The parts are so heavy that they can only be lifted with different cranes, and so high that people can only reach them on ladder scaffolding: The Italian machine builder Idra, recently known as a supplier of modern Tesla production technology, is responsible for the assembly demonstrated one of his giga presses. Despite the related name, they weren’t specially developed for Gigafactorys, but Tesla appears to be the first customer for the giant die-casting machines, and a big one: According to a report, twelve of them have been ordered so far – they could even all be for Tesla.
8 Giga presses for German Tesla factory
The construction of the Giga press can be seen in fast motion in a short video, published in the channel of the machine magazine FoundryPlanet. An article about this describes a visit to Idra in Italy, which contains some already known technical data, but also at least one interesting new piece of information: A total of twelve orders for the huge Idra machines are to be received.
The name Tesla is not mentioned once in the article, but it seems clear who the customer is for whom the giga press shown in the video is being set up on a test basis. According to the very current Wikipedia entry on Idra, the first two machines from Italy were installed at Tesla’s Fremont plant this summer. Three more are to be seen in photos in the Tesla report for the second quarter of 2020 in the Chinese Gigafactory. And according to information from teslamag.de, Tesla has planned eight Giga presses for its Gigafactory near Berlin.
According to Wikipedia, the die-casting machines in China carry the Impress brand, which is said to belong to the Chinese Idra parent company LK Machinery, and were manufactured locally. It is not known whether more than three of these will be needed for the upcoming production of the Tesla Model Y in China – but more Giga presses are likely to be built on site in this case. For Fremont, on the other hand, there are no known plans for more than the two machines already installed.
Fourth giga press in preparation
If Idra doesn’t have another unknown customer for his giant press, that could mean that one of the machines for the German Gigafactory could already be seen in the assembly video. According to the FoundryPlanet report, it is now to be dismantled again and then distributed among 24 trucks to “go on a long journey” – the destination is not mentioned. And Giga-Presse number 4 is already well prepared.