The innovations behind the Tesla Gigafactory
Just outside of Sparks, Nevada, on Electric Avenue, sits the Tesla Gigafactory. With 10 million square feet of space — the largest footprint of any building worldwide — the Gigafactory at full capacity will be able to produce more lithium ion batteries in a single year than were produced globally in 2013.
Groundbreaking and Beyond
Tesla broke ground for its Gigafactory project in June 2014. Facility construction stretched out through 2015, while 2016 is slated for equipment installation. Currently ahead of schedule, Tesla plans for cell production for Tesla Energy products by late 2016.
The Motley Fool reports, "Management says Tesla is on target for the first cell production allocated to vehicles in 2017, noting these cells will support Model 3 pack production."
Tesla estimates delivery of the Model 3 by the end of 2017, an essential timeline achievement if the company is to meet its goal of producing 500,000 cars by 2020.
Tesla Gigafactory Innovations
According to Tesla Motors, "The name Gigafactory comes from the factory's planned annual battery production capacity of 35 gigawatt-hours (GWh)." A single GWh equals one billion watts, which is one million times the common kilowatt (kWh).
It takes a massive factory to even attempt to achieve Tesla's massive production goals, which could mean huge energy costs. Like a Tesla vehicle, however, the Gigafactory will not consume fossil fuels, nor will it use natural gas or house any diesel generators. Solar panels line the roof of the Gigafactory, which faces true north for maximum sun exposure, and also will be placed elsewhere throughout the Tesla property. Other alternative and green energy sources planned for the Tesla Gigafactory include both wind and geothermal power.
It's been estimated that the diverse energy sources used by the Gigafactory have the potential to generate about 20 percent more renewable electricity than the facility actually needs each day.
The Tesla Gigafactory, when complete and operational, not only will be one of the largest production facilities in the automotive industry, but it will be a self-contained factory with the ability to produce its own energy for a greener footprint.
Intelliwave SiteSense boosts APTIM material tracking
“We’ve been engaged with the APTIM team since early 2019 providing SiteSense, our mobile construction SaaS solution, for their maintenance and construction projects, allowing them to track materials and equipment, and manage inventory.
We have been working with the APTIM team to standardize material tracking processes and procedures, ultimately with the goal of reducing the amount of time spent looking for materials. Industry studies show that better management of materials can lead to a 16% increase in craft labour productivity.
Everyone knows construction is one of the oldest industries but it’s one of the least tech driven comparatively. About 95% of Engineering and Construction data captured goes unused, 13% of working hours are spent looking for data and around 30% of companies have applications that don’t integrate.
With APTIM, we’re looking at early risk detection, through predictive analysis and forecasting of material constraints, integrating with the ecosystem of software platforms and reporting on real-time data with a ‘field-first’ focus – through initiatives like the Digital Foreman. The APTIM team has seen great wins in the field, utilising bar-code technology, to check in thousands of material items quickly compared to manual methods.
There are three key areas when it comes to successful Materials Management in the software sector – culture, technology, and vendor engagement.
Given the state of world affairs, access to data needs to be off site via the cloud to support remote working conditions, providing a ‘single source of truth’ accessed by many parties; the tech sector is always growing, so companies need faster and more reliable access to this cloud data; digital supply chain initiatives engage vendors a lot earlier in the process to drive collaboration and to engage with their clients, which gives more assurance as there is more emphasis on automating data capture.
It’s been a challenging period with the pandemic, particularly for the supply chain. Look what happened in the Suez Canal – things can suddenly impact material costs and availability, and you really have to be more efficient to survive and succeed. Virtual system access can solve some issues and you need to look at data access in a wider net.
Solving problems comes down to better visibility, and proactively solving issues with vendors and enabling construction teams to execute their work. The biggest cause of delays is not being able to provide teams with what they need.
On average 2% of materials are lost or re-ordered, which only factors in the material cost, what is not captured is the duplicated effort of procurement, vendor and shipping costs, all of which have an environmental impact.
As things start to stabilise, APTIM continues to utilize SiteSense to boost efficiencies and solve productivity issues proactively. Integrating with 3D/4D modelling is just the precipice of what we can do. Access to data can help you firm up bids to win work, to make better cost estimates, and AI and ML are the next phase, providing an eco-system of tools.
A key focus for Intelliwave and APTIM is to increase the availability of data, whether it’s creating a data warehouse for visualisations or increasing integrations to provide additional value. We want to move to a more of an enterprise usage phase – up to now it’s been project based – so more people can access data in real time.