Leelaw From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (9 years 2 weeks 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 12822 times:
Boeing Begins Use of Moving Assembly Line for 777 Jetliners
SEATTLE, Nov. 08, 2006 -- The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA] has started using a moving assembly line for the first time to build its market-leading 777 jetliner. For now, the moving assembly line is used only during final assembly positions for the airplane, moving it at a steady pace of 1.6 inches per minute during production...
To make its 777 assembly line move during final assembly, Boeing uses a tug that attaches around the front landing gear of the airplane and pulls it forward. The tug has an optical sensor that follows a white line along the floor.
It's not such a joke though really...increasing the speed of the moving line at that rate would increase montly production by 20%. That's not a small number folks, even if it's not going to beat any slugs in races.
There are 10 kinds of people in the world; those who understand binary, and those that don't.
Actually yes... 2in/min is the proposed speed for the moving lines when they were being talked about. I beleive that is the speed of the 737 lines. So they COULD speed it up 20% as was mentioned and increase production by A LOT.
There has been talk of speeding up the 777 line to faster than 5 days.
Quoting NYC777 (Reply 7): I think they would have to with the increasing 777 backlog.
I think they should leave it at 5 days myself. It will keep a good backlog yet customer can still get aircraft within 18 months of ordering. Unless they got some massive order (or a few) they should probably leave it alone.
Beech19 From United States of America, joined Jul 2006, 936 posts, RR: 4
Reply 10, posted (9 years 2 weeks 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 12255 times:
Quoting Gr8Circle (Reply 9): A question here.....does Boeing (and Airbus too) have production work round the clock in shifts, or do the plants shut down at night...?
I can't speak for Airbus but at Boeing its 24/7. Day shift, swing and graveyard (only 6 hours long).
They only shut down twice a year... Family Day (in August usually) and for the Christmas-New Years break (1 - 2 weeks).
787atPAE From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 143 posts, RR: 4
Reply 12, posted (9 years 2 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 12064 times:
Boeing may build the aircraft all day, but only the cool stuff happens at night. Stuff like moves of the fuselage sections, wings, etc, over other planes and through the factory. Even the doggone airplane itself goes to the paint shop at night. I've only heard riveting during the day.
As others noted, so true. The whole point of a moving line is to add a pace to the production. By doing so, workers get motivated to finish before passing a litteral "inchstone." Same number of workers, greater number of airframes. Boeing customers are happy (they get their 777's on time), stockholders are happy (more profit) and the workers should be happy (believe it or not, it improves job security).
Quoting Stitch (Reply 11): The primary limit to the 777 production rate right now is the ability of suppliers to get parts to PAE, I believe.
They'll be able to ramp up. A 25% increase isn't major. (My math. 25% of 1.6 is 0.4. 0.4+1.6 is 2.0.
Toiletboy99999 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (9 years 2 weeks 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 11719 times:
Quoting NYC777 (Reply 2): Does the moving line help increase the production rate?
This is actually very beneficial to Boeing. My degree is essentially doing things like this.
If anyone has ever seen those older photos of the boeing assembly process, it is a nightmare moving around all the planes to where they need to be. It was a real life game of Tetris. By having it set up this way, Boeing moves the plane down an organized chain, and moves the plane to each station.
Additionally, Boeing can better predict production times, and better fill in orders of new planes, because there is a more organized time slot system.
Yesterday, I spoke to a Boeing recruiter, and he told me that they are able to produce 28 737's a month using 2 moving assembly lines. I wont bore anyone with the details, but this concept has worked so well for Boeing, and has dramatically reduced production time of what it used to be.
It does sound funny, but it's true - you increase throughput by increasing the pace.
The pace will be governed by the slowest operation (bottleneck).
Increasing the line pace usually requires a re-engineering of the bottleneck process.
It may even require a re-engineering of the product around the bottleneck process.
(If you're ever bored, ask me what I learned about product re-engineering from watching the guys at Nissan, Sunderland, installing engines/transmissions in Bluebirds.. )
The beauty, though, is a clear visibility as to the overall benefit to the product and the line
Quoting Lightsaber (Reply 14): . The whole point of a moving line is to add a pace to the production
It's well worth a read, for all you guys out there
Quoting Cobra27 (Reply 22): I think moving assembley line has only pyhcological advantages for workers
I have to strongly disagree with that, Cobra27.
The moving assembly line imposes a discipline to the production process whose effect is felt right down the supply chain and back into design.
Vorticity's link scratches the surface. I'd strongly suggest reading it (if you haven't already).
The moving assembly line will re-engineer just about the entire business focussed around that product.
It's also much more prone to being disrupted by problems/issues, but that's actually the point of it.
You HAVE to have disciplines that a non-moving line allow you to get away with.
Those disciplines are invariably beneficial to the business.
Leelaw From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 24, posted (9 years 2 weeks 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 10060 times:
Boeing spurs 777 output
New system makes production toe the line
By JAMES WALLACE
P-I AEROSPACE REPORTER
...For now, a tug moves the 777 along a 275-foot line during final assembly. The tug, which has an optical sensor that follows a line on the floor, is attached to the front landing gear and pulls the plane forward about 1.6 inches per minute. The tug stops if there is a problem.
During this part of final assembly, mechanics install seats, overhead bins and other interior parts. In addition, functional testing is performed on various systems, and the two engines are installed.
Eventually, Boeing could be building the 777 at record rates. Boeing will not talk about the production rate for a specific jet, but the company is boosting production of the 777 to seven jets a month, according to people on the program. Boeing has studied the feasibility of raising rates even more, to perhaps 10 planes a month...