Perhaps Tesla in the USA has decided for the New Year to provide the public with more information on its own initiative, or perhaps the drone flights just became too much for someone. In any case, the company without a PR department for its home market published an interesting video on its Twitter account last week about the modernization of production in its main electric car plant in Fremont: In a shelter next to the main building, one of the giant presses known as the Giga press is now working Die-casting machines that produce large frame parts for the Model Y in one piece.
“Largest die-casting machine” in the world at Tesla
The first Giga press was reportedly delivered to Tesla last summer and has since apparently started casting the entire rear part of the frame for the Model Y. This cannot be taken directly from the video published by Tesla, because it is only entitled “the largest die-casting machine in the world”. In a response to this, Tesla also generally states that it can cast the front and rear parts of vehicle frames in one piece.
That this relates to the Tesla Model Y and so far only to the rear frame can be seen from statements by CEO Elon Musk, who raved about the performance of the giant presses from the Italian manufacturer Idra on various occasions. Most recently, he reported on it in a conversation with industry consultant Sandy Munro. Instead of around 70 individual pieces as in the Model 3, the rear frame element in the Model Y now only consists of a part from the Giga press, he explained.
This saves Tesla 300 robots and the space they need, Musk continued. And even if the front frame of the Model Y is made from one piece, another 300 of the 1000 robots (probably for the Model 3) required in total should be eliminated. In addition, doing without piecework means that the smallest tolerances for individual parts can no longer add up to larger tolerances on the finished product, said Musk.
Giga Berlin gets eight Giga presses
Tesla also wants to switch to larger cast parts for Model 3 at some point, but according to his information, the new Gigafactorys near Berlin in Germany and near Austin in the USA are to be started. At the plant in Grünheide, Germany, it is already known that Tesla would like to use eight Giga presses there to also cast the front frame element of the Model Y in one piece. The Model Y is also to be produced in Texas, and the first giga press (out of a previously unknown total) has even already been installed there.
The fact that the machine in Fremont works under one roof, but practically outdoors, is probably due to the fact that this first Tesla plant is already bursting at the seams. Tesla made a virtue out of this need: For the Model 3, whose production could not be automated as extensively as CEO Musk had hoped, an additional line was set up in a tent-like clamping structure next to the factory. Despite the ridicule of some observers, Tesla later built another tent on the site for Model Y – and as the video from the Giga press in the dugout shows, the company does not try to hide its improvisation skills.