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

A cure for curing

Boeing Winnipeg employee patents production aid


Miguel GuzziWhether it's the flu or waiting for sealant to dry, nobody's happy when curing takes a long time. And that includes Boeing Canada Technology's Miguel Guzzi, who recently received a patent award for a production aid that significantly reduces cure time for 757 air-conditioning doors.

Guzzi, an assembly technician lead in 757 Wing to Body Fairing Assembly at Structural Composites Winnipeg, recently received a patent award for designing an awning cure tent that improves cure time for the 757 air-conditioning doors—and saves factory floor space to boot.

The 757 air-conditioning doors, with several latches and hinges on them, require extensive sealing, with a cycle time of up to 48 hours to dry. Before production even began, Guzzi could see the challenges facing the group.

"We had to move the 5-foot-by-12-foot part down to the cure room some 500 feet away, and this presented several problems," Guzzi said. "First, we had ergonomic concerns, as these doors weigh about 150 pounds and are awkward to move. It takes two people to lift them. Second, with all the part movement to the cure room and back, there is a much greater chance for part damage. Also, our cycle time to build the part would have increased."

Guzzi's idea for the awning cure tent came during a Production Preparation Process workshop held six months before production commenced.

He shared his concept with Craig Humeny, former Winnipeg Division engineering specialist. Together they developed the foldaway awning cure tent, and Guzzi and Humeny now hold a dual patent for the innovative design.

Using the tent eliminates travel time and ergonomic concerns as the space-saving device sits within the department. When not in use, the operator simply retracts it and fastens the awning portion with two straps. The tent accelerates cycle time by 87 percent and the sealants dry in just six hours.

When it comes to generating ideas, Miguel has a successful track record since joining Boeing. Just weeks after starting his Boeing career, he received his first Employee Suggestion Program award and since then has received more than 30 more.

"Although the ESP is no longer, that didn't stop me from generating more ideas to make the job easier," Guzzi said.

Guzzi has implemented numerous production aids while working for 747 Wing-to-Body Fairing, 747 Air-Conditioning Fairing, and 757 Wing to Body Fairing groups. Many of these production aids are still in use today, saving money by helping to make processes easier, faster and more ergonomically correct.

The 16-year employee has three invention disclosures submitted and holds a patent for the awning cure tent. Guzzi currently is awaiting confirmation of his most recent disclosure, submitted last year for specially designed bucking bars—tools used to install rivets in a confined area of the 757 Wing-to-Body Fairing Aft Section.

"We are thrilled and impressed by Miguel's accomplishments and hope he continues to generate innovative ideas to improve manufacturing processes," said Mark Ross, general manager, Structural Composites Winnipeg. "An employee like Miguel can spark enthusiasm and inspire further ideas from his colleagues. We are definitely proud of him."


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