Ciro
Topic Author
Posts: 639
Joined: Mon Aug 16, 1999 5:00 pm

BOMBASTIC!Boeing Going Through An Internal Crisis

Mon Sep 08, 2003 11:23 pm

The msg below is circulating among Boeing's employees. A friend of mine, who works for the company, sent it to me. Of course, we have to assess and weight the comments, however it is worth to analyze such perspective.

Somehow spooky....


Cheers!


Ciro


---------------------



The Downfall of a Great American Airplane Company - An Insider's Perspective


Subject


Recently, there has been much attention focused on the "Boeing brain drain" that may have contributed to the February loss of Shuttle Columbia. However, most people do not realize that a similar "brain drain" is occurring within the Commercial Airplane division of Boeing.



Because of Boeing's massive layoffs and strategy of offloading design work to foreign design centers, the company has lost control of its engineering processes. The recent actions of the Boeing Company in its Commercial Airplane division are seriously jeopardizing the quality and safety of its airplanes. Hopefully, the company's current course of action will not lead to the same tragic consequences that occurred on February 1, 2003.



Our Credentials

Before we begin, we wish to establish our credentials. Since we are current Boeing employees, we obviously don't want to give information that can positively identify us.



This paper was composed by a group of aerospace design engineers with many years at the Boeing Company. We have been involved in several new airplane programs across a variety of functions and have intimate knowledge of the inner workings of Engineering at Boeing.



We are "in the trenches" every day, involved in the nuts-and-bolts business of designing airplanes. We have a unique and in-depth insider's view of the damage being sown at the Boeing Company by Phil Condit and his cohorts.



Introduction


During the past several years, Boeing Commercial Airplanes has been offloading its design engineering work to foreign "design centers". American engineers and technical designers are being laid off by the hundreds while Russian engineers are quietly hired at the Boeing Design Center in Moscow. Many of the Russian engineers are not nearly as experienced as the American engineers being laid off. Engineering layoffs have cut so deeply into Boeing's talent pool that knowledge has been irretrievably lost. And the layoffs continue.



Soon Boeing may reach (if it hasn't already) a "point of no return" where irreversible damage has been done to the company's ability to design and build safe airplanes, even with its so-called "risk-sharing partners".



Boeing's senior management has often stated that they are not willing to "bet the company" on another new airplane program as they famously did with the 747. They are pursuing a strategy of accumulating a network of "risk-sharing partners" so Boeing can concentrate on its core competency of "large scale systems integration."



We are willing to state that Boeing's management is "betting the company" on a misguided and ridiculous outsourcing plan that is gutting the company of its hard-won knowledge base and human assets. The safety and quality of Boeing airplanes is at jeopardy because of the foolhardy actions of Boeing's senior management, and even the hint of safety and quality issues with Boeing's airplanes can have disastrous results for its Commercial Airplane business.



The former executives of McDonnell-Douglas (which arguably as a company was, in the end, a complete failure in the design and manufacture of commercial aircraft) have taken control of Boeing and seem determined to gut the commercial airplane business - all in the name of "increasing shareholder value". Harry Stonecipher, John McDonnell and Mike Sears, along with Phil Condit and Alan Mulally are destroying what was very recently a vital, dominant American company. These men will probably enjoy massive short-term gains in the value of their stock options, but there is a price; the loss of the long-term viability of Boeing in the commercial aircraft business. We have to look back less than a decade to see where these men are leading Boeing - to the once glorious McDonnell-Douglas Commercial Aircraft division which has since faded into oblivion.



The design and manufacture of commercial aircraft has been a lucrative business for the United States for many decades. The aerospace business has consistently been the largest exporter in the United States economy. Boeing is willingly and recklessly giving this business away to its future foreign competitors.



It is time Boeing's practices become public knowledge.



Some Perspective


It is important to remember that Boeing's commercial aircraft business is a bit different from the standard manufacturing company. Boeing design airplanes - not washing machines, toasters or clock radios.



Every day, millions of people entrust their lives and the lives of their friends and family to the quality of Boeing airplanes. Every day, your and our husbands and wives, sons and daughters, fathers and mothers climb aboard a 727, 737, 747, 757, 767 or 777 with faith that experienced Boeing engineers did their job well. Although many airplane passengers pray to God for a safe flight, it is often Boeing engineers who, with their skill and knowledge, have the power to grant that prayer.



Currently, Boeing is making severe cuts in its design engineering staff. The cost savings probably look great on paper. But the real question is how do these cuts affect a company in which airplanes are designed? Airplanes - on which millions of people fly each year. Airplanes - to which we entrust our lives every time we fly. Airplanes - that can experience catastrophic failure due to engineering errors.



Due to their current strategy of off-loading design work to inexperienced engineers and laying off their own highly experienced employees, Boeing management has created an environment where these errors are much more likely to occur.



The most telling statement about the trend of engineering at Boeing is this statement, which is heard more and more often from fellow engineers: "After seeing how engineering is done here today, I'm afraid to fly on the next new Boeing airplane."



Some Facts About Airplane Design


It is obvious that an airplane, especially a large commercial aircraft, is a very complicated machine to design and build. What the general public does not understand is that, however difficult they think it is to design and build an airplane, their belief is not one-fiftieth as complicated as the reality.



It takes many years of experience to learn the intricacies of airplane design. Not only does an engineer need to understand how to design detail parts, assemblies and installations, but also where the parts are manufactured, how the parts are manufactured and how they are put together. Engineers are required to understand lead-times and scheduling to make sure drawings are released on time to support vendor requirements. The responsibilities of an engineer are immense.



In addition, engineers need to control the configuration of the airplane. The parts that go on an airplane depends on many factors:



1) The base model (737, 747, 757, 767, 777)

2) The derivative (737-700, 737-800, 737-900, 757-200, 757-300, 777-200ER, 777-300, 777-300ER, 777-200LR)

3) Standard options (Small cargo door, large cargo door, overwing exits, in-flight entertainment systems)

4) Customer-specific options (Seats, purser stations, the color of the carpet)



There are literally millions of possible configurations. Knowing which parts go on which airplanes is a very important part of an engineer's job.



The systems Boeing has implemented to control airplane configuration (as part of the DCAC/MRM effort) are immensely complex and constantly changing. There are many technical designers and engineers who spend large portions of their time just learning and understanding these systems. Most engineers only have a cursory knowledge of these systems and rely on local "experts". The problem is that these local "experts" are becoming fewer and farther between and their numbers are diminishing rapidly as layoffs continue.



Boeing is lucky that the FAA does not have an audit planned in the near future.



The Offloading of Boeing's Design Engineering


The key to Boeing's success has never been its plants, tools and buildings, but its superior engineering and its willingness to take calculated risks. Both of these assets are disappearing rapidly.



Although much emphasis has been put on such manufacturing concepts as "lean manufacturing" and "just-in-time inventory", it is important to realize that regardless of the efficiencies of the manufacturing process, an airplane or any product cannot succeed without quality engineering design. In the past, Boeing's elite engineering corps has met the challenge and produced the world's best commercial aircraft.



