Khitchdee's low risk land-vehicle production platform
This production platform is based on a "unit-production-hub"
which is a microfactory for the production of individual land-vehicle units.
It integrates the functions of design, manufacturing, sales and after-sales service
into a single, small low-cost installation.
While it is currently very expensive to build land-vehicles outside of assembly lines
and at unit scales
we plan to make several modifications to the process to bring down this cost.
Production happens in 2 phases
1. A long iterative design phase over several months in which
a design is conceptualized, modelled using a CAD tool
produced using locally accessible part production resouces
and off-the-shelf parts
Once the design nears a construction ready stage
an optimized assembly process is designed
that targets an assembly time of 3 days by 2 human assemblers.
2. A construction phase spanning 3 days in which a design is assembled.
One unit-production-hub can therefore produce about 100 units/year.
Since the cost and size of a unit-production-hub is a lot lower
than an assembly-line based manufacturing factory
and the functions of design, manufacturing, sales and after-sales service are integrated
it can be replicated at the sales locations to scale-up production.
Net-net, this brings down the ballpark investment required to produce a land-vehicle
from $1 billion to $10 million which is a substantial risk reduction
The Planned Platform
The planned platform is a clean-slate design.
It will be an installation in an area of roughly 60' x 20'
that contains all the tools needed to prototype and produce a land-vehicle unit.
The tools will include basic metal-working and handling tools
and CAD tools that we will design and produce.
The platform will be connected to locally available resources
for precision manufacturing of parts at unit scales.
To keep costs low, we will favor the use of off-the-shelf parts
such as sheet metal, structural sections and pipes.
We will also favor the use of body-on-frame construction techniques
(in the case of cars for unit prototyping)
to avoid the costs associated with monocoque-unibody production.
The CAD tools we produce will include templates to start designs
and BKMs that we develop for various aspects of the design process.
These BKMs will mainly be in the areas or ergonomics and aerodynamics.
The Design Process
1. Seed Prototyping.
Initially we make modifications to existing land-vehicle designs
to validate major design ideas.
2. Draft Design
We use CAD tools to create a draft design.
We are creating our own tools
based on the 3-axis hexagonal (not cartesian) grid
which makes the design of angles and curves a lot more comprehensive.
3. Unit Production
Our CAD tools output specifications for all the parts that need to be fabricated.
Unit Production involves getting all the needed parts fabricated
and assembly of the unit.
The produced unit is tested
and based on the results of testing the draft design is updated
the unit re-produced and tested again.
This is an iterative process.
5. Unit construction design
Once a design is close to final, an optimized construction method
is designed to assemble the design by 2 persons in 3 days.
We have created a basic platform for working with metal manually
with the aid of some power tools.
We have used this to create our seed prototypes.
To get this platform ready for unit production,
we need to add precision manufacturing capability
which implies the use of CAD tools.
We are developing our own CAD tools for this process
and plan to connect these to locally available precision manufacturing resources
to develop this platform.