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B787 Delivery Boom After Certification?  
User currently offlineDutchBoeing From Netherlands, joined Apr 2010, 99 posts, RR: 0
Posted (3 years 7 months 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 13922 times:

Hi!

As the B787 should have been in service for already 2 - 3 years by now, serial production also should have been going on for about 2 - 3 years now. Most of the last 1 - 2 years of delay, have been about the tweaking / finetuning of the design, of things which showed up during test flights (some changes were more structural, I know, but a/c were already flying). So question: did Boeing build in the last 2/3 years a large number of B787 frames which just need the final modifications before delivery after certification? Are we going to see a huge number deliveries briefly after certification? Or did they stop / slow down serial production due to all the problems and will deliveries come more gradually? Thanks!

Regards,

DB

29 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 31420 posts, RR: 85
Reply 1, posted (3 years 7 months 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 13943 times:
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I don't think we'll see a "surge" in deliveries until Q1-Q2 2012. Of the 40-ish planes that will be assembled by the end of this year, a number are still undergoing modifications to the final standard, so it sounds like NH will probably receive around a half-dozen by the end of the year, along with one or two each to JL, CZ and AI.

User currently offlineDaleaholic From UK - England, joined Oct 2005, 3208 posts, RR: 13
Reply 2, posted (3 years 7 months 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 13822 times:

From what I've been told by an engineer working for an airline which is due to receive a number of 787's... All these aircraft they have sitting around are far from complete... What Boeing have done is skipped certain jobs which are not too important while they find a solution to any problems with that part/process... In doing this, there's a chance they will have to go backwards and take it all apart again just to resolve the original issue. The first few may be on the verge of being ready but I think it will be a while before we see a 'boom' in deliveries.

Oh and before anybody starts to question what i've said, I'm simply relaying what I was told.



Religion is an illusion of childhood... Outgrown under proper education.
User currently offlinestarrion From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 1130 posts, RR: 2
Reply 3, posted (3 years 7 months 22 hours ago) and read 13273 times:

Quoting Daleaholic (Reply 2):
Oh and before anybody starts to question what i've said, I'm simply relaying what I was told.

Which doesn't contradict anything that the aviation press has been suggesting for some time.

I find it fairly surprising that it is less expensive to produce vastly incomplete aircraft and shove them out the door to build another incomplete aircraft and then have highly-paid mechanics undo a lot of the work to finish it properly, than to do frequent "holds" and produce fewer complete aircraft.

I can't even imaging how things like change tracking and job coordination are happening. They have thirty someodd frames that will need rework.



Knowledge Replaces Fear
User currently offlineOsiris30 From Barbados, joined Sep 2006, 3192 posts, RR: 25
Reply 4, posted (3 years 7 months 21 hours ago) and read 13062 times:

Quoting starrion (Reply 3):
I find it fairly surprising that it is less expensive to produce vastly incomplete aircraft and shove them out the door to build another incomplete aircraft and then have highly-paid mechanics undo a lot of the work to finish it properly, than to do frequent "holds" and produce fewer complete aircraft.

If you idle the line for problems you have to idle the upstream suppliers. They have to lay off workers due to lack of work. The workers then get work elsewhere and don't come back. Now you have no people to make your things. Now you have *more* delays while you replace, retrain and relearn.

Add to that, Boeing is big enough to eat the COG, some of their suppliers are not. Not delivering partial shipsets may bankrupt some of them creating even BIGGER issues.

In short, it's not surprising *at all* it's cheaper in the long run to rework and keep the line moving. Plus it lets you work out logistics issues, suppliers constraints, etc.

Steve



I don't care what you think of my opinion. It's my opinion, so have a nice day :)
User currently offlinekanban From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 3864 posts, RR: 27
Reply 5, posted (3 years 7 months 21 hours ago) and read 13013 times:
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Quoting starrion (Reply 3):
I can't even imaging how things like change tracking and job coordination are happening

each plane has a bar chart that shows the rework/open jobs to be completed and the sequence to be followed.. (you don't want to open an area twice or remove one repair to acces an area for another). Each job has a manufacturing plan attached. and there is a summary listing of all jobs. Production Engineering keeps track of all the parts shortages and updates the panels daily. These are reviewed daily with by Industrial Engineering, Manufacturing and QA personnel. And probably weekly by upper management (more frequently sometimes only delay things.)


User currently offlinePlanesNTrains From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 5793 posts, RR: 28
Reply 6, posted (3 years 7 months 20 hours ago) and read 12888 times:

Quoting kanban (Reply 5):
each plane has a bar chart that shows the rework/open jobs to be completed and the sequence to be followed.. (you don't want to open an area twice or remove one repair to acces an area for another). Each job has a manufacturing plan attached. and there is a summary listing of all jobs. Production Engineering keeps track of all the parts shortages and updates the panels daily. These are reviewed daily with by Industrial Engineering, Manufacturing and QA personnel. And probably weekly by upper management (more frequently sometimes only delay things.)

