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Boeing And The Imminent Airbus Assembly Line  
User currently offlinerotating14 From United States of America, joined Jan 2012, 542 posts, RR: 0
Posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 12108 times:

Good day,

*** This is no attempt to start a A vs B pie throwing match ***

With the development of Airbus breaking ground on an assembly line in Mobile Alabama next year, how does Boeing stay competitive?? I thought about the backlog of both OEM'S and with what Airbus has backlogged, it would seem as an advantage to have 3 assembly lines/facilities to the 2 of Boeing. If carriers knew they could get frames faster despite a preference Prof the manufacturer (AA) wouldn't that be a strong if not safe selling point?

Also Boeing and Embraer are teaming up to build a new cargo plane and while thats great, could the partnership go beyond that of building cargo frames and slide into a co-development of a NSA?? Embraer has already conceded to Boeing and Airbus for the narrowbodoy market of seats higher than 120 (+-) so why couldn't it be possible? Thoughts and opinions welcome

44 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineEPA001 From Netherlands, joined Sep 2006, 4593 posts, RR: 38
Reply 1, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 11848 times:
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Quoting rotating14 (Thread starter):
it would seem as an advantage to have 3 assembly lines/facilities to the 2 of Boeing.

With the line in TSN Airbus will soon have 4 FAL's for the A320 family. But in my opinion you can not compare these 4 to the 2 lines Boeing has. You would need to factor in the productivity and capacity of each FAL. It would be too easy to say "4 FAL's is better then 2 FAL's".

Airbus has chosen this strategy for numerous reasons, and I trust it to work very well for them. But that does not mean that it is the only way to be successful with the production in high numbers of a single aisle aircraft family. I think the way Boeing has been performing on producing the B737-NG that they also have done a great job in that department.  .


User currently offlineRonaldo747 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 360 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 11840 times:

Well, the financial enviroment in Europe is too difficult to consider an european facility, but that would be the right answer ... a greater Boeing facility in Germany would be great, but unrealistic. Same to China due to politic reasons.

User currently offlineastuteman From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2005, 9838 posts, RR: 96
Reply 3, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 11810 times:
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Quoting rotating14 (Thread starter):
how does Boeing stay competitive??

By continuing to design and build extremely high quality aeroplanes......  

Rgds


User currently offlineBlueSky1976 From Poland, joined Jul 2004, 1834 posts, RR: 4
Reply 4, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 11740 times:

Quoting rotating14 (Thread starter):
With the development of Airbus breaking ground on an assembly line in Mobile Alabama next year, how does Boeing stay competitive?? I thought about the backlog of both OEM'S and with what Airbus has backlogged, it would seem as an advantage to have 3 assembly lines/facilities to the 2 of Boeing.

Well, Boeing already does have 3 facilities: Everett, Renton and Charleston. I'm positive that their Charleston facility will eventually be expanded beyond what it was originally built to do.

I wouldn't be surprised at all if Boeing decides to place additional 737 production line there.



All Hail Mighty Triple Seven, The MURDERER of the so-called "Queen"!!!!
User currently offlinesweair From Sweden, joined Nov 2011, 1806 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 11676 times:

Yeah Charleston will expand with time, its great to have redundancy, as Renton is maxed out and cannot expand more, how would they really serve a growing market? Charleston has a lot more room to build on, one day the air force might leave to if more defence cuts come.

User currently offlinerobffm2 From Germany, joined Dec 2006, 1109 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 11362 times:

Airbus has already 3 lines for the A320 familiy:
Toulouse
Hamburg
Tianjin


User currently offlineRWA380 From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 2885 posts, RR: 5
Reply 7, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 11294 times:

Toyotas are made in Kentucky, in addition several car manufacturers build both European and Asian cars here in the USA, why not planes, it will hopefully employ American workers, and provide economic stimulation to the area the new plant is in.

My question is, will Airbus USA only build for the North and South American markets, and Tianjin for Asia and Australia, or does each plant build for any customer worldwide? If they build locally, it would save costs associated with delivery, and I see that a direct impact on the bottom line. What other costs if any could be realized by putting production plants in foreign countries?



Rule number One, NEVER underestimate the other guys greed
User currently offlineDeltaL1011man From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 9081 posts, RR: 12
Reply 8, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 11169 times:

Quoting EPA001 (Reply 1):

Airbus has chosen this strategy for numerous reasons, and I trust it to work very well for them. But that does not mean that it is the only way to be successful with the production in high numbers of a single aisle aircraft family. I think the way Boeing has been performing on producing the B737-NG that they also have done a great job in that department.

