Yqfca From Canada, joined Jun 2001, 156 posts, RR: 0 Posted (10 years 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 3462 times:
Boeing says could assemble new jet in three days
Wednesday June 4, 5:09 pm ET
By Chris Stetkiewicz
EVERETT, Wash., June 4 (Reuters) - Boeing Co.'s (NYSE:BA - News) proposed new 7E7 mid-sized jetliner, with seating for 200 to 250 passengers, could snap together in as little as three days, the head of the program said on Wednesday.
Using a combination of new technology, materials and production processes and unprecedented amounts of sub-contracting, Boeing would slash final assembly times by between 75 percent and 90 percent, said Mike Bair, senior vice president on Boeing's 7E7 project.
"We're trying to get as much of the work down before final assembly so we bring the airplane together in relatively complete pieces and put it together in relatively short time," Bair told a gathering of business executives in Everett, Washington, where the company builds its three largest jets.
"I think if you look at today's airplane programs, we average anywhere from 13 to 25 days of what we call final assembly and we think we can put a production plan together for this one that lowers that down to around three."
New "composite" materials, using carbon-reinforced material instead of traditional sheets of aluminum, will play a big role in simplifying the assembly, and slashing the labor needed, on the 7E7, Bair said.
"A typical fuselage (the aircraft's tube-shaped body) today can have tens of thousands of parts held together by hundreds of thousands of fasteners...it's an extremely complicated way to put something together," Bair said.
"The interesting thing about composites is that in theory a fuselage can be one piece, all one piece."
In simplifying and offloading 7E7 production, Boeing plans to employ only 800 to 1,200 people to manufacture and support the program, compared to the thousands that work on current airplanes of the same size.
The 7E7 is billed as a more efficient aircraft that will save struggling airlines up to 20 percent in operating costs versus comparable models available today.
Bair reiterated Boeing's goal to make the 7E7 more comfortable for passengers than current jets, which provide cabin air that is the equivalent of dry, thin air at 8,500 feet above sea level.
"One of the clear opportunities that we have with this airplane is to lower what we call cabin pressure altitude ... down to something around 6,000 feet, so more like a trip to Denver as opposed to the top of a mountain."
RayChuang From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 7873 posts, RR: 5 Reply 4, posted (10 years 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 3267 times:
Based on the article's description, it appears the 7E7 will be built from larger subassemblies than before.
That means the production line will have to be close to a port that can off-load these large subassemblies, which means Boeing's Everett, WA production line and the former Douglas Aircraft factory in Long Beach, CA are leading candidates for the final assembly line.
Qb001 From Canada, joined Apr 2000, 2053 posts, RR: 4 Reply 6, posted (10 years 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 3216 times:
In a "former life", I used to be a project manager. And according to my experience, this looks very audacious, if not dangerous, to me. It is going to be a heck of a nightmare to manage so many sub-contractors. If Boeing is really serious about this (remember how "serious" they were about the Sonic Cruiser...), and it turns out to be the management nightmare I can see from here, it could be a disaster for Boeing. After all, this is not going to be a 5 millions$ investment. We're talking many many millions of good'ol Yankee $ here. This could very well be a make or break decision...
Never let the facts get in the way of a good theory.
DesertJets From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 7719 posts, RR: 17 Reply 8, posted (10 years 6 months 3 weeks 1 day ago) and read 3182 times:
3 days does seem like a stretch. But remember with the 777 program Boeing introduced the "just in time" production model. Where the required parts for a finished plane show up in time for assembly, minimizing space needed to store pieces waiting to get on the plane. In some ways this sounds like "just in time" on speed.
Stop drop and roll will not save you in hell. --- seen on a church marque in rural Virginia
Shaun3000 From United States of America, joined Mar 2002, 445 posts, RR: 0 Reply 9, posted (10 years 6 months 3 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 3117 times:
Well if everything is already made and you just have to put it together, 3 days doesn't sound like too much of a stretch.
Remember, that's 3 days to put together all of the pre-built pieces. If you takeinto consideration how long all the parts take to make, the plane will takeFAR more than 3 days to assemble, unless they have lots of spare parts on hand...