Currently, Boeing is rabidly pursuing a strategy of offloading engineering design work to overseas "design centers". This process began more than a decade ago with "design transfers" to the Japanese (Kawasaki, Mitsubishi and Fuji Heavy Industries). It continues today at a more rapid and frightening pace.



Boeing Design Center - Moscow


Currently, the fastest growing off-load "design center" is located in Moscow, Russia. There are around 350 engineers employed at this center. They are designing primary and secondary structures, interiors, floors and other systems.



There appears to be a common misconception that Russia is a land of promise where the streets are paved with PhD aerospace engineers begging for jobs. The belief is that not only do these brilliant engineers have doctorates, but they have decades of top-notch aircraft design experience. In addition, they are willing to work for 20 to 25% of the pay that American engineers receive. How can Boeing lose?



The reality is that BDC Moscow is manned with few experienced engineers and many, many greenhorns - inexperienced engineers who have graduated within the past few years. Boeing engineers are being pressured to off-load design work to Moscow - to these legions of inexperienced engineers.



Even if we assume that all of the Russian engineers have PhDs and are experienced, ask yourself the following questions:



1) How and where did they gain aircraft design experience? On what new Russian airplane programs have they cut their teeth in the past 10-15 years?

2) How do Russian commercial aircraft compare to the quality, efficiency and safety of Boeing's airplanes?

3) Which leads to the final question: Based on Russian commercial aviation history, do we really want to fly a commercial airplane designed by Russian engineers?



The Russian engineers have to be given some credit. They are nice guys, likeable and smart with relevant college degrees, but they lack several important traits:



1) Experience designing airplanes.

2) The ability to speak English well enough to have an in-depth technical conversation.

3) The ability to take initiative and to come up with creative solutions.



This final point is an important one. Decades of communist rule have apparently made it difficult for some Russians to make decisions. They want to be told what to do, down to the most minute detail.



Designing a new airplane with the Russians is like working with a bunch of new college hires - except these new hires don't speak English very well - if at all! Are there any volunteers for who wants to fly on their class project?



All that seems to matter to Boeing's senior management is that Russian engineers are significantly cheaper than American ones. It is important to note that although the Russians are cheaper, a number of significant inefficiencies are introduced:



1) The language barrier

a. It is difficult enough discussing technical issues with an American engineer, let alone with a Russian who has only taken 3 months of English classes.

2) Time zones

a. The only way to communicate with BDC Moscow is via e-mail, conference calls and video conferences. The problem is that there is only a 1 or 2 hour window of opportunity to hold conference calls or video conferences.

b. Because of the brevity and ineffectiveness of conference calls, Boeing engineers waste hours and even days trying to resolve issues via e-mail - when it would only take 10 minutes to walk to the next cube to explain to Phil what needs to be done.

3) Physical distance

a. Documents take days to reach Moscow. Once again, if the work was done within Boeing, it would only take 10 minutes to walk to Harry's desk and drop off the document.

b. CATIA models need to be transferred to Russia in a process that takes hours. If the work was done locally, a model could be transferred almost instantaneously.



Out-sourcing has made a complicated process exponentially more complicated. In the engineering world, complicated processes are known to produce one thing consistently - errors.



The initial results on the quality of work from BDC are frightening. Much of their work on recent programs has had to be completely re-done. Changes that were supposed to be made aren't made properly, and changes that shouldn't have been made are widespread. Luckily, (until recently) there have been enough experienced Boeing engineers to catch these errors. This is no longer the case after the last painful round of layoffs. It is only a matter of time before a potentially dangerous error slips by.



Yet another concern is that the majority of Russian engineers working at the Boeing Design Center in Moscow are contract (temporary) employees who are overseen by a much smaller number of Boeing direct employees. What keeps these engineers from remaining loyal to Boeing? There is a very real threat that Boeing will face a situation in the near future where their domestic (American) talent has been ravaged and the Russian engineers move on to other opportunities (such as contracting overseas for much higher salaries or within Moscow at Airbus' newly opened Moscow Design Center).



Is it really a wise business decision to hand over proprietary knowledge to foreign engineers or even worse, foreign contract engineers? Common sense would say no. Phil and Harry seem to think that this is the way to "increase shareholder value".



We think that they are destroying the company.


Airbus in Moscow (and Puget Sound?)


It wouldn't be fair to omit the fact that Airbus has also opened a Design Center in Moscow. However, the main difference between Airbus and Boeing is that Airbus is smart and doesn't intend to have the Russians do primary systems and structures design, instead limiting them to interiors work. Airbus isn't willing to give away the "crown jewels".



In fact, there is a large contingent of Boeing engineers who would welcome the opening of an Airbus Design Center in the Puget Sound region. What better way for Airbus to "stick it to Boeing" than to open a Design Center in Boeing's back yard and poach a large number of highly talented aerospace engineers who would willingly jump ship?



Many of us would be sorely tempted to work at the Airbus Design Center - Seattle. At least with Airbus, we would be working for management that makes rational long-term business decisions.



Boeing's "Core Competency": Large-Scale Systems Integration


Boeing has stated that they want to concentrate on their "core competency", which Phil Condit says is "large-scale systems integration".



Integration takes place at the individual engineer level, which is where Boeing is cutting. The front-line engineer is where the rubber meets the road, but Boeing has made it clear that engineers are merely "costs" to the company, not assets.



The relevant questions to ask here are:



How can Boeing hope to successfully be a "large-scale systems integrator" if they don't have enough experienced, qualified engineers to do the integration?
If Boeing's engineers no longer understand the technical aspects of the airplane's design and manufacturability, how can they integrate?
At What Point Do Boeing's Suppliers Decide They No Longer Need Boeing?


We have heard that Phil Condit's perfect vision for Boeing is where all of the design and manufacturing work is offloaded. Meanwhile, Boeing (consisting of Phil and his secretary) sits in a penthouse office in Chicago at the top of the pyramid and collects a fat profit margin, thus "enhancing shareholder value". As comic as this may seem, it is probably not far from the truth.



Boeing is throwing away thousands of irreplaceable engineers while giving away to its vendors knowledge based on decades of empirical data from Boeing's countless tests and studies. This knowledge, both in the Design Manuals and in the engineers' heads is Boeing's competitive advantage.



Boeing is training and arming its future competitors.



The Boeing vision is that eventually the "partners" will design and manufacture body sections, already "stuffed" with the required systems (electrical wire bundles, hydraulics systems, insulation, etc). All of these activities would be coordinated and "integrated" by a small staff of Boeing engineers. The body sections would then be shipped to Everett (or Wichita or Long Beach or Fort Worth), where a small group of Boeing assembly workers would button the sections together.



In all honesty, does this deserve the lion's share of the profits? How much better can the Japanese complete this function in Japan?



At what point do Boeing's suppliers decide that they no longer need Boeing?



