Rivian is getting ready for production at its factory in Normal, Illinois and shared a glimpse into the progress to date in a new video. The video showcases a strikingly open warehouse where Rivian’s engineers are vetting the flow of the production process.
Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe hosts the tour through the Rivian factory, noting that in the coming months, the factory will be filling in. “Over a couple of months this fall, this 500,000 square foot room will be filled with our body shop. With robots, with fixtures,” he said. The nearly 500 robots that will fill in the body shop will sport the same signature blue as many of Rivian’s early trucks, carrying that bit of company culture through into the production facility.
The current production-representative process will help Rivian vet each step of the production process before diving in with the massive investments required to flesh out a full scale automotive production line.
Scaringe was quick to celebrate the holistic approach his team is taking with the new facility. All parts that come into the facility come in reusable dunnage, meaning that instead of just scrapping the containers after the parts are offloaded, Rivian can either ship them back to be reused or use them to ship more components around.
Some of the packaging is made with recycled ocean plastic. That’s a cool use of the material as it provides another outlet for reclaimed ocean plastic and means they can be fully recycled at the end of life.
It might be early in the setup of the new production lines, but this moment has been a decade in the making as Rivian has carefully built the company up one step at a time. All the effort is about to pay off as the company fleshes out production lines and installs equipment ahead of the first customer deliveries next year. As of this writing, Rivian’s R1T truck deliveries are slated to begin June 2021, with deliveries of the R1S SUV expected to kick off in August 2021.
Check out the full video below for a glimpse into the Rivian factory in Normal, Illinois.