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Old May 9th, 2015, 01:36 AM   #5401
PiotrG
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Efficiency gains in North Charleston prompt Boeing to shut down Dreamliner “surge line”

Increased efficiency and ramped up production at Boeing Co.’s North Charleston campus will let the aerospace giant shut down its temporary Dreamliner assembly line in Everett, Wash., months ahead of schedule, a company official said Friday.

The move is an indication that production levels are equalizing at the two Dreamliner sites, with North Charleston producing roughly the same amount of 787s — five per month — by the end of this year as its sister plant in Everett.

“Basically, the progress we’ve seen in North Charleston, as well as in Everett, means we can now close that line down,” Beverly Wyse, vice president and general manager of Boeing South Carolina, told The Post and Courier on Friday. “We’re seeing the production system stabilize to the point that we feel confident doing this.”

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The third line will be reconfigured for production of the twin-aisle 777X, Boeing’s largest twin-engine plane. Boeing’s Propulsion South Carolina plant, also in North Charleston, designs and engineers the engine nacelle for that plane.

Boeing currently produces its Dreamliners on three assembly lines — a main line in North Charleston, a main line in Everett and a “surge line,” also in Everett. The surge line was activated in August 2012 to help Boeing meet its goal of building 10 Dreamliners per month if the two main lines could not keep up with production. Wyse said the two main lines will be meeting that goal by the end of this year, making the surge line — which was supposed to close at some point in 2016 — no longer necessary.

Wyse said the North Charleston plant has been producing at a rate of more than three Dreamliners per month, with production scheduled to increase to roughly four per month beginning in June and then roughly five per month by the end of 2015.

Boeing initially said the North Charleston campus would not reach the five-per-month goal until sometime in 2016. North Charleston and Everett are scheduled to build a combined 12 Dreamliners per month by the end of next year.

“It’s the awesome team that we have here in South Carolina and Everett doing a great job of working together to come up with a plan that exceeds our expectations,” Wyse said. “Now is the right time to do this, It will position us better for the 777X as well as continue to get the work where it needs to be over the long term.”

Through April, there have been 286 orders for the 777X, which is scheduled to start production in 2017. By contrast, there have been 1,104 Dreamliner orders — with 269 deliveries through April — including 142 orders for the 787-10 model that will be produced solely in North Charleston beginning in 2017.

Wyse said there are no plans for an additional production line in North Charleston despite ramped up production levels — to a goal of seven Dreamliners per month by 2019 — and the introduction of the 787-10, the Dreamliner’s longest and most fuel-efficient model.

“What we will do is continue to effectively speed up the line,” Wyse said. “We believe that we will be able to continue to increase the capacity so that we can meet it on a single line.”

In an email to employees Friday, Wyse said the company will “continue to work on improvement with some of our suppliers, and we’re confident in your ability to execute this plan.”

Boeing has had problems with some suppliers, most notably delays in Dreamliner seat deliveries by France’s Zodiac Aerospace that have delayed deliveries, but the company said it doesn’t expect those issues to affect its production goals.

Wyse added that Boeing intends to follow its overtime guidelines during the ramp up in production “so our teammates enjoy time off with their families.”

Uresh Sheth, a New York investment banker and Dreamliner analyst, said he has heard rumors of a closing surge line for months, but believes getting rid of it by the end of 2015 will be ambitious.

“There seems to be pretty good efficiencies at North Charleston as well as on the main Everett line which Boeing will want to leverage, so it is not out of the realm of possibility that Boeing can shut down the surge totally by the end of this year,” Sheth said.

Saj Ahmad, chief analyst for Strategic Aero Research, an aerospace analyst group, said the North Charleston site “has improved leaps and bounds since opening and this has been a key driver behind expediting the surge line behind phased out.”

Ahmad said using the surge line for 777X production “will allow Boeing to keep a lid on costs by using available floor space in-house while it feathers in production between the current 777 family and that of the 777X.”
http://www.postandcourier.com/articl...rge-line-x201d

It's great news for 787 program. Charleston Plant reaches really good performance with today flight LN304 ZA684 B-2762 for Xiamen, they are able to fly frame under 2 weeks timeframe after roll out and before rolling out next frame.

I won't be surprised if Boeing will use gained free time of 40-24 building for re-work terrible teens, 4 frames will fit inside. They will be able to clear off RWY11-29 and won't have to pay leasing rates for that RWY.

With only 2 FAL and equal efficiency in CHS cost of 787 production and flyout will drop rapidly.
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Old May 9th, 2015, 08:27 AM   #5402
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According to Uresh's spreadsheet the last 787 that will roll off the surge line will be LN381, 787-9, Aer Cap - KLM (Koninklijke Luchtvaart Maatschappij) that should be delivered in January 2016.