JAI (consisting of Mitsubishi, Kawasaki and Fuji Heavy Industries) is more than capable to do the manufacturing. In addition, they can do the stress analysis and design work. Boeing has spent the last 10 years handing over their computer "templates" for stress analysis - along with books containing all of Boeing's hard-won knowledge of fatigue analysis, structural damage tolerance and corrosion prevention, which was accumulated over decades of testing and in-service experience.



If JAI is capable of doing both the design and manufacturing of airplane structural components, Rolls Royce, Pratt and Whitney and GE provide the engines, Rockwell-Collins provides the avionics and interior components are BFE (Buyer Furnished Equipment), what does Boeing bring to the table? Boeing's doing the easy part! Why would these companies allow Boeing to sit at the top of the pyramid and take the fattest profits? (Hint: The answer isn't "Boeing's core competency of large-scale systems integration".)



Employee Morale



How can current employee morale, especially among Boeing engineers, be described? There is no hyperbole too outlandish to describe how low morale has fallen.



There is a strong adversarial feeling that has developed among engineers against management - especially upper management. Engineers believe that management would like nothing more than to eliminate the entire Boeing engineering department. Perhaps they're right.



There is a pervasive feeling of doom and fatalism. Engineers believe that there is no future for them at Boeing. The engineers with 20 or more years at Boeing are stoically waiting for that golden day when they will retire and wash their hands of the mess that Phil Condit and Harry Stonecipher have created.



It is frightening to see how few experienced engineers are left in the company. When the company is forced to bring in contractors to do high-level design work, it is indicative of a major problem. There are not enough people left to do even a small development program. How will Boeing handle the 7E7?



In addition, Boeing is handing out WARN notices to direct employees while these same employees are surrounded by on-site Russian and Japanese engineers!



Performance Management


One of Boeing's criteria in its "Performance Management" is to measure how front-line

management and lead engineers are offloading work to Moscow. The more work the lead engineers and managers are willing to offload and the bigger the smile on their faces as they do so, the more likely they will not be laid-off but will be promoted and given raises.



Can you imagine it - having your career depend on how willing you are to give your job away and to train your replacement in the process? Even if you are cheerful in supporting the offloading of engineering work, your reward may still be a WARN notice. How's that for a morale-builder? How's that for an environment in which airplanes are designed?



The 7E7 and Future Airplane Programs


It can arguably be stated that Boeing has cut their engineering staff so deeply that they do not have enough remaining talent to tackle a new airplane program.



It is well-known that Boeing's engineering staff is greying. Many of the engineers are within 10-15 years of retirement age - and most of those are counting the years, months, days, hours and minutes until that magical time. Trust us when we say that there has already been a huge loss of "tribal knowledge" that can never be recovered. In 5-10 years, when these greying engineers begin to retire, the resulting knowledge loss may well prove fatal to Boeing Commercial Airplanes.



Boeing is rapidly approaching, if they have not already passed, the "Point of No Return". The layoffs have been so deep that knowledge and engineering ability has been irrecoverably lost.



The Effect of Development Cost on Product Quality


There were a series of lessons supposedly learned from the fantastic success of the 777 airplane program. A tremendous amount of money was spent developing this airplane, much of it on trail-blazing new techniques such as:



?? Concurrent Product Design

?? Digital Pre-Assembly/Mockup

?? Co-location of personnel (i.e. designers, stress analysts, manufacturing engineers)

?? Integration of customers into the design process



This "front-loading" of cost, where money was spent on the engineering/ development of the airplane, paid off spectacularly. The rework in the factory dropped precipitously, saving millions in ongoing manufacturing costs. The number of rejection tags dropped by over 50%. The factory said that building the 777 was like putting together Tinker Toys.



Today, the 777 is one of Boeing's two best-selling airplanes.



However, now Harry Stonecipher and John McDonnell want to cut development costs on the 7E7 to 40% of 777 levels. Do they expect to get an airplane of similar quality to the 777 for that price?



Engineers are already forced to make unpleasant compromises with their design because of the shocking scarcity of resources - compromises that threaten the quality, safety and performance of the airplane.



We believe that Boeing Commercial Airplanes is headed down the same path as McDonnell-Douglas. Tight-fisted executives dole out miserly portions of budget to "save money" and "increase shareholder value". What they end up with are inferior products that fail in the marketplace.



If proof is required, ask yourself: "What is left of McDonnell-Douglas' commercial aircraft business?"



The 717.



Isn't that proof enough of where Boeing is being led?



Are we willing to entrust the future of Boeing's Commercial Aircraft business to the same people who destroyed McDonnell-Douglas?



Conclusion


The Boeing Company is headed down a dark and dangerous path. It is heading down this path at a reckless pace with little regard to long-term consequences. High-level executives are making decisions that, on paper, may look promising, but are in truth destroying the company. The safety and quality of Boeing airplanes is at jeopardy because of the foolhardy actions of Boeing's senior management.



There has been little discussion about this in the media. Perhaps this story is not newsworthy. However, everyone with whom we have spoken has been...let's say "shocked" (although that does not do it justice)...when told of what is going on. We am not prone to exaggeration. We are engineers. We live and breathe logic and facts. We are witnessing first-hand the destructive effects of Phil Condit's "Vision 2016". There may not be a Boeing Commercial Aircraft Company in 2016 because of Phil Condit.



What has been described herein is truth. We can only hope it also turns out to be "newsworthy".



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The fastest way to become a millionaire in the airline business is to start as a billionaire.
 
Greg
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RE: BOMBASTIC!Boeing Going Through An Internal Crisis

Mon Sep 08, 2003 11:50 pm

No offense, but that's written by some very disgruntled employees.
To believe it, would show a very high degree of ignornance.

I'll leave someone with more time to go through and refute most of the hogwash....
 
BeltwayBandit
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RE: BOMBASTIC!Boeing Going Through An Internal Crisis

Mon Sep 08, 2003 11:58 pm

A passionate argument made by persons with a passionate interest in protecting their jobs. I truly take offense (and find unprofessional) the suggestions that safety is being compromised. Any employee making that suggestion could and should be terminated on the spot. To say that, you must be willing to take down the entire company -- that will not save many jobs.
 
JGPH1A
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RE: BOMBASTIC!Boeing Going Through An Internal Crisis

Tue Sep 09, 2003 12:01 am

Some sadly familiary complaints there, related to outsourcing generally - one day soon I hope somebody will write a chapter in a Management Handbook entitled "You Pay Peanuts - You Get Monkeys". Outsourcing may save money in the short-term but time and time again it has been shown in all sorts of IT environments, that the product suffers and so ultimately does the customer - knowledge and experience are as valuable resources as any, and like any valuable resource, it doesn't come cheap.
Young and beautiful and thin and gorgeous AND BANNED ! Cya at airspaceonline.com, losers
 
Okie
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RE: BOMBASTIC!Boeing Going Through An Internal Crisis

Tue Sep 09, 2003 12:03 am

Sounds like an engineer about to reach menopause.
 
codeshare
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RE: BOMBASTIC!Boeing Going Through An Internal Crisis

Tue Sep 09, 2003 12:07 am

Well, it's just like in the movies: cut costs and a tragedy will happen. Ihope it won't.

