One Tesla owner managed to catch a glimpse of the Model 3 assembly line in action over the weekend while visiting the Tesla factory in Fremont, California. A short 2-second video posted to giphy shows a Model 3 conveyor moving the vehicle’s aluminum and high-strength steel body down the factory assembly line.
Despite the video showing only a short clip of the Model 3 production line, it’s the first public sighting of Model 3’s factory automation in action, outside of CEO Elon Musk’s own Instagram videos. Musk first shared a brief video of Model 3’s production body line in action in early October, dispelling reports at the time that the company’s factory workers were building major Model 3 components by hand.
The serial tech entrepreneur would follow up with another video that provides a glimpse at sheets of aluminum being stamped into Model 3 body panels in real-time. “Stamping Model 3 body panels (real-time)” read the description on Musk’s Instagram video.
As Tesla works through its production challenges, in specific issues related to Model 3 battery module production at its Nevada-based Gigafactory, the company continues to invest heavily into factory automation.
Just last week, Tesla announced that it had acquired Minnesota-based Perbix Machine Company, a long time supplier and maker of highly-automated manufacturing equipment. The company has been supplying Tesla with automated tools for production of Model S and Model X drive units. The acquisition of Perbix follows another buyout made by Tesla in 2015 for a Michigan-based tool and die stamping plant and Germany’s Grohmann Engineering in 2016.
Musk has long touted Tesla’s goal to “build the machines that build the machine”, as the company aims to drive exponential improvements in production speed and quality of output, while lowering overall vehicle production costs.
Customer deliveries of Tesla’s highly anticipated Model 3 is expected to increase in the beginning of 2018. The company recently announced in its 3Q 2017 earnings report that Model 3 volume production is expected to reach 5,000 units per week by the end of the first-quarter.
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