The Dreamliner is finding more and more customers: Boeing employees last week rolled out the first 787 Dreamliner built at the new rate of five-airplanes-per-month. The airplane is the 83rd 787 to be built.
"This accomplishment, doubling our production rate in one year, is the result of the combined efforts of thousands of men and women across Boeing and at our partners," said Larry Loftis, vice president and general manager of the 787 program. "The entire 787 team is focused on meeting our commitments. They've gotten even smarter in how they build this airplane and applied real ingenuity in making our processes and tools more efficient."
The company earlier this year increased the rate from 2.5 to 3.5 airplanes per month and is on track to achieve a planned 10-per-month rate by late 2013. The program production rate accounts for airplanes built at Boeing South Carolina and Everett, including the Temporary Surge Line that was activated earlier this year in Everett.
The manufacturer's employees are using teamwork and new technologies to meet production rate increases. Approximately 500 employee involvement teams are actively pursuing improvement efforts across the program. Teams are led by employees working to find ways to improve efficiency, quality, safety and growth.
Interestingly, as just one example illustrative of the efforts happening across the production system, a team developed a small piece of protective equipment to cover the electronic actuators that help move the horizontal stabilizer. The plastic covering is now used across the program to protect the actuators during the production process. In addition, this small change has resulted in quicker production completion times.
"The work our teams are doing to continuously improve is making this program more efficient," added Loftis. "Their commitment to doing the job with high quality and making improvements to the system is outstanding."