Russan engineers are not that bad, but Airbus were smarter. And they are going to keep being smarter.

Outsorcing and cost cutting is a common practice in many companies today. Perhaps the business consulting is bad ( hello Andersen ?).
How much A is there is Airliners Net ? 0 or nothing ?
 
gigneil
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RE: BOMBASTIC!Boeing Going Through An Internal Cri

Tue Sep 09, 2003 12:11 am

I'll leave someone with more time to go through and refute most of the hogwash....

Someone with more time likely will not have any relevant information with which to refute the "hogwash"... the document was well written, and clearly documents individual elements which are excellent points. Unless you personally work for BCA, or anyone else here, my guess is there's not a single one of us qualified to refute or validate any of the contents.

To believe it, would show a very high degree of ignornance.

It shows a high degree of ignorance to dismiss it out of hand. Despite none of us being well versed in any of the matters discussed, we know what the ex-MCDD execs have said over and over, and we see the same sorts of trends in each of our respective industries from our respective management staff - as well as market pressures and the state of the economy. Its all extremely believable, and I'd go so far as to classify it as likely - unless someone else at BCA can provide an opposing view.

A passionate argument made by persons with a passionate interest in protecting their jobs. I truly take offense (and find unprofessional) the suggestions that safety is being compromised.

You sound like a good company man there, BeltwayBandit. If a core team of engineers is convinced that safety is being compromised, one would think they have a moral and personal obligation to sing it from the rooftops, not just soldier on like little worker ants. In fact, your suggestion of the opposite is offensive on a much more basic level.

Its like working for an automotive manufacturer and understanding fully that there are glaring flaws in the vehicle's braking system - one that could kill a family of 5. Your job and the wellbeing of the company should be your absolute last concern - if its one at all.

I would never permit my name to be associated with work that I feel is subpar, and clearly neither would these engineers. That's almost the definition of professionalism.

To say that, you must be willing to take down the entire company -- that will not save many jobs.

Sometimes you have to burn the village to save it.

This forum spends a lot of time complaining about American jobs and the export of work to other countries - now when American workers at one of our favorite companies are starting to feel the impacts of it, we want to turn a blind eye?

N
 
Danny
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RE: BOMBASTIC!Boeing Going Through An Internal Crisis

Tue Sep 09, 2003 12:27 am

Sounds like a frustrate who desperately tries to save his job. All based on ridiculous assumption that American engineers are better that foreign ones.
 
gigneil
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RE: BOMBASTIC!Boeing Going Through An Internal Cri

Tue Sep 09, 2003 12:37 am

All based on ridiculous assumption that American engineers are better that foreign ones.

No. Do not try to warp what was said. They specifically itemized the shortcomings of the engineers being hired by the BDC, and not a single one of them was their nationality.

N
 
na
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RE: BOMBASTIC!Boeing Going Through An Internal Cri

Tue Sep 09, 2003 12:39 am

That shit happens everywhere because labour-costs are simply to high in many western countries.

It sounds like some people afraid of losing their job with no positive perspective left try to make a desperate move.
What´s written in there may to some extend be frustration, but looking at the world as it is today there´s some truth in it: product quality is deteriorating if you let unexperienced youngsters do what professionals did before. You can see it in the car business already: Quality goes down.
Experience doesn´t necessary mean high quality, it sometimes even comes with lack of will for innovation and protecting the Status Quo, but experience is part of superiority.
Young, fresh spirit isn´t the right recipe for everything. And the outsourcing of such a key business out of the country is a very bad sign, a sign of despair of the Boeing managers.

It´s very sad what´s happening at Boeing these days. And the target to "save 40%" on developing the next product 7E7 doesn´t make a future passenger confident that high reliability and thorough testing is no.1 on the job.
 
osteogenesis
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RE: BOMBASTIC!Boeing Going Through An Internal Crisis

Tue Sep 09, 2003 12:40 am

I totally agree with you Gigneil,

I also work as an engineer, and I know that the gap between engineering and management is growing bigger all the time. Management often treat engineers as easily replaceable employees. They many times don’t understand the complexity of engineering complicated products.

Today many companies are run buy managers how don’t have the foggiest notion of their products, and the complexity involved.

And it seems that this is happening in a big scale at Boeing.
 
Greg
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RE: BOMBASTIC!Boeing Going Through An Internal Crisis

Tue Sep 09, 2003 12:54 am

If you read through the bullshit, it's clearly a labor issue. Full stop.
Engineers are upset that the 'next big thing' out of BCAC is going to be largely outsourced to several nations (a la Airbus). It won't take three times as many engineers to develop the 7e7 compared to the 777. Clearly, they are setting up how unsafe it will be in order to protect their union jobs. It's a typical union tactic.

Shame on them.

And for the record, that diatribe is hardly well written.
 
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modernArt
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RE: BOMBASTIC!Boeing Going Through An Internal Crisis

Tue Sep 09, 2003 1:20 am

Nothing to add, other than agreeing with Greg 100%.
 
travellin'man
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RE: BOMBASTIC!Boeing Going Through An Internal Cri

Tue Sep 09, 2003 1:30 am

I agree with Gigneil and Osteogenesis.

This is hardly whining. If you believe that a handful of individuals are not capable of taking down a company in the long run for their own short term profit, you need to study your history again. Industry has fled the U.S. not simply because of "higher labor costs" and other cliche'd arguments, but because of a lack of commitment and investment. Steel for example didn't have to leave the U.S. the way it did in the 70's and 80's. The people running the show simply wanted to make more money by doing less. So, no R+D, no desire to stay competitive, only a big cashing out. American industry has a habit of shall we say getting lazy. Look at the cars we produce! The Japanese have been ahead of us since the 50's when they voluntarily included things like safety belts, reduced gas mileage, and today, fuel hybrid cars! The big 3 in Detroit never really wanted to compete with them because a) people don't buy cars just for value, and so they can be convinced into buying anything, even if it is inferior, and more importantly b) it would have meant reinventing in their infrastructure, which would have drained their short term profit.

Yes, we risk seeing the same in comercial aircraft,as this memo highlights.

Again if you think a handful of individuals are not capable of gutting a company worth billions at the expense of many employees, among others, I have one word for you:

ENRON.
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Ciro
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RE: BOMBASTIC!Boeing Going Through An Internal Crisis

Tue Sep 09, 2003 1:49 am

What I found interesting is not the potential job-loss, but the fact that key skills are being transferred to sub-contractors and, eventually, having them against Boeing itself as competitors. But it is hard to believe the company would be that naive while undertaking such strategy.
The fastest way to become a millionaire in the airline business is to start as a billionaire.
 
