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787's serious problems ... Boeing's in a hole

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787's serious problems ... Boeing's in a hole

Old 12-20-2010, 02:53 PM
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Default 787's serious problems ... Boeing's in a hole

Exec Recap:

The 787's problems are many and serious. Senior engineers are calling the management system for quality control on the outsourced components "totally broken" and "a perfect manufacturing hell." The 20 or so jets on the flight line are so screwed up that Boeing may side step their completion and move further down the delivery chain to try again. Alenia's work is so inconsistent no two parts are the same.
  • The RR engines are blowing up. Problems in the compressor, turbine and accessory drive. FAA has not signed off on the fix.
  • The electrical system had a downright scary failure ... no news on the fix ... jets grounded until system can be redesigned
  • ETOPS Certification ... see above
  • Fuel cell design problems
  • Wing center box attach problems (fixed?)
  • Tail design problems
  • Quality control inconsistencies which now tally over 100,000 tasks which will be laboriously re-worked on the line
  • Supply chain ... stopped
  • Total cost over runs ... around 12 Billion
Boeing's decision to let labor costs drive the management of the program into outsourcing on the cheap, has been anything but. Here's coverage in the home town paper:

Business & Technology | Dreamliner's woes pile up | Seattle Times Newspaper

Sound Economy with Jon Talton | Boeing, Boeing ... gone? | Seattle Times Newspaper

What interests me is that Boeing admits that it might just have to build the airplane itself. The tail can be built in a already standing factory in Seattle by American workers ... they simply await the management decision to start work.

Last edited by Bucking Bar; 12-20-2010 at 03:10 PM.
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Old 12-20-2010, 03:13 PM
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Boeing is embarrassing right now. I harped EADS on the A380 for their outsourcing, but Boeing went & did the same thing. Just build the ENTIRE thing in the USA, & it'd be a success. Good job on the cost savings Boeing.
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Old 12-20-2010, 03:19 PM
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That's pretty eye opening. It reminds me of NASA's attempts early in the Shuttle program. We all know how that turned out.
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Old 12-20-2010, 03:33 PM
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For those that live in Seattle, many will remember the Boeing IAM strike that lingered for FAR too long early in the 787 program. Boeing pointed to the strike as justification for using a global supply chain as a way to prevent production disruptions.

Only thing is, the Boeing employees that manufacture parts and build jets are the best and worth every penny. It's sad to see Boeing get a black eye on this project, but they can choke on their global supply chain.

It begs the question, will the new jet be a "real Boeing"?
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Old 12-20-2010, 04:22 PM
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In a way I am GLAD this thing is FUBAR.

This is what they get for outsourcing so much they can't even control the final product anymore (hmm...that sounds a lot like all major air carriers except SWA doesn't it?).

Now they are like cats in a litterbox, scurrying around trying to cover up their mess but it is so spread out they might have to dump and start over. Wow.

It sounds like whatever savings they thought they would obtain from outsourcing, they have completely lost. I guess you only make that mistake once, because if they ever do this again, they'll be out of business.

I hope they make the right move -- and it sounds like that move could be what Bucking Bar and HSLD have posted above: simply starting doing it themselves again.

After taking a VIP tour on the factory floor in Everett, donning the shoe covers and crawling around in 747s, 767s, and 777s that were in various stages of production from green sheet metal to one 777 that was in the final hours until heading to the paint shop, I was blown away by the craftsmanship that appears to go into building these machines. It is imperative to have experienced, qualified people building them, even if they seem a bit overpaid. As Boeing is finding out the hard way, they are worth the extra coin.
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Old 12-20-2010, 04:30 PM
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Originally Posted by contrails View Post
In a way I am GLAD this thing is FUBAR.

BINGO! Sad to say, but the finest aircraft manufacturer in the world has turned into a squishy turd. Management got just what they wanted and fought for....cheap stuff and cheap labor. The only problem is that its mostly crap. I really feel bad for the worker bees who are joined at the hip to Boeing, and the poor slobs who are going to fly that thing before they get all the kinks ironed out. 60 min ETOPS?? What a joke.
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Old 12-20-2010, 04:40 PM
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Originally Posted by HSLD View Post
For those that live in Seattle, many will remember the Boeing IAM strike that lingered for FAR too long early in the 787 program. Boeing pointed to the strike as justification for using a global supply chain as a way to prevent production disruptions.

Only thing is, the Boeing employees that manufacture parts and build jets are the best and worth every penny. It's sad to see Boeing get a black eye on this project, but they can choke on their global supply chain.

It begs the question, will the new jet be a "real Boeing"?
Very true. You get what you pay for and when you want to be the best in the world you pay for the best. The consumers follow. It is a really simple formula. Boeing needs to in source their work much like the airlines that buy their jets.
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Old 12-20-2010, 04:50 PM
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Originally Posted by johnso29 View Post
Boeing is embarrassing right now. I harped EADS on the A380 for their outsourcing, but Boeing went & did the same thing. Just build the ENTIRE thing in the USA, & it'd be a success. Good job on the cost savings Boeing.

All the big engineering firms are stretched to their limits. Boeing, Airbus, GE, and Rolls Royce are all suffering as next gen aircraft/engines are introduced. This stuff is cyclical and they will succeed in time.

JJ
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Old 12-20-2010, 05:18 PM
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Of course in time all of this will be great, the problem that Bar is stating is, that for a publicly traded company that is "For Profit" these issues are huge and may be very costly.
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Old 12-20-2010, 05:26 PM
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So one of the things I remember hearing is that the contracts that Boeing has in place with its vendors (who they're outsoucing stuff to) is not really helping the situation.

If a vendor provides something that is inoperative or not within the design specifications, Boeing receives a service credit for more free service from that company. The problem is that there are some vendors who are repeatedly violating (due to inexperience, technical issues, etc) the service level agreement and Boeing has chalked up a TON of free service. The vendors, knowing they're practically giving away free work therefore have little incentive to go the extra mile and get things done on time when they know its going to be awhile until they see their payment.
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