Posts Tagged ‘factory’

Tesla Forgets the Lesson Toyota Taught GM in Fremont: “Build fast, fix later: speed hurts quality at Tesla”

Wednesday, November 29th, 2017

Read and learn, from NPR:

“At the old GM plant in Fremont, Calif., the system had been totally different and there was one cardinal rule that everyone knew: the assembly line could never stop.

“You just didn’t see the line stop,” Madrid said. “I saw a guy fall in the pit and they didn’t stop the line.”

Lee, the supervisor who oversaw the plant summed it up this way: “You saw a problem, you stopped that line: you were fired.”

As a result, vehicles at the plant had lots of defects. Haggerty saw all kinds of mistakes go right down the line.

“So we had Monte Carlos with Regal front ends and vice versa,” he recalled. There were cars with engines put in backwards, cars without steering wheels or brakes. Workers fixed them later in a yard outside — sometimes doing more damage to the vehicles.”

So those were the bad old days of GM in Fremont. But then came the Toyota Way of doing things during the NUMMI era:

At the NUMMI plant you can see Toyota’s solution to this — a thin nylon rope that hangs on hooks along the assembly line. It’s called the andon cord and when pulled, it will stop the line.

The first pull summons a team leader. Workers try to correct the problem on the line. If it takes too long to fix, the line stops. The andon cord also plays a surprisingly cheerful little song that workers can chose. For longtime GM workers who switched to the NUMMI system, all this was a revelation.

After two decades at the GM Fremont plant, Earl Ferguson flew to Japan to learn a whole new way of making cars.

When Madrid trained in Japan, he saw workers stop the line to fix a bolt.

“That impressed me,” he said. “I said, ‘Gee that makes sense.’ Fix it now so you don’t have to go through all this stuff. That’s when it dawned on me. We can do it. One bolt. One bolt changed my attitude.”

And guess what’s made at that very same factory down south in Fremont today – that’s right, Teslas:

After Tesla’s Model S sedans and Model X SUVs roll off the company’s Fremont, California assembly line, the electric vehicles usually make another stop – for repairs, nine current and former employees have told Reuters.

The luxury cars regularly require fixes before they can leave the factory, according to the workers. Quality checks have routinely revealed defects in more than 90 percent of Model S and Model X vehicles inspected after assembly, these individuals said, citing figures from Tesla’s internal tracking system as recently as October. Some of these people told Reuters of seeing problems as far back as 2012.

By now, the reader should have realized that New Tesla is sort of like Old GM.

Artist’s conception of Elon Musk wearing Mens crocs size XXL, if he ever were to do that and then pose awkwardly in/on an expensive vehicle that obviously didn’t fit him (or Arnold, or Gavin, or a lot of others who Wanted To Believe):

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Trek Factory Racing? – Holy Toledo – As Seen in Frisco’s Financh

Wednesday, October 5th, 2016

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The Big Wheel Bike Craze Goes Mainstream: Bicycles with 4″ Fat Tires Available at City Target West

Tuesday, September 29th, 2015

Or online:

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Choose wisely

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Nevertheles, I’ll continue recommending the Marin Bikes Factory Sto

Two Views of Bud and Bud Light, the Giant Windmills Powering Budweiser’s Fairfield Factory – Giant Bald Eagle Bonus

Friday, September 25th, 2015

Here you go, as seen in the Great Central Valley near the I-80:

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All the deets.

And here’s another view of Fairfield – windmills, light poles, flagpoles and a giant inflatable bald eagle draped in an ‘Merican flag.

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God Bless America.

The Largest Rear-View Mirror I’ve Ever Seen on a Porsche

Monday, April 20th, 2015

To review.

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The first rule of Car Club is KEEP IT STOCK

And The second rule of Car Club is, similarly, KEEP IT STOCK as well…

Know Your Giant 400-Foot Tall Windmills of Solano County: Presenting Bud and Bud Light

Friday, January 2nd, 2015

These things are huge.

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First there was just one giant billboard extolling the virtues of Budweiser, and now there are two.

Well played, Budweiser.

How Tesla CEO Elon Musk is WRONG WRONG WRONG About How the Fremont Assembly Plant Has Been in Operation for “Over 60 Years”

Wednesday, November 26th, 2014

Here’s the background:

How Elon Musk Hustled $1.4 Billion Out Of Nevada For Gigafactory

Now here’s Musk’s defense of the Nevada Gigglefactory battery tax incentive deal.

Which you can swallow or not, but I have a beef with this part in particular:

“However, the 20 year mark is simply when the last of the incentives expires. The Gigafactory itself will continue contributing economically to Nevada for much longer. Our automotive plant in California has been in operation for over 60 years with no foreseeable end in sight.”

Well, first of all, there’s nothing to stop Tesla or its successor from threatening to move away unless it receives another massive subsidy from the people of Nevada, right? So that’s just wrong.

But, more importantly, what’s up with this “over 60 years” thing? Let’s take a look.

Fremont Assembly began operations in 1963, right? 2014 minus 1963 = 51 years, right? 51 years is less than “over  60 years,” right?

And that doesn’t mean that this place was “in operation,” all that time, right?

And actually, it didn’t make sense to have such a big old GM factory in the Bay Area so it shut down in 1982. Let’s get some more deets:

“Operated as GM plant from 1963 to 1982, then became the site of NUMMI, GM’s joint venture with Toyota and the only major auto assembly plant remaining in California. Closed April 1, 2010, partially reopening as the Tesla Factory, an automobile assembly plant for Tesla Motors”

So Fremont Assembly was massively downsized when Toyota was coerced into starting up NUMMI, which lasted just 16 years.

Then NUMMI got massively downsized and now what’s left has been a Tesla factory for a couple years.

Now you might think that that’s good or bad, but this record sure doesn’t match what Elon Musk has to say.

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On This Warm Day, Savor the Idea of Finding THE WORLD’S LARGEST IT’S IT Ice Cream Sandwich

Thursday, May 1st, 2014

This thing prolly has like 20,000 calories.

So refreshing!

South of SFO and north of expectations:

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Bumper Sticker Tells All to “BUY AMERICAN!” – Except this Car was Hecho’ed en Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico

Friday, February 7th, 2014

Isn’t it ironic?

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Don’tcha think?

Oh Nativists, will you ever win?

Fashion Update: How to Get $90 Lucky Brand Jeans at Costco for Just $17, Sort Of – The Miracle of “Urban Star”

Wednesday, October 9th, 2013

All right, work with me here, people. Them stretchy 361 Vintage Straight jeans from Lucky Brand go for $90, right?

Or you can get them at the Lucky Outlet for like $60 or so. The outlet version has a different button but otherwise it’s the real deal.

Or you can get that very same outlet version at Costco #144 for like $36.

Now here’s the kicker. Costco also sells “Urban Star” jeans that are the same exact thing, pretty much, for just $16-something.

Look at the pockets – Lucky in the background, Urban Star in the foreground:

(Or you can get Urban Star from a reseller at Amazon for $25.)

So this means that the markup for Lucky is like 500%?

News to me.

Anyway, I guess what I’m saying is that, just as Soylent Green is people, Urban Star is Lucky Jeans.