Cloudy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 10, posted (10 years 6 months 3 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 3107 times:
On a related note, does Boeing actually MAKE anything?
I'm not talking about collecting millions of parts from 300 vendors and piecing them all together to form a "finished" product. Do they make anything from scratch?
Truth is, few aircraft manufacturers build these things from "scratch" as you say anymore. Take a look at Airbus as well...all the subcontracts to US companies.
B4e-Forever New Frontiers
The concept of building something "from scratch" or building it "from parts" is very elastic and relative nowdays. Nobody builds anything from scratch. Nothing of any significant complexity is built from scratch nowdays, at least. Even the little that is made without premade parts is made with premade tools.
In my own field - software development - this goes to extremes. In almost all professional programs, most of the code used by a project is not made by the project's programmers. It is imported from standard libraries (this is where most of it comes from, for most languages, in most places.) . It is generated by other software - by tools like simple compilers and full-fledged IDE's. A great deal of most program's functionality is dependent upon the operating system it was written for. A one line, simple system call can invoke thousands of lines of operating system code.
If this were not so, even a simple program that displays "Hello World" in a window on your computer screen would be prohibitively expensive to write. Doing this on a PC with no software would take even a team of assembly language gurus considerable time to do. Even then, the assembly language programers would need basic tools like assemblers to do this job. There probably isn't a programmer on earth who could program for modern hardware without a least a little bit of prewritten modern software to use as a tool to get the job done. I would like to see someone try to get a PC to perform basic functions without using any software tools, nor any prewritten software at all other than that hard-wired into the test machine's ROM (Flash memory doesnt count - you have to rewrite the BIOS, also. You get all the hardware you need but none of the software - except that which cannot be erased from the hardware. Have fun ).
As modern technology grows more complicated, people and corperations become more specialized and more dependent upon others in their work. This is not the doing of Boeing, it is simply the innevitable result of the advance of technology.
Lets suppose you put a western, well-educated nation of 100 million people on an isolated planet just like Earth. Lets suppose that you give them nothing, leave them as naked cavemen. Lets suppose you make sure that their basic needs are met - that they have food and shelter. Lets suppose you also give them access to something like the US Library of Congress - KNOWLEDGE would be no problem.
With all the free time they need and all the knowledge we have today, could they recreate modern civilization - starting with nothing but what the cavemen started with? My guess is NO. At least, not for many centuries. Just about all of our technology that matters is built with the assumption that a mature and well-understood technological base already exists. Take that base away and even if you have a few gadgets they will be as worthless as a human arm is without the rest of a human body.
Our technological base is pretty resilient. It has regenerated itself after many severe disasters. But destroy enough of it, or destroy the right parts of it, and it will die. And no ammount of knowledge and experience will be able to revive it. It is like a living thing, in a way. Many living organism are very tough and can handle a lot of damage, they can even repair themselves very well. But once you kill a living thing, it is dead and nothing can bring it back to life. One possible danger of globalization is that it unites the world's technological base into a single entity or "organism". If some nuclear war or other catastrophe would cause that organism to "die", that would also be the death of most of the human race. This is because the Earth cannot support a hunting and gathering population as large as ours even if we still knew how to hunt and gather.........
.........Sorry to go so far off the topic, but I find this so fascinating........
Artsyman From United States of America, joined Feb 2001, 4745 posts, RR: 36 Reply 11, posted (10 years 6 months 3 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 3095 times:
I hope the quality control is there to ensure a safe and reliable final product.
No offense here, but I think Boeing's credibility shouldnt be in question here regarding this. They are a pretty reputable company with a long history, and no need to offer a plane that is not going to be safe.
Srbmod From United States of America, joined Mar 2001, 17297 posts, RR: 51 Reply 12, posted (10 years 6 months 3 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 2896 times:
With more and more a/c being designed using composites, the 7E7 may be the first airliner to use a large number of composite pieces in its construction. The three day assembly time proposed for the a/c is not out of the question. Prefabricated homes (I don't mean trailers) can be assembled onsite in less time. By making the subassemblies large enough, one can reduce the timeframe to put the item together significantly. What Boeing is aiming for is nothing more than a giant snap-together a/c model.
