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Old June 30th, 2018, 05:22 PM   #1
AustralIan
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Where did Elon Musk go wrong?

So Elon Musk is now building his Tesla Model 3 fleet by hand because automation has let him down, according to a not very reliable news source.

What mistakes did he make?
Did he make any at all, or is automation a sham?
How can a future entrepreneur avoid putting in automation that doesn't work?
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Old June 30th, 2018, 06:37 PM   #2
Maxkling
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Iím here to say, that in this time of the world... There is NO possible way that any mass produced car for sale to the general public would ever be built by hand. If he can get his car into space through many many processes of many many types of automation, I think his POS Model 3 would be just fine.
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Old June 30th, 2018, 08:45 PM   #3
Kev77
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I have gotten calls from several recruiters for a job at Tesla. They appear to pay well but I'm not moving back to California. Perhaps it wasn't automation that let him down as much as the people that are needed to program it.
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Old June 30th, 2018, 08:49 PM   #4
GaryS
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What makes you think something went wrong.
is plan is working out very well for him he got a lot of people to invest a large amount of money in a company that is doomed to fail with products that he can't make work.
But the whole time he living high on other people's money.
Looks like a good plan to me if you can pull it off.
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Old June 30th, 2018, 08:52 PM   #5
GaryS
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Kev77
I was contacted by recruiters their battery plant is in Arizona supposed to be fully automated
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Old June 30th, 2018, 10:28 PM   #6
Ken Roach
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Sure, Tesla could do things differently. But fortune favors the bold. If conventional factories and conventional risks and conventional investment could do what they are doing, then GM and Toyota would have done it already.

I am a supporter of the corporate mission of Tesla Motors, and I put my money where my mouth is.

I have a standing offer for Tesla skeptics, and for Tesla enthusiasts alike:

Get in.
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Old June 30th, 2018, 11:04 PM   #7
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I wouldn't say automation failed - his application of the automation failed.
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Old June 30th, 2018, 11:05 PM   #8
dmroeder
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GTFO Ken, did you get a model 3? I watched the unveiling of the 3, I was about 2 beers away from preordering. I still kick myself a bit for not doing it. My vehicle is just transportation for me, vehicles have never really excited me much. Model 3 is the first real vehicle that made me say: I kinda want one of those. I'm not a big ticket item spender, so I've been hesitant to fork out the cash. My next vehicle will be a model 3 though.

Say what you will about Elon Musk and Tesla, they are changing the world. Almost every automotive company is putting significant resources in electric vehicles and autonomy these days. I'm sure it would have happened eventually, but i don't think at the current pace if it weren't for Tesla.
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Old June 30th, 2018, 11:07 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aabeck View Post
I wouldn't say automation failed - his application of the automation failed.
Maybe it hasn't met the expectation yet, they are producing a lot of cars and they are improving. I wouldn't classify it as a failure. They are learning and improving.
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Old June 30th, 2018, 11:24 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmroeder View Post
Say what you will about Elon Musk and Tesla, they are changing the world. Almost every automotive company is putting significant resources in electric vehicles and autonomy these days. I'm sure it would have happened eventually, but i don't think at the current pace if it weren't for Tesla.
Whether Tesla continues to thrive as a brand or not, it is innovating the field.

Think back to the first popular PDA, the Apple Newton, that did nothing really - long gone and forgotten but it opened the doors for smartphones and tablets.

Look back in history and a lot of the new inventions failed in sales and marketing, just stepping stones to current technology.
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Old July 1st, 2018, 12:59 AM   #11
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Remember that you can only automate what you know how to do. If (sections of) Teslas are being built by hand, it may be that the process isn't well characterized, and they need constant human intervention to make adjustments.

It's also possible that the parts themselves or the assembly process hasn't (yet) been designed with automation in mind. If you have to reach around a corner to tighten a nut, it's easier to do that by hand (for low-volume production runs) than to build/buy a specialized robot with that type of flexibility. The design of the product includes the design of the automation. Musk' s team might have just focused on designing the best car the could, and ignored how to put it all together.

But this is pure speculation on my part. I know nothing about Tesla nor how they do automation. But I do know that automation is more than throwing a PLC or robot at something and calling it a day.

