Giga factory assembly line questions

FarAway

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How do auto assembly lines in general and Tesla assembly lines in particular operate?

Are they manned and running 24/7 or are they shut down for some period of time either daily or weekly. Do they always operate at the same speed? Would they shut down for major holidays? Christmas? I assume the line itself does need occasional maintenance while restock is ongoing.

I am particularly interested in how the CT assembly line might run. I know it all has to be a well-choreographed "dance", with components that are produced offsite arriving on time every time and other components stockpiled locally. All the while vehicles are being shipped out continuously as they are produced.

If Elon can get the assembly plant up to 240,000 per year, that is 20,000 per month, roughly 5000 a week, or about 30 trucks an hour on a 24/7 basis.
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cvalue13

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If Elon can get the assembly plant up to 240,000 per year, that is 20,000 per month, roughly 5000 a week, or about 30 trucks an hour on a 24/7 basis.
from Musk in Feb 2018:

“Some of the fastest car factories produce a car maybe every 25 seconds. That sounds fast. But if you think of a five-meter long car, including gap, and a 4.5 meter car with a half meter gap or something, that’s only 0.2 meters per second. Like, grandma with a walker can exceed the speed of the fastest production line we’re in, so really no that fast. Why shouldn’t it at least be jogging speed? Companies should start caring about the aero drag in the factory, which that’s maybe around 20 miles or 30 miles an hour, or call it 30 kilometers an hour, 40 kilometers an hour…Stuff should be moving at that speed.”

Something implicit to the above is that the shorter a vehicle is, the faster it can move on a line, and vice versa.

The average value for automotive assembly lines is more around 60 to 90 seconds per car. That average reflects a car every 7 meters on the line, with a ~60-second takt, giving a speed of 0.11 meter per second. (So, Musk’s grandma with walker comments.)

Now, if a car is spitting out every 60 seconds, that’s over 525k units in a year. But lines aren’t up 24/7/365

Back to your 30 trucks/hr if 24/7: we can surmise that Tesla can aspire to a better than 60 second run rate (despite the CT’s length), and so a theoretical max of >525K units/yr, which is ~60 trucks per hour

but downtime, cycles between shifts, the gigga-press’s max run rate, would still bring them to within 30 trucks/hour despite not running 24/7/365

that is, of course, only after and once the line and materials are fully running and dialed in as expected/needed - which effort of getting to that point is the real trick
 

JBee

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from Musk in Feb 2018:

“Some of the fastest car factories produce a car maybe every 25 seconds. That sounds fast. But if you think of a five-meter long car, including gap, and a 4.5 meter car with a half meter gap or something, that’s only 0.2 meters per second. Like, grandma with a walker can exceed the speed of the fastest production line we’re in, so really no that fast. Why shouldn’t it at least be jogging speed? Companies should start caring about the aero drag in the factory, which that’s maybe around 20 miles or 30 miles an hour, or call it 30 kilometers an hour, 40 kilometers an hour…Stuff should be moving at that speed.”

Something implicit to the above is that the shorter a vehicle is, the faster it can move on a line, and vice versa.

The average value for automotive assembly lines is more around 60 to 90 seconds per car. That average reflects a car every 7 meters on the line, with a ~60-second takt, giving a speed of 0.11 meter per second. (So, Musk’s grandma with walker comments.)

Now, if a car is spitting out every 60 seconds, that’s over 525k units in a year. But lines aren’t up 24/7/365

Back to your 30 trucks/hr if 24/7: we can surmise that Tesla can aspire to a better than 60 second run rate (despite the CT’s length), and so a theoretical max of >525K units/yr, which is ~60 trucks per hour

but downtime, cycles between shifts, the gigga-press’s max run rate, would still bring them to within 30 trucks/hour despite not running 24/7/365

that is, of course, only after and once the line and materials are fully running and dialed in as expected/needed - which effort of getting to that point is the real trick
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Crissa

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They operate for a number of 8-hour shifts, traditionally, with maintenance performed between them. Which means, if they operate all three, the shift has to shut down to do maintenance.

Some parts of the line might operate a little longer or might need to shut down during a shift for maintenance, but that's specific to that line and its operation.

Each shift of workers costs a little more - because their workers see their families a little less often, and hurt themselves a little more often.

It's one of the reasons the UAW is suggesting to move to 6-hour shifts.

-Crissa
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