Boeing Employees Voice Doubts Over 787 Build Rate
The first several months of 2013 proved to be a trying time for Boeing (NYSE:BA) as it launched its new and revolutionary 787 Dreamliner aircraft to the subsequent string of problem after problem while the new planes got acclimated. Battery fires and circuitry problems were nearly a weekly occurrence, and airlines worldwide were forced to divert flight after flight as the problems mounted. Throughout the year, these problems settled, but Boeing is now facing yet another issue with its technological centerpiece, but this time on the production end.
At a pace of 10 units per month, the 787 is the fastest produced twin-aisle jet in the world, but employees with the company are concerned that the company won’t be able to maintain that rate. Reuters reported them as saying that the two factories that assemble the 787 are struggling to cope with a ramp-up in production that started late last year, and a huge backlog of unfinished work threatens to slow output.
Boeing’s plant in North Charleston, South Carolina reportedly has thousands of uncompleted work orders, and has been sending pieces to the Boeing plant in Everett, Washington, which is larger, to be completed so that the company can maintain its 10-a-month rate, Reuters quoted the employees as saying and adding that a work order encompasses everything from attaching a part to installing a duct system entirely.
One employee — which the site noted as being senior-level — said that much of it had to do with the 787′s complex wiring systems, and fuselage sections were being shipped in from South Carolina with large bundles of wires that were not connected properly.