We’re at Boeing today getting Paris Air Show briefings. The following is exempt from the embargo.
Elizabeth Lund, VP and GM (EL)
Jason Clark, Director 777 Operations (JC)
- 5 years ago started laying out and implementation of Lean. It was part of larger strategy of continual improvement and investment of 777. The 777 is really a huge part of the Boeing franchise and strategy. We are interested in the continual improvement of the 777 for years to come. Reliability is 99.4%, the highest of any twin aisle aircraft today.
- There are many more investments in aircraft and production that you can’t see. In the last couple of years we’ve added connectivity to the airplane to stay connected over oceans.
- Certified to 330 ETOPS. We’re the only twin-engined aircraft so certified. Air New Zealand is the only customer so far using 330 ETOPS.
- You won’t see that the empty weight of the airplane is 1,000 lbs lower than three years ago instead of weight creeping up.
- We’ve improved navigation links.
- We’ve reduced maintenance costs. Have real-time tracking.
- We don’t have a fixed amount of money to invest annually. We evaluate technologies that might go into 777X and implement early; customer benefit; reducing costs. Guided more by this that than by budget.
- In 2005-2006 we started transition to moving line, kind of a craftsman approach with >3,000 employees. We’re now at 8.3 per month, highest we’ve ever done with twin aisle airplane.
- When we moved to current method of final assembly, out of slants to moving configuration, every year we’ve seen improvements to that system.
- Rate up 67% in last three years from 5/mo. We at 3/mo when shifted to moving line.
- If were to have rate flexibility the market demanded of us, we needed to look at a shift in the production system. This gives us a competitive edge.
- Reduced OT by 38%, parts shortage by 57%, improved quality by 27%.
- We’re looking at how to take to the next level of Lean.
- We’re now at a third or fourth generation of automated drilling on the production floor. It allows to produce three-four times than existing technology. Used on 50 airplanes now.
- A technology called Flex Track to drill holes reduced defects by 93% out of the box, now at 98%. Using only on 777 right now but plans to apply to 767, 747.
- New painting technique for painting wings reduced time from 4 1/2 hours to 24 minutes. Quality control almost 100% right out of the box.
- This is a transition of workforce from 5-6 people on paint towers to automated. The workforce is now focused on maintaining system and related roles. No layoffs occurred with this method. Transferred employees to other jobs. 60-65% unit hour reduction in production for this part of the airplane.
- Investment of automated spray paint method is one thing that allowed us to go from 7/mo to 8.3/mo. This investment allowed us to go to 100 deliveries a year, dramatically improving Return on Investment.
- We have far better control over thickness of the airplane. We now save about 70 lbs on airplane in paint because we can control the thickness to a mil.
- We’ve had a 33% reduction in unit hours to produce the airplanes since implementation of Lean.
- We didn’t lay people off with Lean, we went up in rate. We hire fewer people with Lean.
- We’re doing roughly 34 more wings a year–fewer people per wing.
- Wing work is much more software-based, which gives us flexibility and which enables ability to apply to 767.
- If it takes 18-24 months to adjust rates, the market adjusts in 6-8 months, so we need to become more flexible.
- Most importantly is overall Lean productivity.
- What happens behind the interior is extremely stable.
- Everything that the customer sees needs differentiation. Other things can be baseline: Maintenance panels, crew rest areas, [etc]. We want to provide ability for customers to provide differentiation.