Boeing Frontiers
July 2003
Volume 02, Issue 03
Top Stories Inside Quick Takes Site Tools
Commercial Airplanes


employee working on planeMost Boeing employees likely are familiar with the concepts of Lean, supplier relationships, and global manufacturing—supporting a design-anywhere, build-anywhere vision of the future. It seems like any time you pick up a copy of Boeing Frontiers or take a walk through the factory, you're reading about Lean manufacturing or seeing a Shingijutsu consultant in action.

This is by design. A lean and efficient operation is the heart of the Boeing Production System and is crucial to Commercial Airplanes' success in the global market place.

However, there is more to this story: The Boeing Production System is more than Lean, more than supplier partnerships, more than process improvement. Commercial Airplanes also must manage defects and continue to focus on quality across all production lines to remain competitive and be successful.



Copious collaborators

plane taking offAround 1930 in Paris, the French coined a phrase: The layman flies; the expert takes the train. To modern-day ears, the phrase sounds silly, even preposterous.

But at that time in aviation history, many uncertainties surrounded air transportation. Traveling by airplane was often impractical, unreliable, uncomfortable and a lot riskier than it is today.

Yet as early as World War I, some visionaries realized that the emerging air-transportation industry would someday stretch its wings far beyond the boundaries of any one country and become as global as ship transportation.



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