Factory Transformation Determines How Fast We Get the Future

How quickly will all cars and trucks become electric? How quickly will we have thousands of reusable rockets? We can see the future being developed but the speed of transformation and the speed of the next transformation depends upon how successful we are in reinventing the factory.

In 2016, Tesla and Elon Musk said they were focused on the machine that makes the machine — turning the factory itself into a product. A first principles physics analysis of automotive production suggests that somewhere between a 5 to 10 fold improvement is achievable by version 3 on a roughly 2-year iteration cycle. The first Model 3 factory machine should be thought of as version 0.5, with version 1.0 probably in 2018.

China’s transformation has involved creating factory cities and regions. China has many factories covering city-sized areas to make smartphones, high-speed trains and nuclear power plants. China’s economic rise was by becoming the world’s factory. China mass-produced buildings, cities, trains and other products.

SpaceX is making a collection of factories and production facilities to mass-produce fully reusable Super Heavy Starships.

In 2020, Elon talked again about massively speed up car factories. If you optimized every cubic meter of the factory, then you could think of the factory-like a CPU. You can move things closer together and increase the clock speed to increase auto production throughput. These optimizations mean improving ten times and up to 100 times.

In 1913, Henry Ford installed the first moving assembly line for the mass production of an entire automobile. His innovation reduced the time it took to build a car from more than 12 hours to one hour and 33 minutes. Ford sped up production by 8 times. If Tesla and others are able to achieve 10X production improvement then the impact is as much as the Ford assembly line.

Tesla has been adding gigapresses to reduce parts in a vehicle and speed up production. Tesla is changing to larger battery sizes so one large battery provides the power of 5 smaller batteries. The change will also increase the productivity of the battery lines by 7 times.

Tesla new factories in 2022 will be about ten times as productive. It will have taken them an extra two to four years to achieve the goal.

It could be 2028-2035 before Tesla and SpaceX can achieve another ten times improvement in factory and production efficiency.

Other companies are already trying to adopt Tesla’s approach to factories. All battery makers make gigafactories for batteries. Solar panel makers all are making gigafactories for solar cells.

Tesla with the 4680 batteries and new generation battery lines will be making 200 GWh per year with each factory. If each battery terafactory costs $2 billion then Tesla could build ten of them for $20 billion. 2 TWh/year of batteries would be enough for 20 million cars per year with 100 KWh battery packs.

Tesla with another generation of battery and factories could have 1000 GWh per year (a TWh per year of batteries per factory). If each battery terafactory costs $2 billion then Tesla builds ten of them for $20 billion. 10 TWh/year of batteries would be enough for 100 million cars per year with 100 KWh battery packs.

SpaceX already is on track to build 2 Starships every week (100 per year) with a staff of 3000. This would bring the cost per Starship to about $10 million. A further ten times improvement in production capacity would be 20 Starships per week or 1000 Starships per year. The amount of staff and facilities could also be increased.

The speed of transformation of cities would be impacted with faster and more inexpensive tunneling. Elon has spoken about speeding up tunneling by 14 times.

China’s Broad Group had developed rapid skyscraper construction.

Broad Group was now focusing on new lightweight cylinders to make construction lighter, faster and stronger.

The IT and Internet industries are already $4 trillion a year businesses. The software and Deep learning systems are providing the interfaces and over the air up-dates to support a rapidly expanding volume of smart devices.

SOURCES- Tesla, SpaceX, Broad Group
Written By Brian Wang, Nextbigfuture.com