The Boeing 767: From Concept to Production
BSA 523: Operation Management
Professor Henry P. Barnhill
March 6, 2012
The Boeing Commercial Airplane Company was founded in 1916 and was located in Seattle, Washington. Now headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, Boeing is the world’s largest and perhaps most well-known aerospace firm. According to their website (www.boeing.com), the company operates in three principal segments -commercial airplanes; military aircraft and missiles; and space and communications. The commercial airplane division consists of the 717, 737, 747, 757, 767 and 777 families of jetliners and the Boeing business jet. Boeing faces stiff competition from international aerospace companies seeking to increase market share, the most prominent of which is Airbus, the European consortium that recently restructured itself as a corporation. Given these competitive pressures and its need to maintain its preeminent position in the global aerospace industry, Boeing continually seeks to improve its manufacturing processes to increase operational efficiencies and shorten production cycles. Commercial aircraft manufacturing is highly complex and requires a vast outlay of humans, financial and intellectual capital. Indeed, construction of a modern airplane often requires upfront expenditures in excess of $1 billion and entails the labor of literally thousands of line workers, subcontractors and management professionals. Despite the difficulty of coordinating the design, installation and testing of thousands of components and subcomponents, aircraft manufacturing still remains a labor-intensive industry. Aircraft construction requires assembly of thousands of high-quality components and subcomponents sourced from a network of suppliers. The smaller parts are subcontracted to outside manufacturers, but entire sections of the airplane can be outsourced to third parties as well. This contributes to long lead times and complicates the project management control...
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