Elon Musk Capitalizes on Lean Six Sigma to Grow Tesla

By Erick Babin posted 04-01-2020 10:57


Elon Musk is the founder and CEO of Tesla Inc. Tesla Inc. has made a powerful brand name for itself under the leadership of Elon Musk. Musk’s strong leadership and vision for his company have been the driving force behind its success. 

With many failures and successes to his name, Musk has utilized his extensive education and capabilities to grow this unique company from the ground up. As the only dedicated electric car manufacturer on the planet, Musk has engaged in clever strategies like Lean Six Sigma to grow his company into a globally recognized brand.

Tesla, the environment and Six Sigma

Tesla Inc. has focused on the production of electric motor vehicles since its inception. CEO Elon Musk’s vision is a cleaner planet, which he has committed to supporting by manufacturing cars that produce low carbon emissions. Part of the company’s philosophy is to ensure that waste products are reduced in the entire supply chain. 

This means that the environment is considered from the sourcing of materials to make these cars, right through to customer delivery. Supported by the Six Sigma principles, as advocated by Peter Peterka, managing partner at Global Six Sigma, the company has expanded greatly over the past decade. 

Tesla, Six Sigma and expansion strategies

Tesla Inc. also focuses on making clean energy batteries on which its cars run. Storing energy is a specialized field, and this company has made great strides in perfecting battery power. Storage between the electric car owner’s home and the grid scale from where they can replenish their batteries is greatly improved but ongoing.

In innovative efforts to meet new electric car battery needs and solar battery power, Tesla Inc. has purchased SolarCity. Their focus has, therefore extended to manufacturing solar roof tiles and solar panels to make home living more environmentally friendly as well.

How Six Sigma and robotics intercede

When a company uses robotics that can manufacture a car in three days, it seems that they are using a system of continuous improvement. Taking a rapid three days to put one of their electric cars together, makes it clearer why the company has been able to grow and expand at such a steady rate.

Taking 3 days to create an electric car from scratch is impressive. This time includes sourcing of the raw materials to completion with exacting details. All of this points to a very exacting production process, which equally suggests the use of the Kaizen system.

Using Kaizen to make electric cars

Kaizen is part of the Six Sigma philosophy that comprises improvements on an ongoing basis. Gilbert Passin worked as the Vice President of Manufacturing, and he confirms that the company is focused on a philosophy of enhancing efficiencies in their processes. 

Passin additionally maintains that they accomplish these enhancements by employing talented engineers. The engineers concentrate on processing efficiencies, which is precisely how more value is embodied in their end products. The statements by Passin clearly illustrate the inclusion of Six Sigma methodologies in the way that Tesla does business.

Robot design incorporates precision and repetition

Passin adds that robots use precise repetitive motion to accomplish their tasks. These motions are augmented by human intelligence in the form of gifted Tesla engineers, who are supported by automation specialists. 

All costs are carefully calculated and no materials stand idle. Robotics manufacture parts at the rate of 1 per 6 seconds. One location is used, and the operation exemplifies efficiency. The vehicles are all pre-ordered. All these tactics point to the Lean Six Sigma philosophy in action. This philosophy includes cost, time, processing reductions, efficiency and talent maximization and value add, plus profit maximization.

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