Greg
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RE: BOMBASTIC!Boeing Going Through An Internal Crisis

Tue Sep 09, 2003 1:52 am

Having witnessed first hand issues like these coming up at arbitration meetings...I'll stand by my original comments.

Every union in the world is using Worldcom and Enron of examples on how not to trust management. It makes it almost too easy.

Those with half a brain see right through it.

Please, you guys, it reads like a friggin chain letter for heaven's sake! It's written for the lowest common denominator.
 
cedarjet
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RE: BOMBASTIC!Boeing Going Through An Internal Crisis

Tue Sep 09, 2003 1:52 am

If this is true, Boeing are finished. They're never going to finish the Dreamliner (what a STUPID name!), never mind come up with a competitor to the A320 series or A380.

Why Boeing would keep any of the McDD managers after the merger is a mystery. Look at what happened there. Amazing how history is repeating itself, and within a decade!

What a waste.
fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
 
IslandHopper
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RE: BOMBASTIC!Boeing Going Through An Internal Crisis

Tue Sep 09, 2003 1:58 am

This inside "statement" has LABOR UNION written all over it.

I've got news for them...if they accepted competitive salaries instead of organizing and demanding almost twice what engineers at other US companies make (according to a friend who's an engineer at Boeing), then I guarantee all those jobs would have stayed right here in the USA!

Unions are a killer of American jobs. Steel industry, auto industry, and now the airplane industry. Such a shame.
 
Danny
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RE: BOMBASTIC!Boeing Going Through An Internal Crisis

Tue Sep 09, 2003 2:32 am

Islandhopper - great point "unions are a killer of ... jobs" not only in USA - in every developed country.

Daniel
 
cedarjet
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RE: BOMBASTIC!Boeing Going Through An Internal Crisis

Tue Sep 09, 2003 2:37 am

Unions may be a killer of jobs (Eastern AL et al) but imagine where workers would be without them. Believe me, there has to be a mechanism in place to stop workers being abused and taken advantage of.
fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
 
KL808
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RE: BOMBASTIC!Boeing Going Through An Internal Crisis

Tue Sep 09, 2003 2:50 am

this is a perfect case of GLOBALIZATION, boeing contracts engineers from other countries which are paid WAY less than there american counterparts, I do have to object that the russians have no skill in building airplanes, I bet they have just as good engineers with enough experience over there.

drew
AMS-LAX-MNL
 
BeltwayBandit
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RE: BOMBASTIC!Boeing Going Through An Internal Crisis

Tue Sep 09, 2003 3:56 am

Gigneil writes: If a core team of engineers is convinced that safety is being compromised, one would think they have a moral and personal obligation to sing it from the rooftops, not just soldier on like little worker ants. In fact, your suggestion of the opposite is offensive on a much more basic level.

It's hard to disagree with that. However, the next new Boeing aircraft to carry passengers will probably not roll out of the hangar for several years from now. Safety is not so great a concern at this point; and there are many avenues to pursue (including the FAA, JAA and others) before making a public rant discrediting your own company. By then, however, their jobs might be toast.

Also, if you are willing to "burn the village" to save it, and if you are truly worried about safety, then the writer is morally and personally obligated to take responsibility and credit for the statements simply to give those statements the credibility necessary to save the lives about which they are so worried. Anonymity shows a lack of conviction that makes me question the motives.


[Edited 2003-09-08 20:58:37]
 
gigneil
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RE: BOMBASTIC!Boeing Going Through An Internal Cri

Tue Sep 09, 2003 4:39 am

I don't disagree - in order to claim the moral high ground, one does have to identify oneself and take the consequences of that action.

N
 
Dulles
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RE: BOMBASTIC!Boeing Going Through An Internal Crisis

Tue Sep 09, 2003 6:18 am

I do not see anything BOMBASTIC about it. Offshoring is a natural process, like it or not. If a company is able to pay 5 time less for the same job, it will, do not have any doubts about it, and there is no easy way to stop the process. I cannot see how by eliminating unions it would be possible to make the salaries of the US engineers both competitive on the global market (that is, 75% lower) and satisfactory for the engineers at the same time. One of the greatest advantages of the market economy is its self-regulation; this is just one of its implications. Too bad for the Boeing engineers, of course, but, maybe, it will make Boeing planes a little more competitive with Airbus...

Dulles
 
artsyman
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RE: BOMBASTIC!Boeing Going Through An Internal Crisis

Tue Sep 09, 2003 6:35 am

I would agree with Greg that this is pure hype, labor fighting talk. Further more it is just a continuation of the monkeys that were cutting cables in the 737 systems a few years ago. Any idiot that cuts cables and endangers lives to make a point, doesn't deserve to have their opinions heard.



It is interesting that the Pro-Airbus brigade are giving this article loads of authenticity, and the Boeing lovers are not. Good to see Bipartisan voting

 
prebennorholm
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RE: BOMBASTIC!Boeing Going Through An Internal Crisis

Tue Sep 09, 2003 6:54 am

We will have to wait a little and see the validity of this document.

If the coming days show a voluntary and violent outroar from a vast majority of the Boeing engineers against this document, then I think that we can assume that it is mostly "unions crying".

If, however, the engineers to a large extent stay quiet, then I am afraid that it is the truth.

I have for decades watched over a high tech multinational company operating in 100+ countries. During the last decade or so outsourcing has been very common. I can tell you, if I had to choose between a product produced by various contractors and intergrated inside, or a "clean" company developed product, then I would never be in doubt.

I have seen dozens of contractor or outsourced jobs which ended with hundreds or thousands percent budget overruns, and ending - after years of delays - with products which were outdated or otherwise useless.

But the main problem with outsourcing is that it is an irreversible process. Once you have outsourced a function, then your inhouse competence is lost overnight. Lost forever!!! (Or it is at least very costly and time consuming to regain the competence).

What frightens me mostly is all the similarities with the demise of MDD.

During periods when MDD made money, then the shareholders circled like hungry wolves and cleaned out the bank accounts. During harder times the shareholders didn't allow the needed resources to design new products. During its last 25 years of independence Douglas or MDD did not produce one new plane. 25 years!!! They did very little more than putting new engines, avionics and fuselage plugs on their old stuff.

That is what we call "shareholder value".

After having burned hundreds of billions of cash on Enron, Worldcom and all such stuff, then pension funds, who are the real dictators of our industries, are desperate to get hands on any cash they can get. It has been extremely damaging to our major high tech industries in the immediate past, and it will be more so in the future.

It is in fact interesting to notice that "new" management principles of many large industries today still haven't proved to be successful, and that principles are exactly opposite to what created the "industrial miracles" in places like Germany and Japan only a few decades ago.

Want to know more about the subject? Read "The Corrosion of Character" author Richard Sennett, London School of Economics, ISBN 0-393-31987-3, 176 pages, $13 paperback.
Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs
 
Ruscoe
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RE: BOMBASTIC!Boeing Going Through An Internal Crisis

Tue Sep 09, 2003 6:56 am

Lets look at the facts.

