Tesla hires semiconductor manufacturing expert to help with battery production

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Tesla has hired an experienced semiconductor manufacturing executive to help ramp up its battery cell production.

Over the last few years, Tesla has been ramping up its own battery cell production – a new business for the automaker.

Tesla had unveiled a new tabless cell technology enabling a bigger cell format called 4680.

The automaker was able to ramp up production to support its Model Y production at Gigafactory Texas, and more recently, it switched its 4680 production line to produce a new version of the battery cell for the Cybertruck.

Tesla’s SVP of energy engineering, Drew Baglino, says that battery production is not a bottleneck in Cybertruck’s production ramp and that Tesla even has weeks of battery inventory.

While the battery production ramp seems to be going well, there have been several recent reports about the 4680 cells still being far from achieving the specs and cost that Tesla announced at its ‘Battery Day‘ event in 2020.

The automaker talked about a 5x in energy capacity, 6x in power, and a massive reduction in cost.

The reports claimed that Tesla is having issues with its cathode mix and dry electrode production.

Now, Electrek has learned that Tesla has hired a new manufacturing expert, John Paul Daly, from the semiconductor industry to help improve battery production at Gigafactory Texas.

Daly has updated his LinkedIn profile to confirm he is now in charge of “Tabless and Assembly Operations” at Tesla.

He was hired away from Infineon Technologies where he was ‘Director of Equipment Engineering’. Daly spent the last 30 years in various positions in semiconductor manufacturing – most recently in executive roles at Infineon, NXP Semiconductors, and Freescale Semiconductor.

Daly described his own career:

With over 30 years of experience in the semiconductor industry, I am a seasoned director of equipment engineering at Infineon Technologies, a leading global provider of microelectronics solutions. My mission is to ensure the optimal performance, reliability, and efficiency of the equipment and processes that support the production of high-quality and innovative products for various markets, such as automotive, industrial, and power.

Tesla has been looking at the semiconductor industry as an influence on its own manufacturing effort. CEO Elon Musk said that Tesla looks to replicate the accuracy and scale of the semiconductor business in the battery and EV manufacturing world.

The company is also looking at its factory layouts as a computer chip – looking to optimize every aspect and utilize as much space as possible.

Therefore, it makes sense for Tesla to recruit people from the semiconductor industry to improve its manufacturing efforts.

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