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Frontiers September 2013 Issue

they’re doing it 10 to 15 times a day, it’s a big deal,” said Nicoll Johnson, a shop-floor site representative in Mesa. The use of mobile devices at production sites also has improved workplace health and safety. Reducing the need for employees to travel in work areas lessens the likelihood they might be injured. In the lower parts of a C-17’s forward fuselage as well as in the tail boom of an in-assembly Apache helicopter, there isn’t enough room for mechanics to carry laptops. Mechanics must crawl out of, and then back into, these tight spaces to visit a computer station when they need additional data—a potential health and safety hazard. “The repeated trips are a physical strain, but the iPads are helping reduce that,” Pilkington said. Within Commercial Airplanes, Erin Everett, senior manager of Fabrication Systems for IT Product Systems Manufacturing & Quality Systems, continues to see requests for additional tablet pilot programs. Recent successes with mobile device deployments have others eager to learn more about the ways in which their programs and sites can benefit, she noted. For instance, a new Android tablet program at Boeing Fabrication’s Salt Lake operations in Utah is helping join horizontal stabilizer sections. The mobile device enables the operator to oversee and control the join operation from a position close to the parts instead of from more than 25 feet (8 meters) away standing at an operator station. “We think tablets will really continue to bring productivity gains to Boeing,” Everett said. Although mobility offers production teams many benefits, adding PHOTOS: Mobile devices have helped streamline production processes at the C-17 factory in Long Beach for employees such as Robert Cerniaz (left inset), Shop Floor Control analyst, C-17 final assembly, and Collins Peoples Jr., manufacturing engineer, assembly planning department. BEIO NG FRONTEIRS / SEPTEMBER 2013 25


Frontiers September 2013 Issue
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