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Tesla's Assembly Line Shown At ‘Full’ Speed Reveals Just How Impressively Fast Modern Production Could Get

by Penn Collins

October 10, 2017

Last week, reports came in that Tesla had failed to meet its third-quarter Model 3 production goals by a very wide margin. Having forecasted the assembly of 1,500 of the lower-priced and highly anticipated cars by Oct. 1, a press release confirmed what many on Wall Street had feared: The company is woefully off the mark, producing just 260 cars during that time. 

The Wall Street Journal has reported that the gap can be attributed to bottlenecks among the production of certain parts that are still being made by hand to accommodate the production demands. But more public focus seems to be on an Instagram video that Elon Musk has shared on his account, showing the assembly of a car at just one-tenth the optimized and forecasted speed of operation.

Though his caption may cause some confusion as to whether the line is actually functioning that slowly or the video has been slowed down, he clarified by saying the video represents real time and that the speed of the machines has been throttled at this early stage in production due to both a lack of throughput and a desire to more effectively diagnose and address problems on the line as they arise. 

Human imagination and curiosity being what it is, a Twitter user quickly took the liberty of speeding up the video 10-fold to reveal what this process would look like when it’s proceeding at full-bore. It’s … fast. In fact, it’s so fast that the 20-second video is hard to parse in its shorter two-second runtime. 

The video at any speed may not grant solace to worried investors or eager customers because a delay on the outset will no doubt push back loftier goals such as the escalation to 5,000 cars per week at the end of the year. But assuming the much-hyped rollout can sort out its somewhat enigmatic issues in due time, there’s little doubt that this lightning-fast demonstration — should it function properly — won’t be the bottleneck in production once it starts humming along. 

Share image via Elon Musk/Instagram.

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