Last edited by Aardwizz; July 1st, 2018 at 01:09 AM.
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Old July 1st, 2018, 07:51 AM   #12
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It should be remembered that Tesla's own automation division is none other than former venerable Grohmann Engineering which Tesla has bought and from where Herr Grohmann himself, a nicest old gentleman, was kicked out later over disagreements with Tesla management about supporting Grohmann's legacy customers.

I am sure some members of this forum have had encountered Grohmann's machines: it used to be a great company with great capabilities and excellent engineering working in many different fields. I am sure it still is; but somehow all these resources so far do not seem to work for Tesla well...
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Old July 1st, 2018, 10:11 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Roach View Post

Get in.
If im ever back on the west coast I would love to go for a ride... im a fan of both cars and technology and think he has done wonders

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maxkling
There is NO possible way that any mass produced car for sale
The invester side of me thinks if he is building by hand they are just trying to satisfy the stockholder and get the numbers, they promised 5k a week, if he is close then they are just trying to hit that number... if they are way below the stock is going to go back below 240

https://www.mercurynews.com/2018/06/...del-3-numbers/
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Old July 1st, 2018, 11:28 AM   #14
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The main problem Tesla has is not having standards for the integrators. Too many integrators, to many different styles of programming, its hard for the maintenance department to keep up. But I heard they are implementing standards for the new assembly lines.
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Old July 1st, 2018, 12:06 PM   #15
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DISCLAIMER: I have NOT done any training work for Tesla – and I don't know ANYTHING about what's "going on" with their automation (or lack thereof) – beyond what I have read in this particular thread ... (maybe someone could please post a link to a news report – or something along those lines) ...

anyway ... this comment caught my attention:

Quote:
The main problem Tesla has is not having standards for the integrators. Too many integrators, to many different styles of programming, its hard for the maintenance department to keep up. But I heard they are implementing standards for the new assembly lines.
I'm just going to add the following thoughts to the conversation ... please feel free to ignore them ...

I always invite my training customers to send in some samples of the PLC project files that they use in their operations – so that I can cover the specific troubleshooting and maintenance skills that their employees will require on the job ... note that not all of my customers are allowed to do this – since they are government-related, defense contractors, pharmaceutical companies, and so on ... in situations where their files are considered "proprietary" or "trade secret" information, we just do the best we can with whatever information is available ...

what I've started noticing in several instances over the last few years is that some of the largest PLC project files are now being written ENTIRELY in plain old-fashioned Ladder Logic format ... specifically, some of these are HUGE projects for LARGE companies ... in large files like this, I've been used to seeing stuff like Structured Text, Function Block Diagrams, Equipment Phases, and so on ... in other words, formats that many programmers consider to be "modern" programming techniques – and therefore more "efficient" to develop than the old-fashioned Ladder Logic format that PLC programmers have traditionally used ...

I've asked several of my customers about this – and this is the reply that I've been given ...

Quote:
our company has been burned too many times in the past with all of these "new-fangled bells-and-whistles" techniques that the latest generation of programmers have fallen in love with – so we're now writing the specifications for our new projects to eliminate anything except Ladder Logic ... the only reason for this is that our in-house maintenance technicians have little or no experience with interpreting the new formats ... equipment downtime is killing us – especially when we have to rely on - and wait for - some outside vendor with the necessary knowledge to arrive and get our equipment back up and running ...
so ...

as I said earlier, I am NOT commenting about Tesla ... I have no knowledge of what they are experiencing ...

but I can tell you that from what I've been seeing lately, the pendulum has started swinging away from "new modern efficient" methods of programming – back toward "plain old-fashioned" Ladder Logic ... note that this is being driven by the CUSTOMERS' demands (read: "money") and we all know that "money talks" ...

so ...

Quote:
too many different styles of programming, it's hard for the maintenance department to keep up. But I heard they are implementing standards for the new assembly lines.
some of us might see the proverbial "hand writing on the wall" in that statement from Remff ...

peace to all ...
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Last edited by Ron Beaufort; July 1st, 2018 at 12:26 PM.
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