While automation has been on manufacturers’ minds since 2016, with Walmart replacing humans with robots in their stores and restaurants employing their help, there has been one clear case when it did more bad than good. Elon Musk admitted that one of the reasons Model 3 production stalled was due to… tobots.
In an interview for CBS, Tesla’s boss was faced with the fact that the production process was slowed down by robotics. It seems that to blame was a “crazy, complex network of conveyor belts, and it was not working so [Tesla] got rid of the whole thing.” Before that though, it delayed the whole process. In February, the entire production was suspended for a week to “improve automation.”
Despite the fact that 10,000 humans workers show up daily at the Fremont factory, more human help is needed, it seems. Not just to avoid such problems from ever popping up again, but also for paying extra attention to components.
Battery module issues made it impossible to go forward with the Model 3 production, Musk says: “We put a lot of attention on other things and just got too comfortable with our ability to do battery modules, because we’ve been doing that since the start of the company.”
It’s going to be interesting to see how the entrepreneur will act from this point on – will it hire more humans or invest more resourcing in perfecting its machines?