Question.
How close are AB and Boeing to each other in output per month? (total?)



yep.
User currently offlinetravelavnut From Netherlands, joined May 2010, 1536 posts, RR: 7
Reply 9, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 11160 times:

Quoting DeltaL1011man (Reply 8):
How close are AB and Boeing to each other in output per month? (total?)

IIRC Boeing is for the 737 and 40/month and Airbus is at 42/month with the A320. But somebody correct me if I'm wrong.



Live From Amsterdam!
User currently offlineEPA001 From Netherlands, joined Sep 2006, 4593 posts, RR: 38
Reply 10, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 11145 times:
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Quoting travelavnut (Reply 9):
IIRC Boeing is for the 737 and 40/month and Airbus is at 42/month with the A320. But somebody correct me if I'm wrong.

That sounds about right to me. And both are looking for further increases to cover the demand for the NEO and MAX-versions of the A320 and B737.  .


User currently offlinesweair From Sweden, joined Nov 2011, 1806 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 11121 times:

Quoting EPA001 (Reply 10):
That sounds about right to me. And both are looking for further increases to cover the demand for the NEO and MAX-versions of the A320 and B737. .

And both are worried that some of these orders will implode, IMO the last years NB order race is a bit of a bubble. Cool heads need to calculate the risk in investing for greater production. If it can be done without huge expense it would be an advantage. As we know the global economy turn quickly, Boeing once got hit by this already.


User currently offlineEPA001 From Netherlands, joined Sep 2006, 4593 posts, RR: 38
Reply 12, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 11077 times:
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Quoting sweair (Reply 11):
As we know the global economy turn quickly, Boeing once got hit by this already.

I guess Boeing was not the only one to be hit by that. Everybody else was too.


User currently offlinedougbr2006 From Brazil, joined Oct 2006, 391 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 10943 times:

Airbus are making a good move here, when it comes to the next phase of the tanker bidding it will put them in better stead.

[Edited 2012-07-04 07:16:13]

User currently offlineEPA001 From Netherlands, joined Sep 2006, 4593 posts, RR: 38
Reply 14, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 10878 times:
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Quoting dougbr2006 (Reply 13):
hen it comes to the next phase of the tanker bidding it will put them in better stead.

I think (sadly enough) that ship has sailed a long time ago. This is all about the A320, and the A320 only imho.  .


User currently offlineWildcatYXU From Canada, joined May 2006, 2551 posts, RR: 5
Reply 15, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 10860 times:

Quoting Ronaldo747 (Reply 2):
a greater Boeing facility in Germany would be great,

Why in Germany? Why not in some of the new EU countries that have well educated work force but lower wages than Germany?


User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 29689 posts, RR: 84
Reply 16, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 10824 times:
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A320 production has outpaced 737NG production for some time. Airbus is currently at 40 frames per month and will be at 42 later this year. Boeing reached 35 per month in January and the next step will be 38 in Q2 2013, followed by 42 in 1H 2014.

Boeing has three lines at Renton, each capable of making 22 per month. Two lines produce commercial models and the third produces the P-8 Poseidon for the United States Navy. However, that third line can produce commercial models, as well, and can interline them with P-8s.

The TLS A320 production line is capped at 14 per month. The three A320 assembly stations at XFW currently produce 21 planes a month between them, moving to 24* at the end of the year. Add the 4 A320s TJN makes and that brings total production to 42 at the end of the year.


User currently offlinekmot From United States of America, joined Feb 2010, 71 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 10822 times:

Wasn't boeing looking at opening a line in Long Beach?

User currently offlinehOMSAr From United States of America, joined Jan 2010, 1106 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 10766 times:

Quoting kmot (Reply 17):
Wasn't boeing looking at opening a line in Long Beach?

That was the word a long time ago, after Boeing took over MD and announced the end of production to all MD models except the 717/MD-95. Some rumors (don't know if they were ever verified) was that Boeing was looking at using the excess capacity to start building 737s.

However, if I'm not mistaken, Boeing has since sold off the facility and the land that once housed the DC/MD production lines, so they wouldn't be able to even if they wanted to (unless they pulled out a huge checkbook and bought up the land and rebuilt the plants).



I was raised by a cup of coffee.
User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 29689 posts, RR: 84
Reply 19, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 10733 times:
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Quoting kmot (Reply 17):
Wasn't boeing looking at opening a line in Long Beach?

At the time Boeing absorbed McDonnell Douglas, they wanted to convert the McDonnell Douglas commercial line in Long Beach to produce the 737-700C for both commercial and military customers (the USAF C-40 Clipper is a 737-700C). The IAM in Washington killed the plan, however, and those planes were assembled in Renton.