Great real-life description of what is going ont. Thanks!

-Dave



Next Trip: SEA-ABQ-SEA on Alaska
User currently offlinestarrion From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 1130 posts, RR: 2
Reply 7, posted (3 years 7 months 18 hours ago) and read 11907 times:

Quoting PlanesNTrains (Reply 6):
Quoting kanban (Reply 5):
each plane has a bar chart that shows the rework/open jobs to be completed and the sequence to be followed.. (you don't want to open an area twice or remove one repair to acces an area for another). Each job has a manufacturing plan attached. and there is a summary listing of all jobs. Production Engineering keeps track of all the parts shortages and updates the panels daily. These are reviewed daily with by Industrial Engineering, Manufacturing and QA personnel. And probably weekly by upper management (more frequently sometimes only delay things.)

Great real-life description of what is going ont. Thanks!

-Dave

Seconded. I know how our change tracking works, and I have seen how quickly things can go bad if everyone isn't following the process.



Knowledge Replaces Fear
User currently offlinegrimey From Ireland, joined Jun 2005, 459 posts, RR: 5
Reply 8, posted (3 years 7 months 18 hours ago) and read 11669 times:

According to Wikipedia (if someone has a better source please let us know) there has only been 8 Boeing 787 built with 835 ordered.

Although according to this article dated 7th March 2011:

http://www.flightglobal.com/articles...n-antonio-787-change-facility.html

"Boeing currently has 35 787s completed or in production, with eight now flying, six of which are part of the certification effort expected to culminate with first delivery to Japan's All Nippon Airways in the third quarter of this year."

so Wikipedia is only counting the 8 that are able to fly, the other 27 are either in production or don't have engines.

Grimey


User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 31420 posts, RR: 85
Reply 9, posted (3 years 7 months 18 hours ago) and read 11400 times:
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Quoting grimey (Reply 8):
According to Wikipedia (if someone has a better source please let us know) there has only been 8 Boeing 787 built with 835 ordered.

I recommend the All Things 787 site at http://nyc787.blogspot.com/. They maintain a spreadsheet with the status of all 787s under construction and their current disposition (amongst other useful data).


User currently offlinePGNCS From United States of America, joined Apr 2007, 2858 posts, RR: 48
Reply 10, posted (3 years 7 months 17 hours ago) and read 10946 times:

Quoting kanban (Reply 5):
Quoting starrion (Reply 3):
I can't even imaging how things like change tracking and job coordination are happening

each plane has a bar chart that shows the rework/open jobs to be completed and the sequence to be followed.. (you don't want to open an area twice or remove one repair to acces an area for another). Each job has a manufacturing plan attached. and there is a summary listing of all jobs. Production Engineering keeps track of all the parts shortages and updates the panels daily. These are reviewed daily with by Industrial Engineering, Manufacturing and QA personnel. And probably weekly by upper management (more frequently sometimes only delay things.)

Seconding what others have said, this is a great summary of the process, kanban. Thank you. My question to you is how much of the manufacturing plan is automated, and how much requires human interaction for scheduling of tasks? I would presume it is quite automated, but am curious as to the reality.


User currently offlineJoeCanuck From Canada, joined Dec 2005, 5478 posts, RR: 31
Reply 11, posted (3 years 7 months 15 hours ago) and read 9382 times:

Quoting starrion (Reply 3):

Which doesn't contradict anything that the aviation press has been suggesting for some time.

...or what Boeing has been saying. Until further notice, Boeing is planning on about 2 planes per month production rate.

Quoting Osiris30 (Reply 4):
In short, it's not surprising *at all* it's cheaper in the long run to rework and keep the line moving. Plus it lets you work out logistics issues, suppliers constraints, etc.

Keeping the production system current also allows for the quickest and most efficient ramp up as the 'partial' work gets done. Every one of these people is learning and getting more efficient with every task. One, (if one was a hopeless 'glass is half fuller'), could write this off as additional training.

Quoting kanban (Reply 5):

x2...thanks.



What the...?
User currently offlineart From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2005, 3398 posts, RR: 1
Reply 12, posted (3 years 7 months 13 hours ago) and read 8093 times:

Quoting JoeCanuck (Reply 11):
Until further notice, Boeing is planning on about 2 planes per month production rate.

2 per month until further notice? IIRC thanks to pre-stuffed sections, a 787 was going to emerge from the line every 3 days.

Are Boeing going to focus exclusively on reworking the partially finished aircraft before resuming "normal production" ie integrating pre-stuffed sections on the line?


