The "Giga Press" is already busy producing large aluminum parts
Tesla’s Gigafactory 5 in Austin, Texas is not finished yet, but apparently parts for the Model Y are already being made there. This is shown in a tweet from Joe Tegtmeyer, who keeps an eye on what’s going on in Austin with a drone camera.
With the Model Y, large metal parts are to be produced from aluminum using the die-casting process. Large parts are formed in one step by a gigantic press. In this way, numerous work steps are combined into one that is also very quick. A Giga Press from the Italian manufacturer Hidra is used. It is said to be the largest die-casting machine in the world.
Around 80 kilos of molten aluminum (melting point: 660 degrees) are injected into the casting mold for each part. A huge punch, which can exert a pressure of around 60,000 kilonewtons (around 6 tons), then presses the metal mass into shape. The cooled metal part is removed by a robot and after about one to two minutes the next part is attached. A single machine should produce around 1,000 parts per day.
Such machines are said to be used for parts of the Model Y and the Cybertruck are used. Three of them are already in the Gigafactory 3 in Shanghai, two in the Tesla plant in Fremont / California and one each in the Gigafactory 5 in Texas and the Gigafactory 4 in Grunheide near Berlin. In Austin, Tesla apparently produces Model Y castings in large numbers, although the factory is not yet finished.
It is still unclear whether the parts will be dumped in order to use them after the start of series production at the end of 2021 (according to the planning), or whether they should be moved to another production plant.
Model Y, unveiled in March 2019 has been manufactured at the Tesla plant in Fremont since the beginning of 2020. The car has also been built in Shanghai since December 2020, and later the electric SUV will also be manufactured in Texas and Grunheide.
Elon Musk recently confirmed that Model Y from Texas will have the new 4680 cells right from the start receives. The same applies to the Model Y from Grunheide, while Fremont and Shanghai will only switch to the larger batteries later:
As Musk writes, the 4680 cells are installed in Berlin as a "structural battery pack", which means that they also take on stability functions, as envisaged by the Cell-to-Chassis (CTC) approach. This construction principle increased the energy density, as the battery housing is no longer required. It is not yet known whether CTC technology is also used in Texas.
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