Despite the "brain drain" Boeing produce far more sophisticated aircraft than any European or Russian Corporation.

Admittedly these are military aircraft. Boeing and Co are producing the F22 and the Osprey. They have their problems but they are a generation ahead of Europe. The A400 is being developed when a better Boeing aircraft has been flying for years.

Boeing has a successful, in a technichal sense, space launching system, and builds sophisticated spacecraft.

Boeing has diversified into other areas, something EADS is trying to emulate.

On the Commercial aircraft side, despite aircraft designed after their Boeing rivals, Airbus can only match them. Now Boeing is working on a design (7E7)which will leap frog Airbus designs, and form the basis of a whole new family of aircraft. Airbus is strapped on the A380, and can't respond.

Boeing will continue to be successful if its Corporate Leaders, continue to pull the correct levers, and push the right buttons, in the overall settings of the company direction. Where engineering services are carried out seems largely irrelevant from a technical viewpoint, though not the human perspective.

Finally one thing you can say for sure about Russian engineers. They are innovative.

Rusce
 
artsyman
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RE: BOMBASTIC!Boeing Going Through An Internal Crisis

Tue Sep 09, 2003 7:23 am

Almost every company outsources things, including airbus. This is why some things get built in Toulouse, some in Britain, some in Germany etc etc
 
Guest

RE: BOMBASTIC!Boeing Going Through An Internal Crisis

Tue Sep 09, 2003 7:43 am

Maybe you all should get to work instead of spending time thinking up a freakin' memo that long. Go build your 7E7 and shut the heck up.

We all have gripes about our jobs. GET OVER IT!
 
Midway2AirTran
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RE: BOMBASTIC!Boeing Going Through An Internal Crisis

Tue Sep 09, 2003 8:04 am

I agree with KL808, nothing but Globalization, I doubt it will effect the products much, if any, might even improve them through different points of view. If you don't like it, drop dead, or move to the 3rd world country that will never be developed.
"Life is short, but your delay in ATL is not."
 
Goose
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RE: BOMBASTIC!Boeing Going Through An Internal Crisis

Tue Sep 09, 2003 8:15 am

Unions may be a killer of jobs (Eastern AL et al) but imagine where workers would be without them. Believe me, there has to be a mechanism in place to stop workers being abused and taken advantage of.

Unions have outlived their usefulness; quite a few successful, newer companies forgo unionization and tend to try and forge a new type of relationship between labour and management..... without having a third party interfere and get in between - which is what unions like IAMAW do.

Often, the first hurdle is to make workers tie their own success to that of the company. No one wants to be promoted in a company with no future beyond a few months.

Admittedly, this is nearly impossible in older companies where conflicts between management and labour have been going on so long, no one knows how it started. Unions perpetuate the distrust and confrontational stance with company management in order to justify their existance.
"Talk to me, Goose..."
 
MITaero
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RE: BOMBASTIC!Boeing Going Through An Internal Crisis

Tue Sep 09, 2003 8:23 am

From the inside, this is BS.. probably just some disgruntled employees. It is not 'circulating' among Boeing employees. Most people at Boeing would tell you to shut the h*ll up and get to work if you sent them this. Besides, all e-mail is monitored.
 
prebennorholm
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RE: BOMBASTIC!Boeing Going Through An Internal Crisis

Tue Sep 09, 2003 8:25 am

Artsyman, you are wrong. The EADS design and mfg. facilities in Spain, Germany and Britain are all "inhouse" even if the EADS HQ is physically placed in Toulouse. Even if EADS chooses to open a final assembly plant in the USA (as has been proposed) it would be inhouse.

But all aerospace companies rely on a lot of outsourcing. From day one almost all manufacturers have "outsourced" engine manufacturing, Bristol being almost the only exception.

What the document describes is a different thing - outsourcing of design capability to contractors and so called risk sharing partners. Or to temporarily "low cost" design bureaues which easily shell off the best brains at normal cost to the competitors once competence has been gained. And wind down of own inhouse design capability.

If that is the case, then it is a very risky and short sighted business. It is a management principle which has become more common during the last decade, and has cost thousands of billions in damage to former healthy industries.

There are huge differences how you outsource.

If Boeing chooses to put a GE engine on the 7E7, then that decision will last as long as GE behaves well. And they will do that at all times, or Boeing will exchange it with an RR or P&W turn-key product.

But if Mitsubishi designs and builds the 7E7 wing, then Boeing is stuck with whatever decisions the Mitsubushi managers may make until Boeing terminates 7E7 production. And when they do terminate, then they have lost the knowhow to design the wing for the 7E7 successor.

In doubt? Just have a look at what happened to IBM when they outsourced to Paul Allen and Bill Gates to develope the DOS for the IBM PC just over 20 years ago.

If IBM had not enjoyed an almost de facto monopoly in the mainframe computer market, then they would have perished right away. Boeing does not enjoy such a monopoly, they are just a major player in the airliner business.
Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs
 
AvObserver
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RE: BOMBASTIC!Boeing Going Through An Internal Crisis

Tue Sep 09, 2003 8:45 am

This is all VERY ominous and well within the realm of possibility (the analogy to the U.S. 'Big 3' automakers is a good one) but it's presumptuous to simply accept it at face value. A lot more independent verification of these engineers' concerns would be needed before I could say they were right. I suspect they may well be but it'll take a lot more than a single long memo, however well composed, to convince me of the actuality of their claims. Of course, Boeing management would refute it in a heartbeat; they've been trumpeting all the changes they've been making in the company as just what's needed to make them competitive again. And it's a fact that Boeing hasn't been able to produce aircraft as cheaply as Airbus, their existing cost structure wouldn't allow them to do that. So, to remain competitive, they MUST change the way they design and manufacture airplanes, otherwise it's guaranteed they'd eventually lose out to Airbus, being less efficient. So maybe we have a damned if you do, damned if you don't scenario with Boeing losing anyway because the need to become cost efficient gutted the core of the organization. So who's right?
 
BD1959
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RE: BOMBASTIC!Boeing Going Through An Internal Crisis

Tue Sep 09, 2003 9:11 am

I can certainly see the cause for concern if this is a genuine memo - I can also see why some of you doubt it's authenticity, citing Unions; as Preben said though: time will tell.

For those of you who are completely dismissing this please take note from those of us in the IT sector. Due to the mobility of our product and the comparative simplicity of our designs - IT "products" tend to be far more modular than aircraft components - the IT industry started down this road maybe 10 years ago.

The trend was started not by companies which were struggling to overcome high Union wages and restrictive practices (at least not here in Australia) - the first companies to go down this path were typically Banking, Finance and Telecommunications; companies which were making massive profits and wanted to make even more. I think the jury is still out. On the balance sheet generally it has been successful; the Financial Sector continues to progress however with the more specialised, non-generic telecommunications sector (where the outsource partner does not have the traditional technical skills - and because of the lack of commonality cannot gleen them from others in the "market") there have been some spectacular failures. This should worry the Aviation Industry.

