Tesla Pumps the Breaks on California Plant to Make Room for Assembly Robots Down the Road

Image via Flickr by jurvetson

Tesla Motors will briefly stop production at this plant to make way for the newest assemblers. The robots will be primarily used in the production of Tesla’s Model X sport-utility vehicle (SUV).Robotic arms will produce alongside human workers at the Tesla plant in Calif.

According to Bloomberg News, “Work to reconfigure the production floor at the facility in Fremont began yesterday and vehicle assembly will resume in two weeks, with a goal of boosting production by 25 percent, said Simon Sproule, a spokesman for the carmaker. The $100 million upgrade will add 25 robots and modify the factory’s body and general assembly lines, he said.”

Tesla’s facility is one of the only auto manufacturers located on the west coast of the U.S. While the company does plan to open battery “Gigafactories” throughout the southwest, currently, the California-based Tesla factory is still a major source for the production of its state-of-the-art batteries, as well.

The International Business Times states, “Tesla has turned a portion of the site into one of the more advanced manufacturing facilities. The company will be installing more so-called flexible robotics manufactured by Augsburg, Germany, plant engineering firm KUKA AG, which sells its multi-joint robotics arms to Daimler AG, Bayerische Motoren Werke AG and other major auto manufacturers. Unlike the stamp-and-repeat robots of yore, modern flexible robotic assembly machines can perform different and increasingly intricate tasks.”

There is no word yet on how the shutdown will directly financially impact the company – recent reports suggest the car manufacturer is making low profits as is; however, this investment is meant to streamline manufacturing, as well as boost production.

Reuters adds, “Tesla Motors Chief Executive Elon Musk said that the electric car company will “certainly” make more than 60,000 vehicles in 2015, up from an expected 35,000 this year. Musk hinted that the production level [of all Tesla vehicles] may be well above 60,000 vehicles, based on the expected output by the end of 2015 of 2,000 vehicles per week from Tesla’s plant in Fremont, California.”

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