.[25]

The former NUMMI (now Tesla) plant in Fremont, California

Facilities[edit]

NUMMI auctioned off[26] the press lines, robots and other equipment to Toyota's other US factories[27][28] while Tesla purchased over $17 million of manufacturing equipment and spare parts in 2011, at significant discounts compared to new equipment.[29] Tesla bought $50 million worth of Schuler SMG hydraulic stamping press lines used from Detroit for $6 million, including shipping costs.[30]

The factory was about 10 times the size Tesla initially needed,[7] and much of the 370-acre (16,000,000 sq ft; 1,500,000 m2) site was unused in 2013, with most activity concentrated in the 5,500,000-square-foot (510,000 m2) main building that does the final assembly of vehicles.[11]

Various parts of the NUMMI plant were planned to be modified to support Tesla vehicle production. For example, the passenger vehicle paint equipment was to be extensively modified through late 2011;[11][needs update] converted from solvents to BASF water-based paint.[30] Two paint lines (one car body, one component) were constructed from 2015.[31][32][33]

The floors, walls and ceiling are painted white with skylights and high-efficiency lighting to create an environment similar to a laboratory,[34][35] and the production environment is cleaner and quieter than at NUMMI.[8]

Tesla is building a casting foundry in Lathrop supporting the Fremont production,[36][37][38] and leased 1.3 million sq ft of warehouses in nearby Livermore in 2017.[39]

In 2016, there were 4,500 parking spaces,[40] and Tesla purchased a neighboring 25-acre site[41] from housing developer[42] Lennar. Tesla announced in August 2017 it won approval from the Fremont City Council to double the size of the facility with about 4.6 million new square feet of space.[43] Tesla also plans to expand production five-fold to 500,000 vehicles in 2018,[43] or 10,000 units per week.[44] They are working to increase their work force to about 9,000 people, preparing for the Model 3[45][46][40][41][47][48][49]

Employees[edit]

Tesla started production with 1,000 workers.[50] By 2013, this had risen to 3,000,[51] and to 6,000 people in June 2016.[1]

Production[edit]

New Tesla Model S cars at the Tesla Factory in 2012

The plant's first series production vehicle is the Tesla Model S full-sized battery electric sedan.

In 2011, Tesla transitioned from 20 hand-assembled "alpha builds" to 50 "beta builds",[52] production-validation vehicles built entirely at the Tesla Factory. These cars would also be used for system integration, engineering testing, and federal crash-testing and certification.[53] Tesla expected to produce about 5,000 Model S sedans in 2012, with production ramping up to 20,000 in 2013 if necessary.[54][55] The first retail delivery of the Model S took place during a special event held at the Tesla Factory on June 22, 2012.[25]

Production grew from 15–20 cars completed/week in August 2012[56] to over 200 by November 5[57] and 400 by late December.[58][59] In late December Tesla revised their 2012 delivery projections down to 2,500 cars.[60]

Deliveries reached 6,892 units in the last three months of 2013.[61] In December 2013, California announced it would give Tesla a US$34.7 million tax break to expand production by an estimated 35,000 vehicles annually from its Fremont, California plant.[62]

Tesla announced that production was expected to climb from 600 cars per week in early 2014 to about 1,000 units per week by year-end.[63] Tesla produced 7,535 units during the first quarter of 2014, and expected to produce 8,500 to 9,000 cars in the second quarter of 2014. As of early May 2014, the production rate was 700 cars per week.[64]

As of 2015, about 1,000 cars are made per week,[65][66] mostly to pre-orders.[15] Musk says they average around 20 changes to the S per week.[67]

Production of the Model X joined the Model S during 2015,[68] following a short reconfiguration of the production line in July 2014.[69] The first Model X that didn't need corrections was made in April 2016.[70] Tesla moved some of the equipment to their Tilburg final assembly plant in the Netherlands in 2015.[71]

On July 2, 2015, Tesla announced that it had delivered a total of 21,537 vehicles in the first half of 2015. All vehicles were manufactured at the Fremont plant.[72]

In May 2016 Tesla raised $1.46 billion in stock, of which $1.26 billion is to prepare production of the Model 3 scheduled for late 2017.[73][74] Changing from serially producing the Model S and X to the mass production of Model 3 is viewed by experts as a significant step.[75] Tesla stated in May 2016 that it does not have that capability and needs to acquire it,[76] which it partly did with the acquisition of Grohmann Automation in 2016.[77] Whereas the Roadster was delayed by 9 months, the Model S more than six months, and the Model X more than 18 months,[78] analysts estimated in December 2016 that the Model 3 production preparation was on schedule for the second half of 2017.[79]