My own company is "global" and we have a low-cost development centre in SE Asia. We "enjoy" a two hour time difference; we suffer a complete cultural difference (despite the fact the predominant business language in that country is English). We often see inferior work being produced purely because these people working remotely do not have the experience with the complexity of the systems they are trying to write (all very highly educated college graduates in their own right).

There seems to be a "Harvard MBA" school of thinking that the lowest cost factor is paramount. This school of thought has permeated most Western Style management (hey, I'm starting to sound like a Union Steward - about as far from my politics as you can get!!) and it is centred around the short-term gain. CEOs these days are on short-term contracts and - as has been mentioned - their stock options are weighted toward short-term gain. Most do not have contracts which take them 5 years beyond the proposed implementation of the effects of their reign, let alone encourage them to think long-term about the companies whose fate they control. This short-term thinking then works down the Management chain - most of whom these days are working on contract too!! Very few of these execs have worked themselves up through the companies they control and they fail to value the resource which are as important to the company as profit: their "Human Resources".

It may not be as simple as "these guys are protecting their own jobs" - it rarely is.

BD1959
 
NoUFO
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RE: BOMBASTIC!Boeing Going Through An Internal Cri

Tue Sep 09, 2003 9:27 am

This letter is written like a tabloid, thus ruining the credibility of the author(s).

Admittedly, I'm not very well informed on details causing MDD to disappear from market, but I have my doubts that both companies can be compared in the way the author does.

At the same time I think that there may very well be more than a little truth in the original message of the letter.
I support the right to arm bears
 
polnebmit
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RE: BOMBASTIC!Boeing Going Through An Internal Crisis

Tue Sep 09, 2003 9:30 am

Some pretty disgruntled Boeing Employees, all I can say. Face it, it's the result of GLOBALIZATION. It has it's good things, and it has it BAD things.
 
User avatar
tavong
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RE: BOMBASTIC!Boeing Going Through An Internal Crisis

Tue Sep 09, 2003 9:53 am

Well i really don't know, is difficult to see who has the reason in such theme but in my opinion the Union is not very smart on get that material outside and that can make a great damage to it's company.
Just put me on any modern airliner and i will be happy, give me more star alliance miles and i will be a lot more happy.
 
Klaus
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RE: BOMBASTIC!Boeing Going Through An Internal Crisis

Tue Sep 09, 2003 9:57 am

I´d be very careful to dismiss it just like that.

It appears largely consistent with the publicly announced goals and trends within BCA; And as alarmist as it sounds - it may still be realistic, given the widespread "shareholder-value-itis" infecting many branches of worldwide - and particularly american - industry.

Most laymen - and, sadly, this includes the large majority of upper management - vastly underestimate the importance of solid research and development for the long-term success of a product line. In 9 out of 10 cases, such long-term success isn´t the miraculous result of fabulous management, but of foresight, creativity and plain old hard work in the development stage.

BCA management did indeed begin to exhibit signs of being oblivious of these facts in recent times... Even if the letter should not be authentic or be a wild exaggeration, there would still be reason to be troubled...
 
tekelberry
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RE: BOMBASTIC!Boeing Going Through An Internal Crisis

Tue Sep 09, 2003 9:59 am

Probably written by union employees who bash their company yet still demand high wage and unlimited benefits.
 
CanadianNorth
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RE: BOMBASTIC!Boeing Going Through An Internal Crisis

Tue Sep 09, 2003 10:12 am

Well IF this is true, then I think some bigshots at Boeing are really digging a hole that they may not be able to get out of.

Local folks often cost more, but you get what you pay for, so pay more for higher quality engineers means you get a higher quality plane. It may mean that they dont make as much money, but atleast they are providing there costimers with some of the best aircraft ever built.

Boeing is known for there quality aircraft. Lets keep it that way.

CanadianNorth
What could possibly go wrong?
 
luisinho
Posts: 205
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RE: BOMBASTIC!Boeing Going Through An Internal Crisis

Tue Sep 09, 2003 10:21 am

Hii folks...  Big thumbs up

This trend is very hot... burns like hell ehee  Acting devilish

Well, i have some friends working in seatle, and what they say is the same wrote on that memo, the things are very ugly there.

Boeing is loosing the ability to produce aircraft, by contracting other companies for special tasks (manufacturing wings, electronics, etc), know how, and expertises. Also boeing can be in the hands of this "supliers", because if one partner cut relations with boeing, that can compromise the entire production.

I will give you a very good exemple... In the begining of the XX centery, Great Brittain was the Number ONE Shipbuilder in the World, they produced some modern marvels like the Lusitania, The Aquitania, The Queen MAry, the TITANIC ehehe, the Olympic, The Queen Elizabeth, the Oriana and much much more. In the 60's with the advent of jet, with the DeHavilland Comet and the Boeing 707 and later the DC-8, the era of the BIG SHIPS was gone.

Some countries like France, Italy, some Asian countries, FInnland and others changed their production from OCEAN LINERS to CRUISE LINERS. I'm an Ocean Captain, i must say that an OCEAN LINER is very DIFERENT from a CRUISE LINER. An Ocean Liner is designed to output perfomance, high speeds, face heavy sea conditions, have confort in thought seas, etc. A cruise liner is designed to naviagate in known waters, once is for cruising don't need so powerfull engines, and that special stabilizers and some other features for high seas are not assembled on cruise liners.

The comparison with BOEING is that England in the 60's stoped building OCEAN LINERS, and didn't changed for cruising, only produced tankers and freighters, and then LOST COMPLETELY THEIR SKILLS, never producing again one liner, the Last Big Liner was the Queen Elisabeth 2 in 1963.

Nowadays Cunnard LINE needed to build the biggest OCEAN LINER in the World, the QUEEN MARY 2, and england was not able to do it!!!!

Solution: - The ship will be build in FRANCE, in the Chantiers de L'Atlantique, in Saint Nazaire, france!!! IT's a excelent shipyard, some famous ships like the FRANCE and the NORMANDIE came from here... very good indeed. But with this action, CUNNARD broke a tradition of more then 100 years, that all their ships were build in Brittain territory.  Sad

Now turning to Boeing, Boeing will loose skills, and if the situation continues like this, boeing will be like the majority of the British Shipyards, will be unable to produce a single airplane, and then is the end of Boeing Comercial Aircraft.

This is Sad, but is a true, i have some reputaded economists that are my friends, and they say that this is inevitable, sooner or later it will happen! Boeing is going to colapse, the question is not how... BUT WHEN???

CHEERS
 
rongotai
Posts: 350
Joined: Sun Sep 10, 2000 11:59 am

RE: BOMBASTIC!Boeing Going Through An Internal Crisis

Tue Sep 09, 2003 10:32 am

The motives of the writers are irrelevant. So are their value judgments. The only relevant question concerns which of their statements of fact are indeed factual.

