Boeing completes 737 wing production expansion on the way to 42/mo

Boeing completed expansion of a facility at its Renton (WA) 737 plant where it makes wings, where productions rates will climb from 31.5/mo to 35/mo this year and 42/mo in the near future. The company is studying taking rates to as high as 60/mo, as well as where it will assemble the 737RE.

In an internal daily news distribution, Boeing wrote:

The new line is located in Final Assembly just north of the old location, where employees install hydraulics and electrical systems into wings that are built in a different building. Mechanics have about three months to become accustomed to the new line before rates go up.

“It’s the best possible scenario for rate break,” said Ron Karnes, general manager of Seal, Test and Paint and Systems Installation. “Early implementation, a new area and all that time to practice — it’s a very good plan.”

Key to the line’s success are the inputs made by mechanics during six Accelerated Improvement Workshops held over the last year. Workshop participants included people from all parts of the wings value stream and across the shifts.

 

4 Comments on “Boeing completes 737 wing production expansion on the way to 42/mo

  1. Boeing is starting to move ahead to 42 B-737s per month. I don’t know if they should go much above that, maybe 48 per month, max.

  2. This is quite an ambitious goal . Sounds like they are trying to coordinate and collaborate and spread the pacing out over a generous period of time.Is it possible to become so efficient and autiomated that they can turn out two 737’s a day ?

    Besides supply side issues, what are the restraints on incremental increases? Labor, space, control, risks of backlog backups.? That is , there must be some curve which represents input and output and efficiencies relative to resources. Are these lines built to accomodate this type of accelerated production…or are the studies like time and motion studies and will determine the maximum pace regardless of production aspirations.

    I wonder if you keep increasing the monthly number until the output and fatigue inform you that it cannot be pushed any faster. And how does Labor feel about such a rapid production schedule?

    • It is more like 3 per day. According to Boeing, there are only about 20 work days in a month, unless they try to work on weekends to get a better workload spread.

  3. Labor has no concerns about the actual build rate as far as labor itself is concerned. It is worried however, over managements ability to manage it, supply it, and facilitate it without soul and body destroying amounts of overtime.

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