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Tesla Motors

Metal Clinching Validation

Over the course of my internship I worked on implementing a new clinching technology into Tesla’s drive inverter manufacturing line. I worked with current engineers to define the product requirements and come up with a list of questions for potential suppliers. I then reached out to companies that offered this technology to narrow down which one best fit Tesla’s needs. While there were a large number of questions I asked the suppliers, the biggest factors in my decision were if they had experience with a use case similar to ours and the thoroughness of their testing/documentation.


The two suppliers I chose sent me clinched samples. From there I designed a testing plan and executed it. The testing included a custom fretting jig, which could fret the clinched joint upwards of 50,000 times in under an hour while also running a high current through the sample. I also performed standard peel and shear testing to characterize the strength of the joint. Lastly, to better understand long term performance I put the test coupons through oven ageing and high temperature/high humidity testing.

Long Term Testing

Part of my responsibility as a mechanical engineering intern on drive inverter team was performing long term testing of drive inverter components. I used thermal shock chambers to accelerate the ageing of the components and confirm that they still met safety and performance requirements at end of life. I also used thermal shock to better understand how the components age and created models to simulate component performance over the course of its life.

Manufacturing Fixture

I used Catia to design a fixture for the manufacturing line. I was then responsible for sourcing parts and assembly. Once assembled I worked with engineers at the factory to implement my fixture onto the line.

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