Alenia, traveled work contine to plague 787: Everett Herald

At a time when Boeing continues to assure Wall Street that all is well with the 787 program, industrial partner Alenia of Italy and traveled work from Boeing South Carolina continue to plague the program, according to a report from The Everett Herald.

The Herald’s report also comes on the heels of a “documentary” by Al Jazeera English calling into question the competency of the Charleston 787 plant. The documentary was widely criticized, including by this column, for its tactics.

The newspaper, which is located in the same city as Boeing’s wide-body plant, reports that barrel sections made by Alenia continue to have quality control issues, six years after production began on the composite airliner.

Poor workmanship from Charleston requires workers at the Everett plant to complete or re-do work, according to the newspaper.

The problems were so severe that Boeing had to slow production on Everett’s Surge line and Line 1, according to the paper. No new airplanes rolled out of the Everett factory from mid-August to early September, the paper reported. Boeing says the suspension was planned two years ago in connection with a rate break.

We’ve been told that Alenia, and one of Boeing’s industrial partners in Japan, continue to be problem areas. Quality control at Charleston continues to be pinpointed as causing issues, we’ve been told for months.

Charleston is also running well behind its original plan to produce three 787s a month by the end of last year. According to The Herald, Charleston is only now largely meeting this target.


27 Comments on “Alenia, traveled work contine to plague 787: Everett Herald

  1. So after all there is some truth in the Ajazeera documentary. One must be a fool to believe that 100% of the documentary was lies.
    One thing I fail to understand is that boeing had closed plants where military aircrafts we built, why not hire those mechanics and send them to SC as they have experience in building aircrafts. Boeing execs must be nuts if they believed for a second that starting a brand new factory with inexperienced employees will get them anywhere soon in terms of building an aircraft as advanced as the 787.
    Boeing cannot catch up 3 years of delays by making workers build the plane at break-neck pace, instead any mishap with the aircraft now will make customer loose faith in Boeing.

      • From the Everett Herald article:
        “For example, passenger and cargo doors are not properly sealing, requiring Everett mechanics _to substantially rework the structures_ , the worker said. That delays an airframe pressurization test, which causes further delays down the line.”

        Obviously only Alenia can make such mistakes 😉

        If a significant part of work is rework of that kind I don’t see how an inexperienced workforce and a 787 fit together.

        • “If a significant part of work is rework of that kind I don’t see how an inexperienced workforce and a 787 FIT TOGETHER.”

          Now that was truly BRILLIANT!

    • If there’s an Airbus zombie aircraft, it would be the A330. It just refuses to die no matter how many times the competition claimed it to be on its death throes.

  2. The Herald must be as un american as Al Jazzera.
    No other explanation could be possile for such a report against the 787. Right?

    • Any idea about the timeframe the AJ documentary was produced ( and when incepted ) ?
      Maybe someone looked back at the grounding and went for a “one year after ..” thing.

    • What comparable “elsewhere on this globe” event would you favor for a tit for tat 😉
      I’d nominate “BER, The Runaway Airport” but that one is predominantly sad and lacks the hilarious imagery of “giant green salmon on the beach” .

  3. I have a hard time convincing myself now why I should fly on a recent current production Boeing plane given all of the hostility towards the company shown by its erstwhile workers and the apparent contempt Boeing execs have towards those workers. Why would I risk a trip on a plane built by such feuding “partners?” To me this whole saga brings back memories of the terrible labor relations between Detroit automakers and autoworkers in the 1970s. It is one thing to have a wrench rolling around inside a passenger car door, but something rather different if a plane is discreetly sabotaged.

  4. Respectfully I disagree, Is easy to blame always somebody else. Only the made in America American engeneering is perfect. I wonder why they don’t make themselves that plane. If you want to be a global company you have to learn how to speak globally and not assume that the communication is clear. Who was saying that 787 wings from Japan came in not completed because somebody assumed that the specification were clear and understood? And please remember don’t make italians work on August. If you want to enjoy 30 working calendar days holidays per year you must have an Italian passport. Boeing should blame its delay on ignorance of others country language and labor law.
    Yes, I am Italian and proud of our quality design and superior attitude to adapt to customers requirement and mentality. I am proud of Alenia and the fact that the outstanding technology advanced 787 has an Italian body like the David of Michelangelo is an honor for the Italian aerospace industry but please don’t touch our Pope and our holidays calendar whatever you are.
    However Not excuses for missing or misplacing the rivets holes like those in the 737 fuselage doors panels by Boeing third local suppliers in the past.
    Stefano Perer

    • Cheers Stefano

      Thank you for a voice of reason in an overly vocal world from people who have a shortage of concept outside their local environment. Experiencing the workforce at the plants in Everett, South Carolina, & Italy has only shown me 3 capable groups of people eager to be successful. I have no doubts in the success of the 787 however it would be easier if people figured out how to work together through problems instead of creating tension in the media.

  5. We’ll, as they say wherever there is smoke there must be fire. Charleston itself exposes the 787. The 787 must be embarrassed that the 30 year old A330 Neo zombie will be more reliable, almost equally efficient, and with lower operating costs. Literally, zombie coming back to the future while the 787 continues to smoke.

  6. …. and in an unimaginable twist of fate, Al Baker gets fed up with all this and cancels the remainder of his 787 order and takes the A350 slots passed on by Emirates. Smart men do smart things.

  7. Hard to believe Boeing is still struggling with the program after 150+ airplanes delivered.

    A few thoughts come to mind:

    1) why does the Boeing company want to extend McNerney’s tenure as CEO?

    2) in my opinion it looks like Mcnerney’s legacy will be:
    a) he killed employee morale
    b) he never was able to get his arms around the 787 program
    c) he easily made over $100+ million for himself in the process

    • From the vantage point of the forces that determine his tenure he did his job, didn’t he?
      During his tenure starting in 2005 Boeing stock outperformed most / ?all? indices.
      OK, GFC significantly depressed Boeing stock but that was out of his reach obviously.

      • I would disagree.

        Your assumption seems to be that the stock price increase is solely due to a CEO.

        The stock price is impacted by a broad range of factors well beyond the control of any CEO.

        Who is to say the stock price would not be that much higher if a more competent manager in my opinion like Alan Mulally had been the CEO.

        A more practical measure of the CEO is how well he/she oversaw the major projects during their tenure. My understanding is that the 787 program is billions of dollars over the original budget.

        • “Your assumption seems to be that the stock price increase is solely due to a CEO. ”

          Heck, no!
          IMU the stockmarket doesn’t think that way ( i.e. in causalities ). Looks more like something centered around voodoo magic and shamans. Then, market participants can be likened to individuals in a fish or bird swarm in their observable behaviour than anything else.

      • Perhaps it’s just me, but in my opinion, one should never criticize the quality of another’s work by utilizing a work (argument and basis) of poor quality.

    • The guy(?) is as biased as they come. Those kind of Boeing fanboy rants are worth zip.

      • It is a closed ecology of breastbeating “uptalkers”.
        The Potemkin strategy actually works quite well … until tensions between projection and reality start to rip things apart.

      • @Strato,
        It doesn’t really matter whether or not Uresh is biased. He makes some good points. His opinion of AJ’s work happens to match my own.

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