Tesla’s latest car-making process sparks debate among industry experts

Some manufacturing experts believe that the unpacking process removes elements common in the car factory, such as stamping, welding, painting, and sending the unfinished body down a long assembly line where seats, engines, and other parts are installed. We believe it may be reduced or eliminated.

If all works as planned, unboxed processes could rewrite standard industry strategies and practices. But Tesla has often fallen short of ambitious goals, from its often-delayed Cybertruck to its unfinished “fully self-driving” software.

Lean experts like James Womack and Hide Oba believe there is a key difference between Toyota’s production system and Tesla’s proposed overhaul.

While the core of the Tesla method is the “assembly process,” Toyota has developed a much broader and more comprehensive “production control system” that will enable automakers to more efficiently execute the assembly process and related operations. said Womack, co-author of The Machine. It Changed the World” is his 1990 book about Toyota’s lean manufacturing philosophy and methods.

A major risk Oba, an independent lean manufacturing consultant, cites is what he describes as the “rigidity” of unboxed systems. Mr. Ohba previously worked at the Toyota Production System Support Center, a division that assists automakers’ suppliers and others in implementing his TPS.

Tesla’s process “will not work unless the production of these large, high-content boxless vehicle modules is fully synchronized and the finished blocks finally arrive for just-in-time assembly,” he said. .

Another question is whether Tesla can use the unboxed system to produce multiple vehicle models of different sizes and body styles on the same production line.

“I think it’s nearly impossible,” Oba said. That’s because the way Tesla sliced ​​or “unpacked” the vehicle into several large blocks seems so radical that the dimensions of those blocks don’t seem to leave much room for manufacturing variables.

“Tesla’s model line-up is sure to become more diverse and complex in the future, so this could be a drag on the efficiency of the company as a whole,” he said.

https://www.autonews.com/manufacturing/teslas-latest-car-making-process-stokes-debate-industry-experts Tesla’s latest car-making process sparks debate among industry experts

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