Thread: Tesla Model 3
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Old 07-19-2018, 02:53 PM   #469 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by thingstodo View Post
I'm not involved in automotive production, but automation is my day job.

Having people work out how it's got to be done manually, then implementing that with automation is a method that I am all-too-familiar with. It makes sense to management, but it removes many options in the design of the automation to limit yourself to what humans can do, and the speed that they can do tasks at. But it also makes things difficult in that machines are not really equipped to do things like humans do. Dexterity, recognition of complex geometry, sensing vibration and bad, loud noises without specific sensors, etc etc.
I agree planning for automation from the beginning is much more efficient than automating a formerly manual process. The problem is the automation doesn't work. So either Musk tried to automate things that aren't a good fit for automation, his automation people didn't know what they were doing or Musk didn't give them enough time to work out the bugs before starting production. My bet is on the first and last options.

Originally Posted by thingstodo View Post
Elon's rumored to be using SCRUM, Agile methods, and Lean manufacturing. All of those are disruptive, and something that no other automaker implements to the degree that Elon is attempting. Or maybe they just don't talk about it, tweet, it, etc like Elon does?
Yup, we use SCRUM, Agile, and Lean manufacturing (and lots of other buzz word methods of lean manufacturing that happen to be in vogue)

Originally Posted by thingstodo View Post
Just because the rest of the automotive industry does things following specific steps, and Elon has skipped steps, does not make Elon wrong in the same way that it does not make the existing automotive industry right. There are many solutions to any problem.
If the Model 3 launch was successful you (and Musk) would be right. But it wasn't and instead it was "Production Hell"

For example, Musk skipped the soft-tooling stage. This involves making cheap, lower grade set of tooling to make sample parts. If something doesn't turn out right you modify the tooling and test again. When everything works you cut the purchase order for production hardened tools and discard the soft tools. That way when the line starts up all the parts fit together.

Musk went straight from rapid prototypes parts based on CAD to production parts from hard tool. He did this because he said the soft-tool stage in the Model S production wasn't useful. It wasn't useful because he didn't wait until all the tweaks were made before ordering the production tooling. Musk's take-away from this was not to follow the industry standard process and take the time to do the soft-tool stage correctly for the Model 3. Instead he just skipped the step and we have the fiasco

It seems very odd for a new company to skip basic steps when they don't know what they are doing. However, Musk doesn't know what he doesn't know and isn't willing to listen to people that do know.

For example Audi also skipped soft-tooling when they started then new plant in Mexico. However,

A. They already know how to do a product launch.
B. They already build the car in other locations.

You have to walk before you run and crawl before either.
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