The Boeing Company
The Boeing Company is one of the worlds largest US based aerospace company which is founded by William Boeing in 1913. Boeing manufactures defense, space and security systems and commercial airlines. Boeing is well known for its wide range of products and services which include commercial and military aircrafts, weapons, satellites, electronic defense systems, launch systems and information and communication systems (Boeing, 2013). One among the list of products listed above, we will be discussing about the prestigious commercial airplane of Boeing i.e. Dreamliner 787. From past 4 decades, Boeing has been the leading manufacturer of commercial jetliners. Boeing commercial airplanes - is a business division of the Boeing Company with its headquarters located in Renton, Washington (Wikipedia, 2013). Since beginning, Boeing’s commercial jetliners are named 7X7 series with first one Boeing 707 launched in December, 1957 (Wikipedia, 2013). Other jets released to date include 737, 747, 757 (Ended on 2004), 767, 777, 787 with 787 being the latest. Boeing 787 Dreamliner
The first Boeing 787 Dreamliner was delivered to Japan’s ANA in 2011, nearly 40 months after the planned delivery date. The expected delivery was in May 2008 where as the major changes in design and supply chain led to an unexpected delay (Keri E. Peterson et al, 2013). The fuel efficient 787 Dreamliner‘s manufacturing has become complicated due to multiple changes implemented all at once. Far from the traditional manufacturing, Dreamliner design consists of many new features like unique design, one piece fuselage, reduced weight, 20% increase in fuel economy, and reduction in maintenance time. Apart from the changes in design, another major difficulty was the company’s global supply chain network (Keri E. Peterson et al, 2013). Boeing has significantly changed the production process along with design changes. In addition, Boeing outsourced two most critical parts - fuselage and wings. Everything put together, the complications kept increasing and so is the delay. Yet, finally the plane entered the market years late but the design came out as expected! The plane can hold up to 210- 250 passengers on routes of 7650 – 8200 nautical miles and satisfies the fuel economy by consuming 20% less and travels at the same speed when compared to other similar sized airplanes. Boeings offering 3 variants in Dreamliner series with 787-8 as the first followed by 787-9 which carries 250-290 passengers and 787-10 which is launched in June 2013 with seating of 300-330 passengers (Boeing, n.d.) Though Boeing has not landed the Dreamliner at the expected time, the outcome made the wait worth by satisfying all the design requirements. 787 Dreamliner has got all the features that are mentioned in the design. Yet, the Airbus’s A380 which is released a year earlier is much bigger with 500-853 capacity than the mid-sized 787. Though the A380 has fat capacity, the Dreamliner was more fuel efficient. Dreamliner 787 design process has got several hurdles due to the change in its manufacturing process and changes in the design. With the design changes and fuel efficiency, Boeing faced several complications in development process. As questioned in the case study, one might think why Boeing has taken the radical approach for designing 787. In my opinion, it is a good move to change the design process which reduce the financial risks and production cycle time. Yet, Boeing also planned for major design changes which is yet a good move but not at the same time. Being a large business, the company shall implement changes on one area at a time. Changing either production process or design process might have resulted in a successful delivery at the expected time. But, when two major processes changed at once, the co-ordination would become difficult which exactly is happened with Boeing. From the scenario, I can say that, a company...
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