If they will use the 40-24 building temporary as a 2nd EMC to speed up the rework the production costs won't go down straight away. But if they can indeed finish all the terrible teens much earlier, it will also make the rework costs end much earlier. I think it will mainly be a financial decision. What will be more cost effective with the program accounting that Boeing uses, increase the cost temporary but for a shorter time overall or spread them out over a longer period of time.


On topic of the possibility of 2 new Dreamlifters. If they go for converting 2 747-8s, it will mean a new type certification, making it even more expensive. But if it will be possible to transport the 787-10 mid sections it will give Boeing more flexibility in production. It will mean that they will also be able to build the 787-10 in Everett and not just in Charleston where the mid sections for all types are produced.
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Old May 9th, 2015, 09:28 AM   #5403
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EMC 1st May. LN12 and LN13 are undergoing extensive re-work outside, while LN133 ZB002 ZK-NZD (former N789FT) looks complete outside, work is probably ongoing inside. It should be moved in few weeks to flightline.


Around KPAE May 2015 by moonm, on Flickr
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Old May 10th, 2015, 01:06 AM   #5404
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Last order for 6 787-8s was indeed order for terrible teens. It's probably Ethiopian, but engine selections really concern me. It's either an error at Boeing side or Ethiopian will really operate 787s with 2 types of engines. And it's sure now, LAN won't take two early 787s

LN10 ZD003
LN12 ZD004
LN13 ZD005
LN14 ZD006
LN15 ZD007
LN18 ZD008

http://nyc787.blogspot.com/
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Old May 11th, 2015, 08:44 PM   #5405
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LN 5 was moved to E4 position at EMC last night to begin rework.
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Old May 11th, 2015, 08:49 PM   #5406
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PiotrG View Post
Last order for 6 787-8s was indeed order for terrible teens.
http://nyc787.blogspot.com/
I'll bet that price was the mother-of-all-discounts.
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Old May 11th, 2015, 09:04 PM   #5407
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You know, Boeing sold LN6 for 127mln USD (probably engines included in price, so about 100mln USD for frame)
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Originally Posted by Woodys Aeroimages View Post
LN 5 was moved to E4 position at EMC last night to begin rework.
So it's clear now that last BBJ order was for LN5. This frame underwent few months of re-work back in early 2014, so probably it will take about 12 months to complete.
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Old May 12th, 2015, 01:22 AM   #5408
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JA861J Japan Airlines Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner - cn 35422 / ln 139 by Woodys Aeroimages, on Flickr

JA861J Japan Airlines Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner - cn 35422 / ln 139 by Woodys Aeroimages, on Flickr
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Old May 12th, 2015, 01:52 AM   #5409
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Looking good.
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Old May 12th, 2015, 02:08 AM   #5410
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Finally catching up from my vacation last week. The regular PAE updates will start commencing.
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Old May 12th, 2015, 02:18 AM   #5411
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Sounds good
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Old May 12th, 2015, 02:21 AM   #5412
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9V-OJD Scoot Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner - C/N 37115 / LN 308 by Woodys Aeroimages, on Flickr
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Old May 12th, 2015, 02:28 AM   #5413
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N802AN American Airlines Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner - C/N 40620 / LN 255 by Woodys Aeroimages, on Flickr
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Old May 12th, 2015, 04:07 AM   #5414
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Spent a weekend at LAX doing some spotting. Caught some 787's, bummed I missed Virgin's Birthday Girl by 1 day.

N27903 United Airlines Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner - cn 34823 / ln 52 by Woodys Aeroimages, on Flickr

JA833J Japan Airlines Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner - cn 34846 / ln 125 by Woodys Aeroimages, on Flickr

N27901 United Airlines Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner - cn 34821 / ln 45 by Woodys Aeroimages, on Flickr

EI-LNB Norwegian Long Haul Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner - cn 35305 / ln 112 Thor Heyerdahl by Woodys Aeroimages, on Flickr
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Old May 12th, 2015, 09:02 AM   #5415
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LN 311 Air India was moved into EMC paint hanger after LN 306 American was moved to the flight line.
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Old May 12th, 2015, 12:35 PM   #5416
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodys Aeroimages View Post
LN 311 Air India was moved into EMC paint hanger after LN 306 American was moved to the flight line.

Around KPAE May 2015 by moonm, on Flickr

And where is LN5?

Around KPAE May 2015 by moonm, on Flickr
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Old May 12th, 2015, 06:07 PM   #5417
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Those pictures were taken before LN 5 was moved there.
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Old May 12th, 2015, 06:34 PM   #5418
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Thanks!
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Old May 12th, 2015, 07:12 PM   #5419
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Went by EMC this morning and LN 5 was moved back to RWY 11/29
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Old May 12th, 2015, 09:02 PM   #5420
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Interesting movement...
---

Ureshs confirmed that 6 terrible teens are now destined for Ethiopian. Check tables at http://nyc787.blogspot.com/
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