Published on July 23, 2019 |
July 23, 2019 jo Steve Hanley
We do not know who Matthew Kenneth Kallas is, but he had to spend a lot of time playing with Mattel's models of cars that were extruded. He is now working for Tesla and is listed as inventor of US patent application no. 15874348, described as "a multi-way casting machine in one body for the vehicle frame and associated methods". PatentScope. Empty your eyes in the illustration below to get a sense of what Kallas has in mind.
It may be difficult to wrap your head unless you are a mechanical engineer. In fact, the use of casting technology for the production of a car frame – a process that has been made with metal stamps for 50 years – could eliminate many steps in the traditional assembly process, thereby saving time and reducing costs.
Today, the collection of stamps is welded, riveted and bound in the final unibody design in a process that can involve dozens, if not hundreds of steps. If the number of steps could be reduced, the entire process could become much more effective. More from the patent application:
"[H]Die casting in casting is a process of metal casting that has been in use for more than a hundred years. Pressure casting usually involves squeezing or injecting the molten metal under high pressure into the mold cavity. The mold cavity is formed by two sections which have been machined to form the desired casting. Depending on the type of metallic material used, it is possible to use a die-casting machine with a hot or cold chamber, as well as casting molding methods, in addition to the transformation where the alloy is poured over / around existing substrates in order to achieve higher structural properties of the finished product.
"One part of the hens is called a" cover ", the other part of the hens is a" pawn chamber "and where they encounter a" separation line. "Usually, the cover part includes a hole for a spruce or hole that is configured to allow a melt solidification. a metal that flows into a matrix of an injector fluidly coupled with a hole for a spruce or hole and is attached to the stationary plate of the casting machine. The ejector section typically includes an ejector pin and / or a plate for pushing the outlet of the ejection section of the ejection device (e.g., after solidification and open tools) and is attached to the movable plate of the casting machine.
"Typically, several die casting machines, which emit different components of the vehicle frame, are often used in the frame of the vehicle frame construction and casting process. For example, one casting plant in the factory can be used to cast each component of the frame. These components from each casting machine are then assembled or secured together (for example by welding) by factory workers or robotic systems to form a vehicle frame (eg, a frame of a one-piece vehicle).
»Since casting generally involves higher capital costs compared to other casting and manufacturing processes, including the assembly of a number of individual components (eg due to the high cost of casting equipment and metal matrix), there is still a need for an improved die-casting machine and related methods. with it, in particular with regard to the casting of the vehicle frame to reduce the work needed to achieve the final composite product.
"This disclosure describes the implementation of pressure die casting machines and their methods which can reduce production time, operating costs, production costs, factory footprints, operating costs, processing costs and / or quantity of equipment. Such casting machines may reduce the number of casting machines or the actual castings necessary for casting the entire or substantially complete frame of the vehicle (eg, less than six, less than five, less than four, less than three, less than two, or one casting machine (i)).
"The present disclosure generally refers to the construction and assembly of the vehicle frame, more specifically to the multi-directional die-casting machine for molding the vehicle frame and the associated processes thereof, so that the multi-way casting machines are suitable for casting the frame of a one-piece vehicle, and more specifically for the frame In some versions, several parts of the vehicle frame can be completely molded or molded without the need for further assembly and attachment (eg welding, rivets, etc.).
"This may reduce the number of castings and / or steps for the production or casting of a substantially complete frame of the vehicle. For example, the die-casting machine, as described herein, may reduce the number of casting machines or actual castings required to cast the whole or substantially complete frame of the vehicle (e.g. At less than six, less than five, less than four , less than three, less than two, or one or more castings or casting machines). Accordingly, this may reduce the costs associated with production, including, but not limited to, operating costs, tool costs, time and other equipment and labor costs. "
Among other things, Tesla is interested in interrupting the global economy by returning to the first principles and finding ways to make better products in less time for less money. Elon Musk calls this "the construction of a machine that makes the machine." Lessons from Fremont and Gigafactory 1 in Nevada are already being used for Gigafactory 3 in Shanghai.
There is a reason that Tesla will be able to produce a 3s model in China less than a year after it broke its new factory, while the Lucid factory in Arizona will need twice as much time to start batch production. It is difficult to follow how Tesla is ahead of other car manufacturers.
One has to wonder how the construction of the Unibody construction affects the cost of repairs (or if repairs are even possible). The cast metal is rather fragile and can not be easily restructured or repaired. Without a doubt, Elon and his supporters have already thought about it and have a plan that will shock and surprise a plethora of "business as usual".
Remember, just because a company applies a patent application does not mean that a product that is patented will ever be used in actual production. Many ideas are patented only to determine the timeframe, who first thought about the idea and had exclusive rights on it. Will Tesla ever be made with this casting method? Not necessarily, but they maybe, and this is an important part.