All along, Tesla has worked hard to increase production through high-tech automation. In 2018, because the Nevada plant robots in the United States failed to complete seamless coordination, the company was forced to ship a brand-new production line from Germany, which significantly delayed production.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk previously said that in the new Model Y production, the company would use an aluminum casting machine to produce an integrated component that replaces the 70 parts yet glued to the back half of the body. According to sources, this is only the beginning of new automated production. The front modules and other parts of the vehicle will also use new manufacturing processes.
Traditionally,the car body is composed of multiple stamped metal plates. This design allows the manufacturer to set an anti-collision zone on the car body to relieve a collision impact. However, Musk has developed a new production method in the German super factory.
But aluminum is difficult to use in large parts because it is difficult for this metal to be stamped into complex shapes. In order to obtain various forms,aluminum parts need to use glue or riveting because welding will cause metal deformation.
For example, the all-aluminum body of the Jaguar XE requires more than 2,000 rivets, and the use of adhesives also requires surface oxide layer treatment to ensure the adhesion effect, which requires higher environmental requirement sand brings higher costs.
Generally,an all-aluminum body will use self-piercing rivets, hot-melt self-tapping screws, aluminum resistance spot welding, cold metal welding, laser welding,glue connection, etc. Several or even all public arts, the complexity of the production process and the degree of automation require They are much higher than traditional car bodies.
Sandy Munro, CEO of Munro & Associates, a manufacturing consulting company, has previously criticized Tesla's manufacturing process, and he appreciated the improvements made by Tesla this time. In a recent speech with consultant Frost& Sullivan, he said: "When Tesla first started producing cars, we were very picky about them. At that time, their vehicles had huge gaps, and weld spatters were everywhere. Nowhere is suitable."
An executive from an automotive integration company in Guangzhou said that from the perspective of technological development and industrial upgrading, the general stamping of parts would be the overall direction in the future. Still,this process is very dependent on the level of technology and will not be accomplished overnight.
This is because the current application of the integrated casting process is still minimal, and the use of traditional manufacturing processes for critical parts is still irreplaceable. This will be a slowly progressive process. In this process, traditional stamping and welding manufacturers will not immediately feel the pressure.
In the future, even if there are disruptive breakthroughs in manufacturing materials and technologies, this impact may be positive, or it may further promote the upgrade and transformation of downstream automotive integration.With the development of the entire automotive industry and technology, the future development trend is intelligent and refined. The other is to deepen the integration of more new applications in the automotive industry.
For example, with the popularization of 5G technology and artificial intelligence and the development of the Internet of Vehicles industry, downstream automotive integration will benefit through new methods such as onboard terminals.
To sum up, the idea of integrated casting is excellent, but according to current auto parts materials and manufacturing technology, and other factors, the application effect may not be as expected. Compared with traditional automobile technology, the most significant advantage of integrated casting is the integrated design and manufacturing of parts. It can save the manufacturer's operating and manufacturing costs, greatly simplify the supply chain, reduce shipping time, and improve production efficiency.
But the disadvantages also exist. That is, different parts of the car body have different safety, mechanical, and technological requirements. If cast by aluminum castings, it will not meet the performance requirements of various body parts. This is excellent material and technology. Challenges. Therefore,at present, it is feasible to adopt integrated casting and integration partially. Still, components that play a key role in vehicle safety and even the entire body cannot be assumed.
Article source: Gaogong Robot Network