Tesla China announced that it would release a series of videos providing a sneak peek into Giga Shanghai’s operations. The first video in the series shares information about Tesla China’s cost management strategy.
GIGA SHANGHAI’S LAYOUT
The first factor in Tesla China’s cost control strategy is Giga Shanghai’s layout. The stamping, welding, painting, and assembly workshops are connected to minimize “the logistics path” between each process, improving efficiency. Giga Shanghai also utilizes the longitudinal space in all its workshops through elevators and machine transportation tracks. The placement of Giga Shanghai’s docks is also a way of running the factory efficiently, which minimizes time and costs.
Elon Musk once stated that Tesla’s gigafactories would become products themselves. Tesla China seems to have taken that to heart with Giga Shanghai.
“It can be said that the innovation of the factory itself builds [an] enforceable foundation for the innovation of the production and manufacturing. Without this foundation, cost control would be like a tree without roots or water without a source,” noted Tesla China.
TESLA CHINA R&D CENTER
Tesla’s local R&D Center in Shanghai was completed earlier this year. Tesla China states that the R&D Center is another pillar in its cost management strategy. The R&D Center handles essential parts of Tesla’s manufacturing process from design to testing and quality control.
Tesla China believes the R&D Center provides a complete closed-loop product development process. It helps Giga Shanghai vehicles evolve over time by delivering precise cost management blueprints that improve the affordability of Tesla products, from its all-electric vehicles to its battery storage systems.
TESLA GIGA SHANGHAI PRODUCTION
Tesla Giga Shanghai’s production process is yet another factor contributing to lowered costs. The process includes independent parts production. An excellent example of independent parts production would be the Tesla Model 3 and Model Y’s single-cast rear bottom plate.
“Take the Model 3 as an example. It needs roughly more than 70 punch-welded parts for the rear bottom plate. Most OEMs usually outsource those parts production, and they still have to set up a welding line,” said one Tesla Chain Casting Process Engineer.
“So, the whole production cycle is quite long. After we realized the one-piece casting, we only need the aluminum ingots from a supplier to manufacture it ourselves, including melting, die-casting, post-treatment, and machining. Within a very short period of time, the raw materials will be molded into a complete rear bottom plate,” he said.
The management of the docks contributes to the efficiency of production as well. The factory handles nearly 2,000 containers a day. Each customer order affects the sequence the factory transports the car parts through the assembly line. Suppliers also follow customer orders by sending parts as each order is made.
Through this level of organization with suppliers and in Giga Shanghai, Tesla China ensures that little to no parts need to be kept in a warehouse. Giga Shanghai aims to have zero inventory.
The supply chain significantly affects production, as can be seen in the way the docks are managed. Localizing Giga Shanghai’s supply chain was crucial in Tesla China’s cost management strategy. The local supply chain helps reduce production costs and raise the standards for parts.
Tesla China’s cost control video provides a tiny glimpse into all the work and forethought that went into Giga Shanghai from layout to production. It also explains why Giga Shanghai has become cost-efficient and Tesla’s primary export hub.
Giga Shanghai has helped increase Tesla’s production and delivery numbers at a monumental level. In November, Tesla China’s Global VP Grace Tao stated that Giga Shanghai aims to produce 500,000 vehicles by the end of 2021.
Watch Tesla China’s Giga Shanghai feature in the video below.