Boeing brings efficiency to outsourced plants
The Boeing 787 was scheduled to embark on its first flight in April 2007. Fourteen months later, the aircraft has not left the tarmac for a commercial flight. The two factories established to aid the production of the 787 Dreamliner fuselage sections lacked efficiency, and had to ship an incomplete product to the main Everett, Wash., assembling plant.
However, according to the Seattle Times , both plants are operating efficiently, thanks to a group of Boeing and ex-Boeing managers who are providing some much-needed direction for the outsourced parts. The relative inexperience of the two local factories in the aerospace industry prompted the introduction of contract workers and mechanics borrowed from Boeing’s aircraft maintenance site in San Antonio. About two-thirds of the Dreamliner’s fuselage is assembled at these two plants. Just last week the rear fuselage of Dreamliner No. 4 was delivered to Everett with the 98% of the structure complete and 87% of the systems installed. The impact of the new plant chiefs is easy to understand when these numbers are compared to the fuselage shipped last year which only had 16% of its structure completed and no systems installed.
The ultimate goal is to deliver a completely equipped fuselage to Everett in the near future. With the new founded efficiency of both plants, this task now seems attainable.