Once Boeing closed the 757 line, they had sufficient space to add a third 737 FAL in Renton. With MD-11 and 717 production closed, Boeing sold the Long Beach facility and it has been turned into a mixed commercial and residential development.




Quoting BlueSky1976 (Reply 4):
I wouldn't be surprised at all if Boeing decides to place additional 737 production line there.

Renton's three lines can pump out 60 737NGs a month, so there is no need to expand somewhere else. Renton also has secured the 737 MAX production.

[Edited 2012-07-04 07:45:03]

User currently offlineInfiniti329 From United States of America, joined Jul 2012, 469 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 10620 times:

Quoting sweair (Reply 5):
Charleston has a lot more room to build on, one day the air force might leave to if more defence cuts come

Charleston AFB is to important to the DOD & AMC for them to give this up


User currently offlinetdscanuck From Canada, joined Jan 2006, 12709 posts, RR: 80
Reply 21, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 10567 times:

Quoting rotating14 (Thread starter):
With the development of Airbus breaking ground on an assembly line in Mobile Alabama next year, how does Boeing stay competitive??

By doing what they're doing now.

Quoting rotating14 (Thread starter):
it would seem as an advantage to have 3 assembly lines/facilities to the 2 of Boeing.

Boeing has 3 737 assembly lines and, as others have noted, they're not at maximum capacity. Boeing's productivity per sq. ft. of final assembly is considerably higher than Airbus; this isn't a knock on the Airbus production system, just a reflection of different manufacturing/assembly choices that each has made. An advantage of Boeing's design is that it changes rate without changing footprint more easily than Airbus's. Airbus's design has other benefits, naturally.

Quoting rotating14 (Thread starter):
If carriers knew they could get frames faster despite a preference Prof the manufacturer (AA) wouldn't that be a strong if not safe selling point?

It depends on the sales campaign; in some situations ability to delivery quickly is a big deal. This is partly why the A330 is having such huge success of late. In some situations it doesn't matter nearly as much.

Quoting rotating14 (Thread starter):
Also Boeing and Embraer are teaming up to build a new cargo plane and while thats great, could the partnership go beyond that of building cargo frames and slide into a co-development of a NSA??

Anything's possible.

Quoting BlueSky1976 (Reply 4):
I wouldn't be surprised at all if Boeing decides to place additional 737 production line there

I'd be absolutely shocked. The basis for the recent IAM settlement was that the 737MAX will be built in Renton. I doubt there was an actual promise to never build 737's in Charleston but that was certainly the public face of the deal. The IAM would be absolutely furious and Boeing would erase the considerably improvement in union relations they've had over the last few years.

Quoting sweair (Reply 5):
Yeah Charleston will expand with time, its great to have redundancy, as Renton is maxed out and cannot expand more, how would they really serve a growing market?

Renton is producing 3x the rate it did in the mid 90's with about 1/2 the footprint; it's nowhere close to being maxed out.

Quoting dougbr2006 (Reply 13):
Airbus are making a good move here, when it comes to the next phase of the tanker bidding it will put them in better stead.

Based on past tanker data, the "next phase" will happen in about 20 years. They might be jumping the gun on strategic positioning a little on that one.

Quoting hOMSAr (Reply 18):
However, if I'm not mistaken, Boeing has since sold off the facility and the land that once housed the DC/MD production lines, so they wouldn't be able to even if they wanted to

They still have the C-17 final assembly facility, which is ramping down in the not too distant future absent a hypothetical large order for which there isn't even rumour. That could be converted to commercial production fairly easily.

Tom.


User currently offlinerfields5421 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 7345 posts, RR: 32
Reply 22, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 10559 times:

Quoting Infiniti329 (Reply 20):
Charleston AFB is to important to the DOD & AMC for them to give this up

While I agree with your statement - what happens if it comes down to a choice of Dover or Charleston - which would they close? Never Say Never, Again.

Quoting sweair (Reply 5):
Charleston has a lot more room to build on

But to the original question - CHS has more room for expansion of the Boeing facility than they will every need. They could expand and produce 100 airframes a month and not negatively impact the USAF presence.


User currently offlinetravelavnut From Netherlands, joined May 2010, 1536 posts, RR: 7
Reply 23, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 10522 times:

Quoting travelavnut (Reply 9):
IIRC Boeing is for the 737 and 40/month and Airbus is at 42/month with the A320. But somebody correct me if I'm wrong.
Quoting Stitch (Reply 16):
A320 production has outpaced 737NG production for some time. Airbus is currently at 40 frames per month and will be at 42 later this year. Boeing reached 35 per month in January and the next step will be 38 in Q2 2013, followed by 42 in 1H 2014.

