The casting cell and first Giga Press have been assembled at the north end of the General Assembly building at the Fremont factory. The giant Casting Machine has started production, and Model Y made with a single-piece rear cast may already be rolling off the assembly line.
The photos taken by Tesmanian show that the Giga Press has begun its work. At the moment, more than 70 single-piece casts can be seen around it, which indicates active work.
The rear body of the vehicle is strong enough to carry a payload. But at the same time, assembled from many parts and fastening elements, it also has a lot of weight. Tesla decided to improve the production process of this section, therefore achieving casting in one part.
To make this possible, Tesla had to develop its own aluminum alloy. The company aimed to create a high-strength casting alloy that does not require coating or heat treatment. This is a big deal, as it is a very difficult feat in casting — especially for large, cast body parts.
Up to this point, there was no alloy in the world that could satisfy Tesla's requirements. Therefore, its creation is a phenomenal achievement of the company's materials team.
Tesla Battery Day: Revolutionary Casting Alloy Requires No Heat Treating or Coatinghttps://t.co/IJuSACIRAm— Tesmanian.com (@Tesmanian_com) September 25, 2020
Tesla has passed several safety tests around the world and received 5-star ratings. But the company, which adheres to the philosophy of “safety first,” does not stop there. The one-piece forming process provides an improved modular design with a high degree of integration. This increases the area of action of the collision avoidance beam, thereby improving body performance. Crash safety is improved by over 20%.
This design will also increase battery life. The base weight at the rear part of the vehicle will be about 30% lighter than before. This increases the range of the vehicle.
Environmentally friendly and energy saving
This production process is more environmentally friendly and energy-efficient. Traditional stamping results in a large amount of scrap residual, while with the Giga Press, 100% of the raw material is used. This results in resource and energy savings in terms of production, and is in line with Tesla's environmental values and goals.
In the future, Tesla will further refine its vehicles and, in addition to the rear end, Tesla will also produce the Model Y front end frame in one single piece. This will not only improve production efficiency and performance but also improve driver/passenger safety.
© 2020, Eva Fox. All rights reserved.
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About the Author
Eva Fox joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover breaking news as an automotive journalist. The main topics that she covers are clean energy and electric vehicles. As a journalist, Eva is specialized in Tesla and topics related to the work and development of the company.