Revealing the Efficient Operational Secrets of Tesla’s Gigafactory Shanghai

Tesla’s Gigafactory in Shanghai has played a significant role in the company’s production and sales, accounting for 50% of its output. The factory has achieved an impressive gross margin of over 30%, owing to its efficient layout, optimized processes, cost-effective land acquisition, streamlined supply chain management, and skilled human resources. The following content will reveal the secrets behind Tesla’s efficient operation at its Shanghai factory as reported on April 27 by 36Kr.

Public data shows that Tesla’s Gigafactory Shanghai covers approximately 860,000 square meters or about 120 standard football fields which is not considered large among the automobile factories in China. The production system comprises four workshops for stamping, welding, painting, and final assembly. There are also separate assembly workshops for core components like batteries and motors. Moreover, an independent Chinese innovation research center is located here.

(Source: Tesla)

This factory’s workshops are designed for full functionality, with offices situated on the second floor of the final assembly workshop and canteens located either on the second floor or in close proximity to each workshop. This not only makes better use of space but also improves efficiency in responding to problems and daily operations. They have implemented a Warehouse On Wheel logistics system that utilizes mobile container warehouses, resulting in significant savings of storage space.

Gigafactory Shanghai has enhanced its production efficiency by implementing various technologies such as robotic arms, an industrial internet system, and a Factory Execution (FX) control system specifically designed for manufacturing.

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According to personnel onsite at Gigafactory Shanghai, Tesla conducts quality control inspections in key areas such as wheels, lights, sliding ADAS calibration, wheel hubs, chassis, and rain testing before vehicles roll off the production line. These inspections are similar to those conducted by other automakers. Additionally, Tesla has implemented an audit review process where randomly selected vehicles are evaluated internally by employees who simulate customers from a professional perspective.

The workers in the factory, along with cranes, hoists, and AGVs logistics transportation systems in workshops, collectively support Tesla’s operations. This showcases how Tesla maximizes space utilization while achieving maximum productivity improvements.

The Phase II final assembly workshop currently has a capacity of up to 13,000 units per week. This translates to an average production rate of one car every 45 seconds.

There is even further room for cost advantages to be realized. According to a Reuters report on April 24, Model Ys produced at Gigafactory Shanghai will be shipped to Canada this year marking the first time that vehicles from Tesla’s Shanghai factory have been exported to North America. It also indicates that Tesla is about to connect its most profitable factory with its largest market in North America.