On August 3, 2016, Tesla announced that it was consistently producing 2,000 vehicles per week at the end of Q2 2016.[80][81] About 2,500 workers operate the day shift and 2,000 attend the night shift.[40]

Tesla makes many parts itself, which is unusual in the auto business. Tesla also works with 300 suppliers around the world, of which 50 are in Northern California, and 10 in the San Francisco Bay Area.[82] Tesla's dashboard supplier SAS rents a 142,188-square-foot building near the factory, beginning in January 2017 with 200 employees.[83] Other suppliers to have opened facilities in the area to be close to Tesla include Eclipse Automation and Futuris Automotive Group.[84]

Tesla Model S manufacturing process[edit]

Overview[edit]

The manufacturing process uses more than 160 specialist robots, including 10 of the largest robots in the world,[85] which are named after X-Men characters.[86][87][88] Many of the Model S's unique components, including the battery pack, battery module, and drive units are manufactured in-house. The plant has a high level of integration compared with other modern car assembly plants, with most processes taking place within the Tesla Factory. This includes most of the stamping and machining, painting, and some coding. The hydraulic press lines used to stamp 5,000 body panels per day with a force of 10,000 tonnes,[89] are the largest in North America and the 6th largest in the world.[30] Around 60% of the car parts are sourced from North America,[90] while Japan is the second-biggest source of components as of March 2015.[91] Design engineers also work at the factory itself, rather than a separate facility.[9][92]

Each vehicle is made to order with a two to three-month wait time for delivery,[93] although individual vehicles only take between three and five days to complete the assembly process.[85] The assembly line moves at a speed of 5 cm/s.[94] Tesla prefers delivery by train rather than by truck, as costs and damages are less.[15]

Drive unit construction[edit]

Motor construction[edit]

A complete Tesla Model S alternating current electric motor that has had a section removed from the stator to show the rotor inside.

The alternating current electric motor is constructed in-house. The main components of the motor are the stator and rotor.[95]

The motor construction begins when a robot unspools and winds over 12 mile (0.80 km) of copper wire per motor. It then pulls the copper wire into a stack. The motor has three phases and so requires three coils of copper.[95] A worker then lengthens and straightens each bundle of wire and inserts the hydraulic lift to transfer the motor to the next station.

A worker insulates each bundle of copper wire in a plastic sleeve to prevent the bundles from touching one another. The ends of the bundles are then snipped to the correct length. Lugs are added and crimped to form attachment points for the motor's three phases.[95] A specialized automatic sewing machine then binds the coils together to keep them in place, the increased tightness of the binding provided by a robotic sewing machine increases the efficiency of the motor. The stator is then encased in a two part epoxy resin to help in evenly distributing the motor's heat. The stator is now complete and is inserted into a heated metal case, locking the stator inside as the case cools.[95]

A worker uses a hoisting system to insert the rotor inside the stator completing the construction of the motor.

Additional drive unit components[edit]

A worker then installs the differential and other sections of the gearbox, attaching it together using bolts. An air leak test is then conducted. The three phase tripole power inverter is then installed onto the top of the motor to convert direct current from the battery into alternating current for the motor to use. The motor then undergoes a series of automated tests taking 4 minutes to ensure correct function, and then is moved to the general assembly area to be installed into the car.[95]

Battery pack construction[edit]

Each Model S battery pack uses 7,104 '18650' lithium-ion battery cells (right). A smaller AA battery is on the left for scale.

The Model S 85s battery pack contains 7,104 '18650' lithium-ion battery cells in 16 modules[96] wired in series (14 in the flat section and two stacked on the front).[97] Each module contains six groups[98] of 74 cells[99] wired in parallel; the six groups are then wired in series within the module.[99][100][101][102] As of June 2012 the battery pack uses modified Panasonic NCR18650A 3100mAh cells with nickel-cobalt-aluminum cathodes.[103][104]

The use of commodity cells, similar to those found in laptops and mobile phones, is in contrast to every other electric vehicle manufacturer who use specialized large format Li-Ion cells.[105] The liquid-cooled battery pack uses an intumescent gel to aid in fireproofing and even heat distribution.

Body construction[edit]

Aluminium coil blanking[edit]

98% of the Tesla Model S body is constructed from aluminium[95] and is produced from between 50 and 60 separate coils of aluminium each for various components. The coils are unwound, flattened and cut in a blanking machine; additional cutting is also done using laser cutter. The total weight of the aluminium used in the Model S is around 410 pounds (190 kg).[85]

Tandem press lines[edit]

Stacked side panels that have been formed on the tandem press line.

