The parent company of the IDRA Group, which currently produces Tesla’s 6,000-ton Giga Press for the Model Y, is currently involved in a rather exciting project. As per recent photos shared in Chinese social media platforms, LK Tech, IDRA’s parent company, is currently building 9,000-ton presses, which would be capable of producing parts that are notably larger than the Model Y’s single-piece rear underbody.
The images of the new machines promptly attracted a lot of attention among EV enthusiasts online. At 9,000-tons, after all, the machines are even larger than the already gargantuan 6,000-ton Giga Presses that are currently deployed in the Fremont Factory. Similar to IDRA, LK Tech did not state which client the 9,000-ton press was for, though Tesla seems to be a definite front-runner for such a machine.
LK Tech, parent company of IDRA, is making 9000-ton press machines in China. You know who is the most likely customer for the mega machines. These are the highest spec giga presses known so far. May be used for Cybertruck underbody production. pic.twitter.com/blbLop9Bst
— Ray4Tesla⚡️🚘☀️🔋 (@ray4tesla) May 9, 2021
Back in March, the IDRA Group announced that it had secured the first order of its largest Giga Press to date. IDRA General Manager Riccardo Ferrario noted then that the machine that was ordered was an 8,000-ton press, and he also stated that the customer was a leading manufacturer of new energy vehicles. Similar to what Musk mentioned in the Q4 and FY 2020 earnings call, Ferrario stated that the 8,000-ton Giga Press would be large enough to make single-piece components for big vehicles like the Tesla Cybertruck.
“This giant machine will be used for the production of chassis components of larger vehicles such as pickup trucks, full electric lightweight goods vehicles, and SUVs. It is a maestro, and not only shows the capabilities of IDRA’s technical superiority, but also validates the many, many years of hard work that have gone into realizing this project,” Ferrario said.
With our giant casting machines, we are literally trying to make full-size cars in the same way that toy cars are made
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 18, 2021
Considering that the Cybertruck would need an 8,000-ton Giga Press, it remains to be seen if the 9,000-ton machine would indeed be used for a large vehicle like the Cybertruck or perhaps even the Semi. However, speculations are also abounding that the massive machine may actually be used for the $25,000 affordable car in China, which is expected to be unveiled in the near future.
Elon Musk has mentioned in the past that his vision is to make vehicles with single-piece castings, similar to how toymakers like Mattel produce Hot Wheels cars. He also noted that it’s very difficult to roll out changes while a vehicle’s production is already ongoing. With this in mind, Tesla’s $25,000 car may be the perfect candidate for some new innovations, including, perhaps, an underbody that’s built from a single casted piece.
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