Welcome back to my blog and to Part #1 of Cyber Rodeo Anthology.
Cyber Rodeo took place on April 7, 2022, at Tesla Gigafactory Texas. The rodeo showcased all aspects of how Tesla is mass-producing electric vehicles in order to accelerate the transition to sustainable energy. Using color, lights, music, and the help of Tesla’s expert employees, different aspects of the gigafactory were presented in a truly unique way.
Tesla provided this map for the event, as you can see, there are a lot of areas to be covered between Entry 1 and Entry 3. The yellow pathway that held the exhibits was probably about 1/3 a mile long.
Casting Exhibit: Manufacturing is Beautiful
The rodeo gave the gigapresses the royal treatment. They are gigantic and produce what could be Tesla’s most innovative manufacturing feat ever. They create front and rear castings simultaneously for Model Y at the rate of 0.13 seconds per casting or 130 milliseconds. In fact, they created so many castings that they were used throughout the gigafactory for other purposes, as I’ll share later.
The above exhibit is an example of a Model Y rear casting. What once took over 70 parts laboriously put together, Tesla has condensed into just one part.
The two largest parts of an Austin-made Model Y, the front and rear casting are produced by injecting 700° C molten aluminum into a high-pressure die-cast mold that is clamped shut with 6,100 tons of force. It is filled with liquid metal in just 130 milliseconds, producing a durable shape and giving each car body its strength. This process has left Tesla with 168 fewer parts to assemble and a much more efficient casting process for the car.
During a casting, giant heat release conduits and valves are used to make sure pressure is perfect and heat is released in a precisely measured way. When inspecting the vertices that the aluminum is fed into, employees wear protective space-like suits to ensure safety from the radiant heat of the molten metal used for the castings.
At the rodeo, hundreds of additional castings were available to be used as decorations in the main entrance of the Gigafactory and throughout the building because of the speed and efficiency of this machine and Tesla’s overall manufacturing process. An employee explained that using front and rear castings in this way was a natural choice because there were so many extra ones, they needed a good place to put them!
Seats Exhibit: Fully Assembled at Gigafactory Texas
At Tesla, the first and second-row seats are fully assembled right at the gigafactory.
The Tesla Model Y seat exhibit was presented in three parts. Part One shows the pretensioner, two side shields, seat buckle, suspension, sandwich, wire harness, happy basset, and ocs. Part Two reveals the Model Y seat back cover, trim, headrest, back frame, lumbar support, seat cushion, and seat frame. Part Three reveals the Tesla “T” in an incredible display of fully assembled seats.
A Symphony of Seats
After Model Y seats are assembled and inspected, they come together as part of the structural battery as seen here. Future parts of Cyber Rodeo Anthology will go into more detail on this miracle of manufacturing.
This article is Part #1 of a multi-part series titled Cyber Rodeo Anthology. Part #2 can be found here.
I chose to start “Cyber Rodeo Anthology” because the opening of Giga Texas marks a major shift in mass vehicle production capabilities. I want to spend time with you to understand how this “Machine that Makes the machine” works, and it will take multiple articles to do so.
I decided to start with my favorite parts of Giga Texas: Seats and Casting.
I agree with Elon Musk that chairs are underappreciated. The seats in the Tesla are incredibly comfortable!
Front & rear simultaneous casting begins here in Texas with Model Y. This difficult process had to be created to accelerate the transition to electric vehicles.
I know you join me in having a deep respect for Elon Musk because he is doing phenomenal work to make our world a better place. Hope you enjoyed this first part!
Read the rest of this three-part series here:
- Cyber Rodeo Anthology Part #2: Battery Assembly and Structural Pack [multi-part series]
- Cyber Rodeo Anthology Part #3: Body and Paint [multi-part series]
Gail Alfar [edited by Sarah Alfar], Exclusive to What’s Up Tesla – April 16, 2022 – All Rights Reserved