By now, Tesla’s manufacturing problems are completely predictable. See my explanation, after the break. At least Wall St. is starting to catch on.
Also in this article: Tesla’s gigafactory for batteries has very similar problems. That surprises me; I thought they had competent allies helping with batteries.
But one engineer who works there cautioned that the automated lines still can’t run at full capacity. “There’s no redundancy, so when one thing goes wrong, everything shuts down. And what’s really concerning are the quality issues.”
My summary: Fundamentally, Tesla has a product design and production process that are “not manufacturable.” That is, the product tolerances are considerably tighter than the process variation. The result is that they produce lots of junk that must be scrapped or reworked. They can partially reduce process variation by stopping more often to adjust machines, but this causes downtime and creates “bottlenecks.”
This situation is common, even normal, EARLY in ramp-up of new production processes. The more novel the product or the process, the more common it is. However, the entire purpose of ramp-up period is to locate these issues and then do _root cause_ solutions. Meanwhile, gradually speed up the machines to expose more and more problems (AFTER the old ones are fully solved).
Tesla fundamentally does not understand this. They still “throw more people at problems,” which can never lead to root cause solutions. It also raises labor cost, obviously. More discussion along these lines at Naked Capitalism https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2018/04/tesla-encounters-material-world.html