Tesla's 'Giga Press' caught fire, here's why that's a big deal
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Tesla’s factory in Fremont, Calif., was largely spared from a fire that occurred at the facility on Thursday evening, but a key piece of equipment was damaged to some extent in the incident.
According to the Fremont Fire Department, the smoky blaze was caused by hydraulic fluid and molten aluminum used in a die casting press that’s being installed at the facility.
The machine is one of the world’s largest of its kind and the second to be put into operation at the plant. Idra and Tesla call it the "Giga Press" due to its massive size.
Tesla currently uses it to produce the rear underbody of the Model Y SUV as a single piece that replaces 70 parts used in the previous, more conventional process. CEO Elon Musk has said the long-term goal is to cast its vehicles like toy cars, in an effort to speed up production and reduce costs. Tesla also employs the technology at its Shanghai, China, facility and plans to have it in its upcoming Berlin and Texas factories.