Case Study: Tesla Motors
Innovative Vehicles, Innovative Manufacturing
Tesla Motors is one of the world’s foremost manufacturers of all-electric automobiles. Dubbed “premium electric vehicles”, Tesla’s products are some of the most technologically advanced cars on the road. To produce their unique autos, Tesla invented a number of never-before-seen technologies, and utilize several others that are rare, at best. Among these is induction welding.
Induction welding uses electromagnetic induction to heat the workpiece, which is placed in the center of the system’s circular induction coil. A high-frequency electromagnetic field essentially melts the workpiece materials, which fuse together as they cool.
In March 2015, Tesla Motors contacted HBR Industries,Inc. with a unique request. A much-needed replacement part for one of Tesla’s induction welders was unavailable from any source, including the system’s manufacturer. As the part consisted of small, precisely-bent square tubing, Tesla wisely turned to the experts at HBR.
HBR Industries,Inc.: The Ideal Solution
Though a small part, it was an essential one, and therefore the replacement needed to match the OEM component perfectly. To recreate the part, which required several unusual bends, HBR worked with an outside contact to develop and 3D-print specialized tooling.
Producing the part proved to be an interesting puzzle, but with our manufacturing expertise, material inventory, and unique tooling, we were able to produce a sample that exceeded Tesla’s expectations. They were more than pleased with the outcome: a precision wound, perfectly formed square tube that was an exact match for the original part.
Tesla ordered a further six copies of the part in July 2015.