The Vehicles Made by Tesla Motors are the Tip of Their Innovation Iceberg
Its widely understood that Elon Musk has revolutionized the auto industry with his innovative and forward thinking company Tesla automobiles. What is lesser knows in how he has revolutionized the production of those vehicles. Much like Henry Ford did 100 years ago with mass production on an assembly line, Musk is taking a new look at how automobiles are made in the 21st century.
Today almost all production vehicles are made on an assembly line, many of the parts that are used on that assembly line are made in another assembly line further up the food chain. There are very few components made from raw materials at a typical auto plant in 2016. Tesla Model S actually begin with coils of raw aluminum which is cut, stamped and joined to create a complete vehicle all within one facility.
Another difference is the method of conveyance within the plant, as well as the innovative use of robotics. At a typical automotive plant, the vehicle on a “train” which never stops, it just keeps moving and people come to it to add their component. At Tesla the Model S is on a “Smart Cart” which moves about the plant as necessary. Robotics are used at all vehicle manufacturing plants today, working alongside 10,000 or more humans. Usually robots to do large jobs which are too dangerous for humans, or tasks which humans cannot do fast enough. At Tesla 160 robots are used alongside 3,000 humans to do large tasks, as well as many dedicate and precise jobs. Tesla robotics are also incredibly versatile; instead of repeatedly doing a single job, some are designed to change their tooling while working on a car to do multiple specialized tasks.
With this much innovation only 13 years after their founding, we look forward to seeing Tesla Motors impact on industry after 25 or 50 years in business!
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