If the statements of fact are accurate (and all the ones that I can personally verify are factual) then there is a problem, regardless of why the writers wrote what they did.

Outsourcing design is extremely problematic. Creating cross-cultural (corporate or national) outsourcing is doubly problematic. Cross-language outsourcing doubles the problems again unless a significant number of the team is multilingual. The problems can be overcome by managers who understand cross-cultural issues.

But the real cross cultural issues are of this kind of class: the American design culture tends to be Pareto optimal (not invariably, but usually). West European design culture tends to be either perfectionist or specification driven (not invariably, but usually). East European design culture is engineering driven. It is wrong, however, to discount the ability of Russian designers because of observed failures that were in reality mainly down to production engineering and materials quality failures.

I believe that the Boeing strategy is more or less as described in the document (I have direct personal knowledge about that), but I cannot be dogmatic about it.

It makes sense from observed current US business philosophy. I think those who say that this is all globalisation in action are correct.

The problem is that the philosophy represents playing with fire. We do not know enough about the cognitive processes associated with this approach to design, and what we do know is frightening when it comes to safety sensitive products like aircraft. Retreating into tired old political rants about unions does not help the analysis. Nor does only blowing the whistle when your job becomes at risk.

All of this is my profession. I avoided A300's and A310's until they sorted out the HCI factors. I still avoid Airbuses flown by certain airlines because of their HCI training practices. If future Boeing airliners are going to be designed this way, then I'll avoid them until I'm sure they have adequate engineering and design management practices established. The trouble is that we still do not have a good definition for 'adequate' in these business models.
 
delta-flyer
Posts: 2631
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RE: BOMBASTIC!Boeing Going Through An Internal Crisis

Tue Sep 09, 2003 12:16 pm

Regardless of the writer's motives, the fundamental issues are true. What we don't know for sure is the degree to which Boeing will compromise its ability to design aircraft by outsourcing engineering.

Ironically, our company is in a similar position. We are bidding on becoming one of Boeing's risk-sharing partners, but the investment Boeing expects is huge and the price we can charge for our product is well below today's cost. So, we are also looking at outsourcing both design (to reduce our $$$ investment) and manufacturing (to reduce recurring cost of the products). We are weighing what tasks to outsource as opposed to what we should keep ourselves, as we obviously don't want to hand our technology over to future competitors.

I often wonder what will happen when all the manufacturing and design jobs go overseas -- who will be left here with enough money to buy a plane ticket?

Pete
"In God we trust, everyone else bring data"
 
mirrodie
Posts: 6789
Joined: Wed Apr 19, 2000 3:33 am

RE: BOMBASTIC!Boeing Going Through An Internal Crisis

Tue Sep 09, 2003 1:15 pm

didn't even read the thread. Sorry but I got disgruntled when I read the completely pointless heading BomBastic. I mean, C'mon, what the heck was the point of that?

Forum moderator 2001-2010; He's a pedantic, pontificating, pretentious bastard, a belligerent old fart, a worthless st
 
Guest

RE: BOMBASTIC!Boeing Going Through An Internal Crisis

Tue Sep 09, 2003 1:47 pm

"We will have to wait a little and see the validity of this document.
If the coming days show a voluntary and violent outroar from a vast majority of the Boeing engineers against this document, then I think that we can assume that it is mostly "unions crying".
If, however, the engineers to a large extent stay quiet, then I am afraid that it is the truth."


Just to let you all know, I first saw this entire memo/e-mail floating around Boeing three months ago. So I think it has been awhile to here a response. Yes our jobs are being offed to places like Boeing Design Center in Moscow in the name of globalization. From the work I've gotten back, Moscow engineers are excellant. At this point even if they aren't, the stuff they do has to come back through Boeing USA for approval and release. It doesn't mean I like our jobs leaving, but if you get a grip on reality and know it will happen with or without you, there may be a spot at Boeing for you in the future. I also agree with all of you that said if there is a safety issue, then someone should get off their asses and speak up. I personally don't think there is.
 
planemaker
Posts: 5411
Joined: Mon Aug 25, 2003 12:53 pm

RE: BOMBASTIC!Boeing Going Through An Internal Crisis

Tue Sep 09, 2003 1:48 pm

From what I have gathered, there is a significant cultural divide between Boeing engineers and ex-MDD management that are now in BCA. The managers are very risk averse and this is perhaps illustrated by this excerpt from the L.A. Times:

None of the company's 11 directors would comment publicly about the 7E7, but people familiar with their discussions say that at least two key members, Harry C. Stonecipher and John F. McDonnell, have raised questions about the cost of developing it. McDonnell, whose father founded the namesake aerospace company that merged with Boeing in 1997, is one of Boeing's largest individual shareholders.

Although not opposed outright to building the plane, the pair has pushed Boeing engineers to dramatically slash development costs, by up to 40 percent, because of concerns about the uncertain future of the airline industry, according to one knowledgeable source.

Another worry for the two men is that the jet could be a drain on the company's defense business, which has been growing steadily amid the biggest U.S. military ramp-up in two decades.

Full story - http://www.latimes.com/la-fi-boeing1sep01,1,380077.story

It is informative to note that the last MDD aircraft had very little American content:

Nose - Korean Air
Fuselage - Alenia Italy
Wings - former Douglas plant in Canada
Tail - AIDC Taiwan
Engines - RR Germany
Nationalism is an infantile disease. It is the measles of mankind. - A. Einstein
 
Guest

RE: BOMBASTIC!Boeing Going Through An Internal Crisis

Tue Sep 09, 2003 10:41 pm

Living proof that Boeing outsourcing is valid:

717-200

CONSTRUCTION

Boeing subcontracts the manufacture of aircraft components and subassemblies to aerospace contractors worldwide. The components are shipped to the Boeing production facilities at Long Beech, California for final assembly and testing. Subcontractors include: AIDC: empennage (tail unit); Andalucia Aerospacial: a range of subsystems; Aerospace Division of Korean Airlines: the nose section; Alenia: sections of the fuselage; Boeing Canada and Hyundai: wings; Auxiliary Power Corporation: auxiliary power unit; Fischer Advanced Composite Components: cabin interior furnishing; Honeywell: avionics, wheels and brakes; Goodrich: engine nacelles; Hamilton Sundstrand: electrical power generators; IAI SHL Servo Systems: landing gear; Labinal: electrical assemblies; Parker-Hannifin Corporation: hydraulics and control systems; Rolls Royce Deutschland: engines; and ShinMaywa Industries: engine pylons and sections of the tail.

The problem isn't the 717, it's the present demand for the aircraft.



[Edited 2003-09-09 15:43:21]
 
gigneil
Posts: 14133
Joined: Fri Nov 08, 2002 10:25 am

RE: BOMBASTIC!Boeing Going Through An Internal Cri

Wed Sep 10, 2003 12:51 am

Bombastic means written in a grandiose way - which the memo clearly was. The title is accurate.

N