In part one of a three-part series, we take you behind-the-scenes for an exclusive look at Faraday Future’s manufacturing and developmental processes of FF 91, as we create a shared mobility ecosystem that empowers people to move, connect, breathe, and live freely.
“As a company that values cutting-edge technology, we’ve been leading the charge, using advanced manufacturing machinery and techniques in our assembly line”
Manufacturing technology has evolved over the years as auto industry segments adopt the use of specialized tools and processes aimed to increase production efficiency and product quality. Technology and innovation have always been foremost at the heart of Faraday Future over the past four years- and with our production goal of FF 91 in sight, we’re announcing our biggest update.
The first FF 91 body-in-white (or BIW) assembly has been completed, following its arrival at the new FF Hanford factory two days ahead of schedule.
BIW is an industry standard term describing the assembly of vehicles’ raw chassis before paint, powertrain components, chassis sub-assemblies, or trim have been applied to the frame structure. Completing the first BIW marks a significant step forward for FF, with deliveries of FF 91 scheduled to take place from December 2018 to mid-2019.
“BIW is one of many big milestones for FF as we enter the final stage in introducing our ‘New Species,’ the FF 91, our first production vehicle and flagship model,” states FF Founder and Global CEO, YT Jia.
The assembly process begins with using state-of-the-art robotics and welding technologies coupled with best-practice manufacturing techniques. BIW is assembled using over 2,500 self-piercing rivets and Flowform? screw technology which incorporate a unidirectional joining process. This same joining process is not possible with conventional sheet metal joining methods.
“As a company that values cutting-edge technology, we’ve been leading the charge, using advanced manufacturing machinery and techniques in our assembly line,” says Manufacturing Engineer, Joseph Fryer.
FF’s manufacturing process also utilizes a combination of Cold Metal Transfer (CMT) welding and Flexweld? resistance element welding technology. Flexweld processing allows FF to overcome one of the biggest challenges in the automotive industry - joining aluminum to steel.
Although steel remains the dominant assembly material in FF 91, this process allows FF to use more aluminum in constructing the vehicle/chassis, resulting in lighter weight -advantageous for increased range efficiency. FF uses this specialized welding technology on class “A” surfaces- the final production surface on exterior panels.
“This is an exciting time for FF, knowing our first BIW structure was assembled alongside key strategic suppliers,” says BIW Tooling and Equipment Manager, Hector Padilla.
FF engineers use a 3D high-definition data capturing system and walk-around wireless contact probe to accurately measure dimensions to eliminate any deviation or misalignments to FF 91's exterior design for a precision fit.
Assembling BIW consists of using wireless transducerized torque tools to secure critical structural points on the frame. This computer-aided tool achieves high-accuracy and comprehensive error-proofing by servicing multiple torque specs using one tool.
According to Padilla, the days leading up to the completion of the first BIW were challenging, but his team overcame numerous obstacles to achieve success. “It’s inspiring how our FF team, suppliers, and vendors worked together in delivering our first BIW. Their hard work and dedication are true testament to us achieving our production goals of FF 91.”
Up to this point of the manufacturing and assembly process, FF team members have worked meticulously to complete the chassis structure. Now begins the next stages to fill the vehicle with a unique combination of components, options, and luxuries that will make FF 91 as distinctive as its owner.
* Flowform and Flexweld are registered trademarks of Arnold Umformtechnik GmbH & Co. KG