Why Tesla Motor Needed The Giga Press

Why Tesla Motor Needed The Giga Press: One machine is set to revolutionize the future of auto manufacturing, and that’s a really big deal. Equivalent to the weight of five Space Shuttles, it takes 24 flatbed trucks to deliver it from the manufacturer, and it doesn’t even fit inside the original Tesla factory. what’s it for?

How was it inspired by a kid’s toy? And will every single car maker now be forced to follow suit or fall behind? Join us as we find out how and why Elon Musk is putting pressure on his competitors and examine why Tesla installed the 430-ton Gigapress.

Like we’ve mentioned once or twice before on this site, Elon Musk is a man on a mission. Not content with helping his adorable monkey companion destroy civilization on Mars and play Pong, he’s constantly on the hunt for clever ways to make his day at Tesla work – dragging mankind into the electric vehicle age. Has been – happens fast.

His latest big idea was reportedly inspired by a dinky die-cast Hot Wheels toy car on his desk.

Wondering, as he is apt to do, what the practical size range is for a die-cast vehicle, Musk realized there was no real reason why full-size autos couldn’t be manufactured according to the same design philosophy. can.

After all, this is Mr. ‘Make a machine maker’. It is his whole job to find these kinds of competencies.

So in crafting the radical Model Y redesign, which would incorporate Tesla’s new generation of batteries into the chassis of the latest iteration of the cars to roll off production lines, Musk decided he was no longer happy that the rear underbody Includes 70 different parts.

Each of these 70 parts is to be screwed, welded, or otherwise glued with its neighbors. It’s a complicated and frightening process that takes up a great deal of factory floor space, energy and time, and allows silly errors to creep in.

Leading auto industry engineer and consultant Sandy Munro drove the point home when he told Musk that the back of his Model 3 looked like a ‘patchwork quilt’ in his view.

So in April 2020, Elon Musk announced to the world that he had purchased two of the world’s largest casting machines from Italian engineering firm IDRA, to create giant self-contained parts – initially the Model Y’s rear underbody.

The giant machines – 20 meters long, six meters high – were installed at the company’s Fremont, California factory later that summer.

According to Musk, these giant Giga presses — so large they won’t fit in the factory and must be hastily covered with a rudimentary shelter in a parking lot — will reduce the number of robots in the factory to 300.

This reduction comes with an obvious simplification for Tesla in terms of quality control and the production headache of producing and pipelining 70 different parts.

This certainly makes cars cheaper, and thus more accessible to consumers. Fitting those 70 pieces together like a jigsaw required an elaborate and expensive CNC — which means Computer Numerical Control — process.

That whole CNC step can be skipped altogether now that the entire rear underbody is cast in one piece by the Giga Press. According to experts, Giga Casting will help in bringing down the rear-underbody manufacturing cost by 40%.

Not only that, the new single-piece casting design will reduce the size of the factory body shop by 30%. So how does it actually work?

Broadly speaking, all die-casting, from toys to golf clubs to Tesla chassis, works on the principle of pouring molten metal into a reusable mold. Once the metal has hardened into the mold shape, the mold is opened and the newly shaped metal is removed.

The metal in question in Tesla’s case is a refined and unique proprietary alloy consisting of approximately 90% aluminum, 8-and-half percent silicon, as well as traces of copper, manganese, iron, zinc, titanium, and other elements.

A natural gas-fueled oven heats the alloy ingots to 850 °C, at which point it liquefies. Waste slag in the form of aluminum oxide is removed before the alloy is pumped along hot pipes and circulated to prevent it from being installed.

Argon gas and a rotary de-gasser are applied to keep away nasty impurities, and the entire mixture is passed through a silicon carbide filter to remove stubborn lumps larger than 25 micrometers.

To smooth out the process before pouring, robots coat the interior of the mold with 35 ml of soybean oil. The mold is sealed before a vacuum is created inside the pump.

The molten metal is then poured into the mold at high speed to prevent the hot metal from hardening, with a dash of additional lubricant applied to prevent sticking to its edges. When it is filled, the mold is then opened and cooled to 400 °C.

The newly shaped metal part is then moved by the robot to a quenching tank, which is cooled to 50 °C to help set it

A mechanical trim press cuts off any unusable excess, carefully within established tolerances, shunting the waste back to be recycled elsewhere in the process, and the whole thing is x-rayed to make sure it’s roadworthy.

The final trimming is done by lasers, then traditional drills go to work preparing the final piece for attachment to the car. Sounds too good to be true?

Critics have pointed out that a major problem with replacing 70 parts with a single part is that when one part is damaged, such as by a careless accident, it is too awkward and prohibitively expensive to replace the entire rear underbody.

Elon Musk himself said on Twitter that the car’s “…the crash absorption rail can be cut and replaced with a bolted part for collision repair.”

If the collision is severe enough then the car is definitely a write-off. But the same is true of most other contemporary vehicle designs.

Another problem from a manufacturing point of view is that during the casting process, essentially a microscopic amount of mold can be carried onto the part during each casting.

Eventually, the mold itself becomes very large, but they are clearly replaceable parts of the Giga Press. Also, the lubrication phase goes a long way to reduce this issue.

Certainly, Tesla is going all in, suggesting that the existing Giga presses in the works or the Fremont, Berlin, Austin, and related machines being installed in Shanghai – capable of a clamping force of 6,000 tonnes – are not powerful enough.

To build the long-awaited Cybertruck, Musk is reportedly shopping for even bigger machines with a clamping force of 8,000 tons.

So will other manufacturers be forced to follow suit? Industry analysis by JPMorgan shows that large companies will struggle to reinvent their own production lines as radically as Tesla.

But small EV startups and agile cash-up Chinese firms will have to watch closely and, in JPMorgan’s view, invest in Giga presses of their own long ago.

Any self-respecting 21st-century company would certainly jump at the chance to reduce its factory floor footprint, the number of robots and vehicles that put together hours of unnecessary labor.

So whichever way you look at it, these house-sized machines are ready to make a big impression. what do you think Will cars inevitably have fewer and fewer parts as casting systems to improve? Tell us in the comment.


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