Boeing’s 777X wing factory: We had to bow out at the last minute attending the groundbreaking of the 777X wing factory in Everett (WA), so we’re linking coverage.
Boeing press release, with statistics
Seattle Times, with links to animation and photos
Puget Sound Business Journal, another take vis-a-vis The Times.
This is a major event for Boeing, its Everett workers and the Washington State. Siting the factory here was the culmination of an extraordinarily bitter contract vote in November and a revote in January by IAM 751 members, the union that provides touch labor for Boeing in Puget Sound, including the 777. Boeing conditioned the site selection in Everett on give-backs by 751 in its previously approved contract, and an extension to 2024. After rejecting the contract the first time, 51% of the vote, in a smaller turnout, approved a slight modified offer.
Washington State gave $8.7bn in tax breaks, a US record.
Earnings today: Boeing announces its 3Q2014 earnings today. The link to the webcast is here, beginning at 10:30am EDT. Here’s what to look for in the earnings announcement and teleconference.
Boeing needs to explain how a largely automated wing fabrication process will result in more jobs than the current model and it’s wing, built in fixed tooling and hand assembled. To make that assertion requires elaboration to be considered anything but patently false. PSBJ got it right in my estimation. And this seems to be nothing more than an effort to prevent any sort of legislation making Boeing accountable for it’s promises, both actual and inferred, made in exchange for public largesse.
As to bitterness, it would appear that no IAM official at any level appeared at the event. The rank and file appear to have thrown out of office a local president who dared to do just that a few months ago.
And Mr Aboulafia has a point. Can Boeing succeed with a cranky and maladjusted workforce? Can it force success through the knothole of bad labor relations?
“Can it force success through the knothole of bad labor relations?”
Well that should work like anywhere else.
First you relax the “knothole”.
it is a continuing pleasure to read reports from Dominik Gates.
The comments section below though has an interesting “tone”.
( opinion on politicians seems to be a global constant )
It should be noted that all modern production methods will go towards more (and significantly more sophisticated ) automation while the precentile of jobs in QA rises over “plain” assembly work.
Without one will never get the quality nor the numbers required.
The sentence “Much of it will be automated” is used to ease the stock holders.
I doubt Boeing is going to claim the 777-X wing will be cheaper to produce than the traditional wing as it was done with the 787.
Someone mentioned lately Mitsubishi will discover “that being an airplane integrator is much more difficult than being a supplier”. I think Boeing will discover something equal building an all composite wing. Airbus already produces two composite wings for A400M and A350.
One could make a case for 3 wings. The A380 has a “composite” wing made from laminated milled Al stock. Whatever. The A380 wing decidedly was a step on the way to a fully composite wing. Just like the A340NG wing years earlier was a step to automated assembly of wings.
The 777 (classic) wings are assembled in Everett while its individual components are forged elsewhere.
For 777X, several key parts of the wing including the composite skins and stringers will actually be fabricated in Everett. So yes, you can have more jobs despite automation because you’re starting from raw materials now, not pre-fabricated components.
Vab, If I was to accept you notion as fact (I don’t) the best case scenario is that jobs would simply move form Fredrickson and Auburn, where the panels and other components are largely made, to Everett.
Viola. “More” jobs in Everett. Just not more jobs.
Once tape laying machines get going, they require very few to tend them. Further, look for more automated assembly similar to Renton’s coming fly through panel assembly and the current horizontal wing build.
There is just no credibility to Boeing’s statement of more jobs on 777X.
The new factory seems to have no natural light and no solar panels on the roof. Does Boeing get free electricity?
“no solar panels on the roof” ……. In Everett …….. Near Seattle …….. That’s Funny …… Hydro electric power from the rain running off the roof might work !!