User currently offlineJoeCanuck From Canada, joined Dec 2005, 5478 posts, RR: 31
Reply 13, posted (3 years 7 months 13 hours ago) and read 8014 times:

Quoting art (Reply 12):
2 per month until further notice? IIRC thanks to pre-stuffed sections, a 787 was going to emerge from the line every 3 days.

Lots of things were going to happen...and may happen yet...just not now.



What the...?
User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 31420 posts, RR: 85
Reply 14, posted (3 years 7 months 13 hours ago) and read 7878 times:
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Quoting art (Reply 12):
Are Boeing going to focus exclusively on reworking the partially finished aircraft before resuming "normal production" ie integrating pre-stuffed sections on the line?

Boeing has given the subcontractors time to try and catch up on any remaining work in their shipsets so as to reduce any "travel work" that remains during the final assembly process.

With Boeing effectively done with certification, they should not need to do any more change incorporation (at least as it applies to achieving certification) so the subs should no longer have to deal with the changes coming at them, which I expect has tripped them up. This should also help the staff at Everett work through the changes that need to be applied to the already-completed frames.

Next year we should hopefully see the second FAL open in Everett (the "Surge Line", which I believe will become a long-term FAL) as well as the third FAL at CHS.


User currently offlinesimpilot459 From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 139 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (3 years 7 months 12 hours ago) and read 7538 times:

To answer the original question: No.

37 787s have rolled out of the factory, but only 8 have flown. The rest look similar to this:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/simpilot459/5709528218/in/photostream/

There is a lot of work to be done to get them flying. Some are closer than others. 5 planes are in ATS hangar 3 actively being worked on.



Take off: Optional Landing: Mandatory
User currently offlinekanban From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 3864 posts, RR: 27
Reply 16, posted (3 years 7 months 11 hours ago) and read 7304 times:
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Quoting PGNCS (Reply 10):
My question to you is how much of the manufacturing plan is automated, and how much requires human interaction for scheduling of tasks?

When I retired all manufacturing plans for rework, mod, or missed jobs (out of sequence work) were individually created by good people..Yes they cut and paste from regular jobs where applicable, but the unique stuff is worked by hand. the jobs are tabbed for specific aircraft (or blocks) and are automated only in that if the same action is required on more than one plane, the shop paper is the same except for the plane number. note: there is a concentrated effort to avoid installing items that must be removed for a known rework.these jobs become "travelers" . Travelers and their associated uninstalled hardware follow the plane around until the essential work repair/mod is accomplished.

as far as scheduling, they are always scheduled delinquent.. so when some newsperson says "10,000 delinquent jobs"... that just means 10,000 out of sequence jobs ... during new plane introduction work, they are scheduled for when the plane goes to update or refurb.

On normal production, if there was a problem that needed to be addressed before the sidewalls were installed, the job would be flagged "perform before job #4567788" or perfrom with or after (usually used it the problem was discovered as a result of a test or routine process inspection ... I.E. if the rework was to patch a leak in the membrane under the lav, it would be coded to perfrom after the membrane leak test only if the installation fails the test and before lav installation..) Many out of sequence jobs begin with "verify the condition exists"..

hope that helps.


User currently offlineJoeCanuck From Canada, joined Dec 2005, 5478 posts, RR: 31
Reply 17, posted (3 years 7 months 11 hours ago) and read 6944 times:

Quoting kanban (Reply 16):

Damn...more good stuff.



What the...?
User currently offlineSCL767 From Chile, joined Feb 2006, 8862 posts, RR: 5
Reply 18, posted (3 years 7 months 10 hours ago) and read 6565 times:

Quoting Stitch (Reply 1):
I don't think we'll see a "surge" in deliveries until Q1-Q2 2012.

It was recently mentioned by LA's fleet planners that LAN may get its first two B-787-8s in March/April 2012...


User currently offlineart From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2005, 3398 posts, RR: 1
Reply 19, posted (3 years 7 months 9 hours ago) and read 6267 times:

Quoting Stitch (Reply 14):
Quoting art (Reply 12):
Are Boeing going to focus exclusively on reworking the partially finished aircraft before resuming "normal production" ie integrating pre-stuffed sections on the line?

Boeing has given the subcontractors time to try and catch up on any remaining work in their shipsets so as to reduce any "travel work" that remains during the final assembly process.

Well, thanks to all the 787 problems inside Boeing, the subcontractors have had over 2 years extra time to gear up for production at Boeing's planned assembly rate. In that time they must have been able to sort themselves out so that there will be no unplanned travelled work. How come they still need extra time?


User currently offlinetdscanuck From Canada, joined Jan 2006, 12709 posts, RR: 80
Reply 20, posted (3 years 7 months 9 hours ago) and read 6147 times:

Quoting art (Reply 12):
2 per month until further notice? IIRC thanks to pre-stuffed sections, a 787 was going to emerge from the line every 3 days.

