Status - new robots at gigafactory?

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DanL

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#1
I read somewhere that new battery assembly robots were arriving at the gigafactory in March to replace the current problematic robotics.
Any updates on this? I searched but can't find current news.
Could the latest lower estimated Model 3 production rate, something like only 600/wk, be due to the gigafactory slowing during the robotics replacement?
 

MelindaV

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#2
per the Q4 call, they are scheduled to arrive the end of the month, so we likely will not hear anything on them until then or first couple weeks of April.
 

DanL

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#3
Melinda,
Thanks for the reply.
Having had a career involving setting up production lines, I wonder if they are soon to or have already started dismantling the old equipment and preparing the space for the new install. The site prep can take a good bit of time. Just conjecture, but I am puzzled by the Bloomberg and other trackers indicating a significant drop in production rate. There must be a reason.
I wonder, too, if the equipment has not already been delivered, given it was supposedly pre-tested and ready for shipment over a month ago.
Just hopeful musings....
 

DanL

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#5
The Gigafactory might have enough empty space to support both lines, at least temporarily.
Feed conveying, transfer conveying, utility drops, control systems, etc. of existing line perhaps would be re-used pretty much in place or nearly as-is....overall saves time, money and may require less shakedown effort and risk than re-doing everything. Again, conjecture, but sure would be an interesting case study.
 

KarenRei

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#6
Melinda,
Thanks for the reply.
Having had a career involving setting up production lines, I wonder if they are soon to or have already started dismantling the old equipment and preparing the space for the new install. The site prep can take a good bit of time. Just conjecture, but I am puzzled by the Bloomberg and other trackers indicating a significant drop in production rate. There must be a reason.
I wonder, too, if the equipment has not already been delivered, given it was supposedly pre-tested and ready for shipment over a month ago.
Just hopeful musings....
You should follow the investor calls :)

The problems are with the systems that transport and place parts rather than those that actually make the connections - two zones of four. Just don't work, not fixable. Tesla-Grohmann made a replacement line on rapid-order, which they got up and running in Germany. Tesla execs sound very impressed with it (it's apparently much more capable than the design specs of the previous one, too). It was scheduled to arrive at the end of March. In the meantime, Tesla has been having to replace the downed zones with manual labour. To speed things up, they've been increasing parallelizing the zones, so that you can have many people working on each bottlenecked task at once as possible.

There's lots of things that can take down the production of vehicles, and I certainly don't expect any part of it to run smoothly for months to come - even as the peak capacity continues to rise. Random interruptions don't necessarily even mean that they're interruptions with the battery line; they could be at Fremont (indeed, that would be ideal, as battery packs would keep being produced in the meantime). Every part production process/assembly process needs to mature, stabilize and scale - not just the packs. :)
 

Frank99

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#8
DanL -
Seeking Alpha is pretty much useless, but one thing they do is publish transcripts of earnings calls:
https://seekingalpha.com/article/4144365-tesla-tsla-q4-2017-results-earnings-call-transcript
Recently, they've moved all the older transcripts into their "Pro" ($$$) tier, but they have the latest one....

You can also get a lot of information (including the audio of the conference calls) here:
http://ir.tesla.com/
There's a clarification on the Q1/Q2 production goals related to the battery production line here:
http://teslaweekly.com/tesla-claims...2500-week-model-3-production-goal-in-q1-2018/
 

evelectricity

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#9
Based on the Model 3 spreadsheet it seems that they churning out perhaps 600-700 cars a week now. We are almost two weeks into March and I don't see how they are going to suddenly crank up the volume to 2500 weekly cars by the end of the month. If they can build 2500 cars without the automated battery machine as they claimed then why are they not building more cars? If the bottleneck is not battery then there must be other issues at play holding up production.
 

KarenRei

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#10
Based on the Model 3 spreadsheet it seems that they churning out perhaps 600-700 cars a week now. We are almost two weeks into March and I don't see how they are going to suddenly crank up the volume to 2500 weekly cars by the end of the month. If they can build 2500 cars without the automated battery machine as they claimed then why are they not building more cars? If the bottleneck is not battery then there must be other issues at play holding up production.
Production in no way resembles a constant rate. You can't just take the overall production and divide by time. It's periods of high speed production punctuated by painful downtime. The downtime can be random and unexpected, but is most often a good thing, as it means installing new equipment to improve quality and/or speed.
 

LV Acrobat

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#11
Production in no way resembles a constant rate. You can't just take the overall production and divide by time. It's periods of high speed production punctuated by painful downtime. The downtime can be random and unexpected, but is most often a good thing, as it means installing new equipment to improve quality and/or speed.
I agree with this, and Tesla will let it be known in the earnings call that they probaly hit the 2500 a week speed at somepoint. Not constant, but all they need to do is hit like ~350 cars in one day like march 30th, and they will word it as if they hit the estimated production rate.
 

TrevP

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#12
Melinda,
Thanks for the reply.
Having had a career involving setting up production lines, I wonder if they are soon to or have already started dismantling the old equipment and preparing the space for the new install. The site prep can take a good bit of time. Just conjecture, but I am puzzled by the Bloomberg and other trackers indicating a significant drop in production rate. There must be a reason.
I wonder, too, if the equipment has not already been delivered, given it was supposedly pre-tested and ready for shipment over a month ago.
Just hopeful musings....
My understanding here is they are not dismantling anything at the GF that is currently making battery modules. The new line you speak of coming from Germany is what it required to get them to 5000 per week. Go back and listen to the last financial call and Elon spells it out.