Cyber Rodeo Anthology Part #3: Body and Paint [multi-part series]

Elon Musk with Black Original Roadster at Giga Texas’ Cyber Rodeo on April 7, 2022 [credit Josh West]

A few days ago Tesla released a video that featured the Giga Texas Cyber Rodeo and it included these words from Elon Musk,

“When we first started out at Tesla, I thought optimistically there was a 10% chance of succeeding, and here we are today, damn!

“We are really entering a new phase of Tesla’s future, with six giant factories around the world, and scaling to extreme size, as you can see from this building, it’s not small.

“This is the machine that builds the machine, and it’s the latest version of the machine that builds the machine. I’ve said it before, that the factory is the product. You know, prototypes require imagination, and they’re not easy, but relative to production, prototypes are easy. Production is hard.

“And this building is the most advanced car factory that earth has ever seen.

 

 

Cyber Rodeo was a wonderful Celebration!

Cyber Rodeo was a celebration of the opening of Giga Texas, the most advanced car factory in the world today. When I walked up the entrance stairs into Giga Texas on April 7, what impressed me was that Tesla made a complex manufacturing process look simple. So, I created this three part article series, in the hopes that it will help in understanding Giga Texas.

Tesla builds one car body every 45 seconds

Model Y body in white will head to the paint shop [credit: Tesla Q1 2022 Update]

At the Cyber Rodeo, Tesla explained,

Giga Texas has the highest capacity line for building the car body that Tesla has ever built.

Robots conduct highly precise and rapid movements in an extremely dense space.

Tesla can build one car body every 45 seconds.

This is twice as many vehicles per week compared to previous lines that took up much more space.

 

Giga Texas’ Paint Shop is Optimized for Speed & Scalability

Model Y Paint Shop at Giga Texas [credit: Tesla Q4 2021 Shareholder’s Deck]

At Cyber Rodeo, the paint shop was explained,

Tesla’s paint shop is at the center of a highly integrated manufacturing process.

Tesla has reduced time and space between each step

The paint shop is designed and optimized for speed and scalability

The paint shop is nearly 10% denser, requiring fewer vehicle turns than current lines

Layers of paint that are thinner than a human hair form a colorful skin to protect the Model Y

 

Walking around the Gigafactory

Tesla allowed visitors to walk along the manufacturing line at Cyber Rodeo on April 7, 2022 [credit: Gail Alfar]

Cyber Rodeo was an opportunity to explore most of the robotic assembly areas. This experience was explained by Chris Anderson of TED Talks, who also interviewed Elon Musk at the gigafactory. Chris said,

This is Elon Musk‘s famous machine that builds machine and his view, the secret to a sustainable future!

Its not just making an electric car its making a system that churns out huge numbers of electric cars with a margin so that they can fund further growth.

 

You can watch Chris’ full interview of Elon Musk at Giga Texas here [recorded on April 6, 2022].

Tesla Thanks Supporters

Since 2003, Tesla employees have defied the odds by accomplishing what others have deemed impossible. By working from first-principles and ignoring bureaucratic conventions, the Tesla team has come together in an effort to accomplish our global mission of accelerating the transition to sustainable energy. We’ve been supported by thousands of fans and customers along the way. Thank you all for believing in us.

 

My thoughts

Elon Musk was not exaggerating when he said, “And this building is the most advanced car factory that earth has ever seen.” According to my estimation after I discussed with Joe Tegtmeyer, [he has documented progress since the beginning], Cyber Rodeo likely only included 1/3 of just one of four floors of Giga Texas. I think the gigafactory will exceed production expectations because of its size and ability to adapt fast. I like that the Model Y is such a fun car, as this makes the transition to all-electric vehicles enjoyable. Thanks to Elon Musks’ vision, Tesla cars make people happy and joyous. I love this quote from Elon Musk,

What really gets me excited is when people experience delight with the product. I don’t think there are all that many things where you really experience delight and if you can make the product good enough that it far exceeds peoples expectations, I think that’s amazing.

 

The Tesla Cyber Rodeo inspired me to create this series. Part #1 shows details on how Giga Texas makes front and rear castings and seats.  Part #2 explains how Tesla builds batteries into assemblies to form a structural pack to connect the front to the rear casting. Thank you for reading the final part of my series and for being an amazing supporter of Tesla and Elon Musk!

Photo of Austin, Texas by Carlos Alfonso on Unsplash

Gail Alfar [edited by Sarah Alfar], Exclusive to What’s Up Tesla – May 1, 2022 –  All Rights Reserved

 

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