This week, energy giant Tesla took delivery of a large shipment of advanced robots meant to play an important part in the production process of the upcoming Model 3.
Speaking of the company’s production plans, the firm took the receipt for over 400 new robots in the recent weeks. CEO, Elon Musk, has always been a fan of using advanced robots on the assembly line and has even claimed that Tesla’s array of robots is the largest and most advanced globally.
In the previous year, Musk took to social media saying the production line has 542 robots which have obviously increased in the time since then. Considering the Model 3 mass production is on the horizon, Tesla is quite keen on automating a lot of the production process which is a point that Musk emphasized during a conference about earnings last year.
Tesla’s affinity for automation
This is not the first time Tesla authorized the use of robots in the production process. The company hired its first robots in 2014 so they could be used as part of a dedicated production center for the Model S.
These robots as developed by the German manufacturer, Kuka Robotics are responsible for the firm’s energy production line and the Model X. The new Kuka robots which have been quirkily been named after X-men superheroes are going to handle the Model 3 line duties such as laser welding, handling, spot welding and loading materials.
The Kuka robots are part of what Musk previously termed as “alien dreadnoughts” which was to be tasked with the building the Model 3. He claimed, “You can’t have people in the production line itself, otherwise you drop to people speed. So there will be no people in the production process itself. People will maintain the machines, upgrade them, and deal with anomalies.”
According to one alleged Field Service Engineer for Kuka Robotics, who posted photos of the robots, they are going to be at the Tesla plant for the next seven weeks in order to assist and commission 467 robots and 21 kl slides. At the current standings, Tesla is planning to manufacture at least 5000 of the Model 3 vehicles per week by September
Tesla has been at the forefront of automation considering the potential value when it comes to factory production. As the highly anticipated Model 3 electric vehicle is slated to start low-volume production by July, these robots costing between $50,000 to $500,000 are going to be needed.
Supposedly the company has spent more than $50,000,000 on the machinery and an additional 1.4 billion dollars which were raised in March assisted with the cost. The Model 3 is going to be the cheapest electric vehicle as yet, with the $35,000 price tag.
It is expected to come along with the latest Autopilot software, a unique display system and features found in pre-existing Tesla models. As an EV which is economically priced, the Model 3 is Tesla’s attempt to bring autonomous and green technology cars within reach of the larger population.