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Frontiers November 2013 Issue

former storage area. That, in turn, freed up space to build two elevated fuselage systems installation tools, consolidating installation work that now is performed in two locations within the factory. In the bays below the elevated tooling, teams will assemble smaller sections of the airplane such as the empennage, a part of the tail assembly. Once completed, in 2015, this complex series of maneuvers will provide the space to install the 737 MAX temporary production line. Erik Nelson, director of 737 Manufacturing and Operations, likened it to a big tile game—the puzzle where only one space is open to shift tiles into place: “You move one piece and then move the next and finally you move the tile you were really focused on.” Once MAX production is up to speed on the temporary line and everyone is trained, it will move into the mainstream of Next-Generation 737 production. This aggressive plan for the MAX is possible because of the early engagement of all the key players, and the diversity of the team, according to Roberts. “We have people who are brand-new to Boeing and bring the energy and imagination of people who haven’t had to think inside the box for too long,” he said. “And then we have experienced people who know how it works in there. It’s a very helpful environment.” n lauren.l.penning@boeing.com GRAPHIC: An artist’s concept of the 737 Renton, Wash., factory in 2015 when the MAX first enters production. Once the MAX production process has been proved, the program will build Next-Generation 737s and 737 MAXs on the same production lines. BRPH BOEING FRONTIERS / NOVEMBER 2013 19 FINAL ASSEMBLY LINE PRODUCING NEXT-GENERATION 737s BELOW THE ELEVATED TOOLING, TEAMS ASSEMBLE SMALLER SECTIONS OF THE AIRPLANE FOR INCORPORATION INTO FINAL ASSEMBLY


Frontiers November 2013 Issue
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