Thursday, July 15, 2010

Flightblogger gives details of Boeing's upcoming 787 production hold

Boeing's plan to hold parts deliveries into Everett for the second time this year became more clear today when Flightblogger posted details for the plan. Airplane 27, whose parts will be delivered in about a month, will be the last airplane to enter final assembly for 6 weeks.

The main impetus behind the temporary stop is to allow suppliers to catch up with the rest of the supply chain. There is still a lot of travelled work flowing into Everett mostly coming from Boeing's North Charleston plant. The ultimate aim is to have all parts arriving from suppliers into Everett to have a 100% completion rate starting with airplane 28 (ZA232) for Air India. Flightblogger says that suppliers of items such as doors, floor grids and wiring (with the floor grids being the most critical) are holding up the ability for parts to be delivered fully complete into Everett.

Flightblogger ends with two important points. The first is that when airplane 28 arrives at Everett it will signal that start of production going to almost 3/month. Flightblogger ends with this second (and most important) point:

"Yet, the question remains for Boeing: As the ramp up continues toward building 10 aircraft per month byt the end of 2013, how does the company avoid overwhelming its supply chain forcing additional halting stops and starts on its road ahead?"
This question can only be answered by the supply chain that Boeing is quite dependent on.

Read more:

Airplane 28 to follow six-week hold, 787's chance to catch up

Lastly, Boeing announced that they have settled on a site in North Charleston, SC for it 787 interiors manufacturing facility. This facility will manufacture interior parts such as stowage binds, partitions, cockpit doors and other items. Boeing expects the facility to start construction by the end of the year and should be ready in time to support the final assembly of the first 787 to roll off the North Charleston line by the end of 2011/early 2012. The facility will be 10 miles away from the final assembly line and will ad about 150 jobs to the region. Boeing is also planning to manufacture the 787 tail for North Charleston assembled 787 on site at the South Carolina facility. Currently, the tail is built at a facility in Washington State and will continue to assemble the tails for Everett built 787s.

Here's Boeing's press release:

Boeing to Manufacture Certain 787 Interior Parts in North Charleston, S.C.

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C., July 15 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Boeing (NYSE: BA) today announced that it has chosen North Charleston, S.C., as the location for its new 787 Dreamliner interiors fabrication facility. In addition, Boeing will purchase land from Stone Mountain Industrial Park Inc. BRPH will design the facility, and Pattillo Construction will provide construction services. Employees at the facility will manufacture and assemble airplane interior parts.

"This decision is another significant step toward creating a solid aerospace presence for future generations to come in South Carolina," said Ray Conner, vice president and general manager, Supply Chain Management and Operations, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. "The selected location for our new interiors facility will provide us with the continued flexibility we need to leverage our production capability and meet the needs of our 787 customers."

The new fabrication factory will be 10 miles (16 km) from Boeing's 787 final assembly and delivery site in North Charleston. The close proximity of the two facilities will help improve the efficiency of the final assembly and delivery process in South Carolina.

The interiors fabrication facility, which was first announced in May, is expected to create more than 150 new jobs.

At the new facility, the Interiors Responsibility Center South Carolina team will manufacture 787 interior parts, including stowbins, closets, partitions, class dividers, floor-mounted stowbins used by flight attendants, overhead flight-crew rests, overhead flight attendant crew rests, video-control stations and attendant modules.

Construction is expected to begin in the fourth quarter of 2010.

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