The Tesla founder created some excitement with his response to a recent tweet announcing the arrival of the Giga Press saying,
"Will be amazing to see it in operation! Biggest casting machine ever made. Will make rear body in a single piece, including crash rails."
We knew it was coming when in April this year, Musk said in an interview on the Third Row Podcast that Tesla would purchase the casting machine to increase efficiency with the production of its Model Y SUV. And this week, it was finally confirmed that the Giga Press was successfully installed at its Northern California plant. The EV innovator sees this next step as a revolutionizing moment in the production and assembly of the electric car. Although it’s the first Giga Press at a US-based Tesla facility, the auto manufacturer has had the mega casting machine in operation at the Gigafactory 3 in Shanghai.
In its drive to increase its manufacturing of high-quality vehicles efficiently, Tesla will move away from casting 70 parts to four parts, and eventually to just one. In the podcast, Elon Musk added,
"We're moving to an aluminum casting instead of a series of stamped pieces. We'll go from 70 parts to 4, then 1 with a reduction in weight, improvement in MBH, reduction in cost, and a significant drop in capital expenditure for all the robots that used to put 70 parts together."
The company’s goal is to fast-track production while reducing build time, operation costs, costs of manufacturing, factory footprint, factory operating costs, tooling costs, and quantity of equipment. It wants to reduce the number of casting machines required to build a vehicle frame and could build a complete or substantially complete frame itself.
The Giga Press measures 64 ft (19.5 m) long and 17 ft (5.3 m) tall and weighs 410 tons. The rear portion of the vehicle will be cast in a single piece, which is noticeably different from the Model 3, which had over 70 individual parts on the rear portion of the vehicle. Employing the use of this massive machine could save Tesla up to 20% on labor costs, which is a great saving for any organization.
While cost-effectiveness is undoubtedly critical for any company, the casting machine will accelerate the EV maker's to produce the Model Y across the world, which will no doubt help Tesla reach astronomical production goals in the long term. In Tesla’s Q2 2020 Earnings Letter, it stated that in spite of the closures of multiple production plants, its production numbers did not need to be revised for the fiscal year.
“We have the capacity installed to exceed 500,000 vehicle deliveries this year, despite recent production interruptions. While achieving this goal has become more difficult, delivering half a million vehicles in 2020 remains our target.”
In the first two quarters of 2020, Tesla has delivered 179,387 vehicles, which indicates the EV company could be lagging in its schedule to reach its next target. However, with the arrival of the Giga Press in Fremont, it's said it will help the company produce an estimated one million vehicles a year. If this is the case, the Giga Press may well push Tesla to its targets sooner.
This is good news for those wanting to purchase a new Tesla as quicker car production will meet high consumer demand as well as lower the price of its electric vehicles.