A robot then transfers the aluminium blanks into the tandem press lines where the sheets are stamped into the various panels of the cars. The Schuler SMG hydraulic stamping press line is the largest in North America and the 6th largest in the world.[30] The presses use up to 11,000 ton-force to form the body panels; the upper section applies 1400 tonnes of downward force and the lower section 130 tonnes.[95] The blank aluminium sheet is stretched over the lower draw die and openings are cut with robots transferring the panels between processes. The workers then inspect each panel to ensure correct pressing. The parts are then stacked in frames and stored. The machines press one part every 6 seconds and create 5,000 parts per day.[85]

Drive unit installation[edit]

The car is raised and the drive unit is installed into the rear axle assembly. The drive unit provides power directly to the wheels without a drive shaft.[95]

Battery pack installation[edit]

The battery pack weighs almost 1,200 pounds (540 kg) and is delivered to the installation area and is raised into the car using a lift. Placing the battery pack under the cabin floor adds strength and rigidity to the car and lowers the vehicle's center of gravity[95] to 18 inches (46 cm).[106][107] A titanium plate is installed over the battery pack which protects it in the event of a high-speed collision and to protect from road debris.[108][109]

Safety incidents[edit]

In November 2013 there was an accident when the low-pressure aluminum casting press failed, spilling molten metal on three workers and causing their clothing to catch fire. Tesla was fined US$89,000 by the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health for seven safety violations, six considered serious.[110]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Campbell, Angela (2016-06-09). "Tesla Motors Inc Workers Being Contacted by UAW For Union Formation". The Country Caller. US. Retrieved 2016-07-25. 
  2. ^ a b Sibley, Lisa (2010-10-27). "Tesla officially replaces NUMMI in Fremont". 
  3. ^ "Tesla Motors press release - announcement of Albuquerque plant". Teslamotors.com. Archived from the original on 2010-04-06. Retrieved 2010-11-27. 
  4. ^ Severns, Dave. "Tesla Motors blog post regarding Albuquerque decision". Teslamotors.com. Archived from the original on 2007-03-17. Retrieved 2010-11-27. 
  5. ^ "The Albuquerque Tribune Editorial: Don't hold your breath on Tesla Motors plant". Abqtrib.com. Retrieved 2010-11-27. 
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  7. ^ a b O'Dell, John (2010-03-11). "Would-Be EV Maker's 'Plan' to Save NUMMI Auto Plant a Long Shot at Best". Green Car Advisor. Archived from the original on 2010-03-15. Retrieved 2010-04-02. Tesla had been wooed as a NUMMI tenant by politicians and economic development people .. But Tesla - which has all of about 550 employees and plans to ramp up to around 2,000 when it starts building its next vehicle in 2012, the Model S electric sedan - took a look at the costs involved and rejected the idea out of hand. The plant, said Straubel, is about 10 times the size of a facility Tesla would need to build even 20,000 cars a year. 
  8. ^ a b Martin, Murilee (2017-03-08). "We visit the Tesla Factory, formerly Fremont Assembly and NUMMI". Autoweek. Archived from the original on 2017-03-29. Retrieved 2017-04-08. I spent a fair amount of time at NUMMI, and it seemed like a rackety, chaotic place on the production line .. Fast-forward 28 years, and the same facility is a brightly-lit, no-earplugs-needed, high-tech operation 
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  24. ^ http://www.business.ca.gov/Portals/0/CA%20Competes/Docs/Agreements/FY1415P3Large/Tesla%20Motors,%20Inc.%20-%20CCTC%20Agreement.pdf
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  36. ^ Elon Musk is ecstatic about Powerwall demand - Tesla Q1 2015 Earnings call (2015) AUDIO.  at 1h02m
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  39. ^ Lucas, Scott (2017-03-24). "Tesla seals the deal on East Bay's largest industrial lease ever". Archived from the original on 2017-06-13. Retrieved 2017-06-15. It leased 1.3 million square feet spread across three buildings 
  40. ^ a b c Master plan Tesla, Warm Springs. Summer 2016 Archive
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  42. ^ "Lennar plans huge R&D, housing complex at Warm Springs 'innovation district' near Tesla plant in Fremont". San Francisco Business Times. 2016-04-29. Archived from the original on 2016-10-13. Retrieved 2016-10-13. 
  43. ^ a b "Tesla factory launches expansion that could double its size". East Bay Times. 2017-08-11. Retrieved 2017-08-21. 
  44. ^ Stumpf, Rob. "Tesla Continues Growth to Double its Fremont Plant in Size". The Drive. Retrieved 2017-08-21. 
  45. ^ Geha, Joseph (2016-12-08). "Fremont: City Council approves major Tesla facility expansion plan". Silicon Valley. Retrieved 2016-12-09. 
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