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Elon Musk agrees robot glut slowed Model 3 production

Elon Musk agrees robot glut slowed Model 3 production
From Engadget - April 14, 2018

Musk did not get to elaborate on the complexities of his factory setup, but he did point out one particular failure: the facility at one point used a "crazy, complex network of conveyor belts, and it was not working so [Tesla] got rid of the whole thing."

That Musk would have chosen to rely on a highly automated facility is little surprise. During a shareholder meeting in 2016, he excitedly noted that he thinks of the factory itself as a product with the potential for tremendous breakthroughs. "We realized that the true problem, the true difficulty, and where the greatest potential isis building the machine that makes the machine," Musk said. "In other words, it's building the factory."

Musk's plan to craft the machine that builds machines only picked up steam when Tesla acquired Perbix, an automated manufacturing company that Tesla had long-running business ties with. While the move allowed Tesla to being more component production in-house, it might have caused still more problems -- Tesla temporarily suspended Model 3 production for a week in February in part to "improve automation." It seems clear that Musk has not yet struck the right balance between machines and the roughly 10,000 human workers at the Fremont factory.

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