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JP Morgan noted that it visited LK Tech, the largest die casting machine supplier in the market, for its analysis. The firm stated that it was able to meet the Founder and CEO of LK Tech and the Head of IDRA, the company’s Italian subsidiary that has so far provided Giga Presses in the Fremont Factory, Giga Berlin, and Giga Texas. Tesla’s Giga Shanghai has been spotted with Giga Presses that are branded with LK Tech.
— David Tayar (@davidtayar5) February 11, 2021
The Wall Street firm’s analysis showcased several insights that have been discussed by industry experts such as Sandy Munro in the past, such as the Giga Press’ capability to simplify Tesla’s vehicle assembly process by replacing 70 pieces of metal into a single-piece megacast. JP Morgan also acknowledged that with the Giga Press, Tesla could adopt a lightweight, cost-efficient, and more straightforward production process, giving it an edge against its competitors in the auto segment.
Things become more interesting when JP Morgan shared its estimates on the Giga Press’ output, however. In a section listed as “The Maths,” the Wall Street firm assumed that each Giga Press would be capable of producing one part every 4-5 minutes, or about 240-300 seconds. At this rate, the firm estimated that one Giga Press would have an annual output of 70-90k units, which meant that Tesla would need about 8-10 Giga Presses to manufacture 350k Model Y per year.
“Assuming the casting machine produces one body part every 4-5 mins, around 70-90k units of annual production can be generated from one Giga Press. Given two Giga Presses are needed for each Model Y (one front ad one rear body part), it is estimated that around 8-10 Giga Presses are needed for the production of 350k units of Model Y,” JP Morgan wrote.
This estimate is notably lower than what has been expected by the electric vehicle community, mainly since Die-Casting Machine #1 (DCM1), which was recently deployed in the Fremont Factory, has already been observed to have a cycle time of about 170-200 seconds as per drone videos of the contraption. This is already quicker than JP Morgan’s estimates, and this is also with the machine’s operations still being optimized.
Specifications of the Giga Press from IDRA also indicate that the machines could have a cycle time of ~80-90 seconds, allowing an output of 40-45 castings per hour or about 1,000 castings per day. Considering that Tesla is still in the process of mastering its house-sized machines, there seems to be a good chance that the electric car maker could produce 350k Model Y in one year using far less than 8-10 Giga Presses.
Check out DCM1’s operations as of late January in the video below.