I don't think they were supposed to be at 1 per 3 days at certification even under the wildly optimistic original plans...that was the final production rate, not the starting rate.

Quoting simpilot459 (Reply 15):
37 787s have rolled out of the factory, but only 8 have flown. The rest look similar to this:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/simpilo...ream/

The photo doesn't say much...that could be complete-less-engines and be ready to fly in about a week, or months from being ready. The plastic everywhere is normal protection...you see that on 100% complete aircraft that are in storage too.

Tom.


User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 31420 posts, RR: 85
Reply 21, posted (3 years 7 months 9 hours ago) and read 6133 times:
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Quoting art (Reply 19):
How come they still need extra time?

Because Boeing continued to make configuration changes during those two years, requiring the subs to update their in-process production to conform to those changes as well as re-work completed sections. It was reported in the media that one of the Japanese "Heavies" needed to hire staff just to keep on top of all the configuration changes flooding in from Boeing and that those changes significantly impacted their workflow and production rates.


User currently offlineastuteman From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2005, 10243 posts, RR: 97
Reply 22, posted (3 years 7 months 8 hours ago) and read 5853 times:
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Quoting Osiris30 (Reply 4):
If you idle the line for problems you have to idle the upstream suppliers. They have to lay off workers due to lack of work. The workers then get work elsewhere and don't come back. Now you have no people to make your things. Now you have *more* delays while you replace, retrain and relearn.

There is no way that continuing serial production whilst there are major design rework issues to resolve will ever be anything other than the expensive option.

And "keeping people busy" is almost always a poor reason to continue to build up vast quantities of inventory.

Ugh! It's horrible.

But that imperative is extremely powerful, especially,as you say, if some parts of the supply process are likely to get switched off. And therefore understandable that production has proceeded.

My 30 years in this type of manufacturing suggests to me that Boeing may well end up paying a high price for a number of years to come, for the luxury of having 37 "finished" planes lying around at EIS.

Just as Airbus have on the A380.

Hopefully I'll be proved wrong.

Rgds


User currently offlineJoeCanuck From Canada, joined Dec 2005, 5478 posts, RR: 31
Reply 23, posted (3 years 7 months 8 hours ago) and read 5745 times:

Quoting astuteman (Reply 22):
My 30 years in this type of manufacturing suggests to me that Boeing may well end up paying a high price for a number of years to come, for the luxury of having 37 "finished" planes lying around at EIS.

I think it depends on how they deal with them. I suspect many of those 37 are closer to completion than others and the production lines behind them are more efficient than before.

If Boeing bypasses the worst of the current crop, (which they seem to be doing with the surge line), and focuses on streamlining new production, the worst of the incompletes shouldn't hold up new production.

It seems to me that they are making a small, (surge), production line to take care of the unfinished work at the site and to continue to have less unfinished work enter the site at all.

The surge line seems to me to be less a production line than a repair facility...but, I'm just guessing.



What the...?
User currently offlinesimpilot459 From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 139 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (3 years 7 months 6 hours ago) and read 5140 times:

Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 20):
The photo doesn't say much...that could be complete-less-engines and be ready to fly in about a week, or months from being ready.

A lack of gear door and passenger doors and some control surfaces would lead me to believe the latter, if for no other reason than most are missing the same parts and I wouldn't expect 20 sets of something such as ailerons (for example) to arrive and be installed all at once. I do agree, though, that some are closer to flying than others.

There are many 747-8s that have been sitting as long as some of the 787s, and they have always at least looked more or less complete (less engines) compared to adjacent 787s. Both should have EIS around the same time, but the 747s seem to be coming together much quicker.

Quoting astuteman (Reply 22):
There is no way that continuing serial production whilst there are major design rework issues to resolve will ever be anything other than the expensive option.

Major design rework is always going to be expensive, no matter how you handle it. It's not the entire airframe that needs work. If 10% of the plane needs redesigned, why not go ahead and build the other 90% and set it aside until the rest is ready? Ultimately it will get them delivered sooner and hence start bringing in money.



Take off: Optional Landing: Mandatory
25 Post contains images Stitch : If that 10% is buried deep inside the other 90%... A number of issues have cropped up with components that are installed in the earliest stages of th
26 art : I'm still a little mystified by the initial rate at which frames are to be completed. If the 30 or so frames that need reworking are mostly complete a
27 Stitch : Boeing is planning a production rate increase from 2 to 2.5 frames a month later this summer, but that depends on the suppliers successfully reducing
28 JoeCanuck : Nobody inside Boeing is specifically saying and nobody outside of Boeing specifically knows. Deliveries will probably be a combination of planes goin
29 Post contains images art : Thanks for those. All sounds good. 787's will be soon rolling off production lines and disappearing to customers. Better late than never! Boeing has
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