AC320 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 13, posted (10 years 6 months 3 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 2847 times:
So it will take 3-days for the Boeing artists to finish a nice print they can sell to airlines to hang as decorations in their offices? On a serious note, seems to be jumping the gun a bit. I'd rather have more technical details and final assurances of the project before discussions on where its going to be built or how.
Artsyman From United States of America, joined Feb 2001, 4745 posts, RR: 36 Reply 14, posted (10 years 6 months 3 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 2821 times:
What Boeing is aiming for is nothing more than a giant snap-together a/c model.
This sounds like a dammed if you do, dammed if you dont. If Boeing pulls this off, the time reduction alone will save the company a fortune, hence the lower price plane with lower operating figures. The industry doesn't seem to want to pay the old price of either Boeing or Airbus, so if Boeing can get them out for a lot less by "snapping them together" then this is good. I can also assure you that if they do it successfully, you will see the same sort of thing happen at the other companies
PW100 From Netherlands, joined Jan 2002, 2166 posts, RR: 12 Reply 16, posted (10 years 6 months 3 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 2662 times:
Don't see how the "snapping together" will save cost. It's just transferring some final assembly cost to sub assembly cost.
The real money will be won by cleverly designing/producing the subassemblies, a task which off course can be managed more easier since it's a smaller end product compared to a full airliner.
The example of the fuselage riveting vs Tupperware fuselages is just plain BS. If Boeing considers that as final assembly.... then try building a composite fuselage structure, including preparing the mould, laying the fibres, applying the resin, sealing off the product, preparing the product for autoclave, running the autoclave treatment cycles, removing the product from autoclave, and preparing the product for next phase in well under three days!! Not to mention that complex composite parts [like a complete fuselage] require several of these runs since it's impossible to manufacture these complex structures in one go. Reality is that a subcontractor will take between 10 and 30 days [depending on the level of completion] to build a full fuselage section.
Trend these days is that the subcontractor will not only produce the fuselage airframe like in the old days, these days they also install the piping, wiring harnesses, ducting, floor/wall/ceiling panels, luggage bins, lighting, galleys, doors, seat track, seats, IFE equipment etc.etc.
I.E. they will deliver a completely furnished fuselage section. This also goes for other and main components and subassemblies.
Basically what is happening is that another level of assembly is introduced. Subassembling is becoming as complex as final assembly was twenty years ago. So we now see final assembly on subassembly level, while the real final assembly on the other hand is becoming much more simplified. This also means that risks are now more spread out over the subcontractors. The question on hand is how much of that subcontracting is done "in-house".
Immigration officer: "What's the purpose of your visit to the USA?" Spotter: "Shooting airliners with my Canon!"
Wingman From Spain, joined May 1999, 2034 posts, RR: 5 Reply 18, posted (10 years 6 months 3 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 2562 times:
Sounds like Airbus. The Brits make the wings, the Germans make the fuselage, the Spaniards make the tail, and the French snap it together in Toulouse. I don't see how the anti-Boeing crowd could possibly complain. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. The coup de grace would be assembling both in the US and Asia at the same time.
Mark_D. From Canada, joined Aug 2001, 1447 posts, RR: 5 Reply 19, posted (10 years 6 months 3 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 2547 times:
Wingman-- if they really can put (or "snap") the thing together in 3 days, then great! By all means build it (and shut their mouths a bit in the process, lol. Considering the whole "Sonic Cruiser" dog-and-pony show escapade, already).
Qb001 From Canada, joined Apr 2000, 2053 posts, RR: 4 Reply 20, posted (10 years 6 months 3 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 2531 times:
It is not being anti-Boeing to show a healthy bit of skepticism. Can you spell "Sonic Cruiser"??? In fact, I, for one, am very scared to what could happen to Boeing (or to the American taxpayers) if they try this and it fails, even only partially.
Never let the facts get in the way of a good theory.
DesertJets From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 7719 posts, RR: 17 Reply 21, posted (10 years 6 months 3 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 2520 times:
Wingman, essentially that is what Boeing does. Various major components are sub-contracted out, or built by other divisions within Boeing, and final assembly is done in Renton or Everret or Long Beach.
Stop drop and roll will not save you in hell. --- seen on a church marque in rural Virginia