I knew I was close, thanks Stitch  
Quoting Stitch (Reply 16):
Boeing has three lines at Renton, each capable of making 22 per month. Two lines produce commercial models and the third produces the P-8 Poseidon for the United States Navy. However, that third line can produce commercial models, as well, and can interline them with P-8s.
Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 21):
Boeing has 3 737 assembly lines and, as others have noted, they're not at maximum capacity.

So 2 lines at max. capacity will give Boeing 44/Month and then they have the additional capacity of the 3rd Poseidon line.

Although Boeing made a bit of a snarky comment on the news from Mobile, can I infer from the above they shouldn't be very worried? If the move by Airbus was primarily to create earlier production slots to win more orders (which I, a layman, think it is) it wouldn't take relatively much effort by Boeing to match the increase in production slots, correct? (of course the NEO will be there earlier than the MAX, but still)



Live From Amsterdam!
User currently offlineHarleyDriver From United States of America, joined May 2010, 80 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 10301 times:

While this move does allow for a greater output of aircraft the limiting factor is the ability of the parts manufactures and subcontractors in the supply chain to keep up with demand. Both Airbus and Boeing want to increase monthly output past the numbers they have made public but both admit that they are worried about the ability of parts manufactures and subcontractors to keep up. Several parts manufactures have stated that while they are tempted to invest in additional tooling to increase output, they are saying this is indeed a bubble and many of the aircraft ordered will not be actually sold so investing heavily in additional tooling wouldn't be a benefit.

Airbus aircraft purchases are made in U.S. Dollars and their parts are purchased and employees paid in Euros. The amount of profit on each aircraft fluctuates based on the ratio between the value of the Euro and USD. If the aircraft is made in the U.S., pay employees USD and ultimately purchased in USD they can accurately state the expenses and profit margin on each jet well in advance.



Department of Redundancy Department
25 JoeCanuck : I'm sure there are european countries with lower costs than Germany, England or France which would bend over backwards for a Boeing FAL. That being s
26 Post contains links and images kaitak744 : Boeing has sold off a lot of support facilities, but the old MD final assembly lines are still fully intact. Not to mention, Boeing has the C-17 line
27 mham001 : China being the exception.
28 Post contains images MountainFlyer : I don't think they have any reason to be worried. Nothing is really going to change. An A320 will still be an A320, it will still materially cost the
29 BMI727 : Boeing did it first, and then the government got involved. Unfortunately South Carolina isn't far enough it seems. Honestly I thought last summer tha
30 aviatorcraig : Which European tanker deal was that?
31 Viscount724 : Mercedes-Benz recently opened an assembly plant in Hungary. A recent article said their total hourly labour costs at that plant are only 20% of compa
32 Stitch : Italy, maybe? Airbus won the British and French tanker RFPs and I am not sure who else in the EU is tendering RFPs.
33 Post contains images solnabo : I wonder if the A320 line in TLS will move to Finkenwerder to build ACJ318 & 319/320/321? Cheers [Edited 2012-07-04 13:16:29]
34 BMI727 : I meant the US tanker deal, it's just a typo.
35 lhrnue : I think that is one of the big misunderstandings. German labor and Germany as a business location are in fact very competitive. Otherwise how would y
36 Stitch : TLS gets to keep their A320-200 line, but they are restricted to no more than 14 A320-200s a month.
37 par13del : Issue would be how much is actually built versus assembled from parts shipped in. Parts are the key in some out-sourcing, if the majority of the part
38 ghifty : I thought the reason Boeing chose not to do so was because of California's corporate policy, in terms of taxes, labor unions, and worker rights?
39 gingersnap : Perhaps I'm being cynical but the impression I got was that Airbus didn't win the US Tanker deal for the very fact they aren't an American company. I
40 Stitch : They didn't win it because their RFP was more expensive.
41 rfields5421 : Once upon a time long ago - aircraft were built in the city where they were completed. Today, the plant is called a "Final Assembly Facility" for a r
42 rheinwaldner : IMO 4 are better than 2. Scalability should be much better. Beside that certain factors that usually tend to hit single places have less impact. Busi
43 BMI727 : US made A400Ms won't do anything European built ones can't. This factory only is related to the defense business in that the groundwork was laid for
44 Post contains links Viscount724 : What makes you think that? In fact, the political situation in Hungary makes the operation even more profitable as the currency is weaker than it wou
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