Painter Jeff Carpenter remembers a time not too long ago when weather could grind his work to a halt – even though his work was inside. Carpenter and his colleagues paint all the interiors components found above the stow bin, including main cabin ceiling panels, light valences, lowered ceilings and various other parts.
“There were times during the winter where it would be really clear day and humidity would drop down to like nothing, said Carpenter, who works as a painter at the Interiors Responsibility Center in Everett, Washington. “We could not paint at that point.”
Add to the equation poor ventilation that led to dust getting into the paint, along with small quarters and it was a recipe for a less than ideal environment for painting interiors components.
The solution? Boeing Fabrication and the 777X program invested to create a 7,400 square state-of-the-art building within the IRC that allows painters to work in a humidity controlled environment with dedicated areas for mixing, drying, and ovens for curing.
The IRC recently began operations in this new paint facility, starting with interiors components for the 777X.
“Right now we’re painting somewhere between 50 and 100 parts a day in here, and that number is expected to quadruple when the 777X program reaches full rate, said Mike Hanold, project manager. “So we’re prepared for the future.”
“Everybody here takes a lot of pride in the quality and the level of work that they do,” Carpenter said. “This is a great facility and I’m glad to be working here.”
By Nate Hulings