April 2006 
Volume 04, Issue 11 
Commercial Airplanes

Seeking Hawaii

Chris Williams, Jeff Underwood, Bob Lyons and Chuck Wardrop discuss 250 newly identified kaizen action itemsThe 737 Electrical Systems Value Stream Team (VST) reached a milestone late last month when it became the first of 15 new 737 Program VSTs to build a "future state map," which shows what the team's work process could look like if wasted time and activity are eliminated.

Value-stream mapping is a Lean technique that helps these employees examine the production process of a given part or system from the day an airline commits to an airplane configuration until the day Boeing delivers the finished product. This intensive scrutiny helps them determine what work adds value and what doesn't—and identifies sources of waste in the airplane production system.


Untangling the web of wires

Employees at the Electrical Systems Responsibility Center in Everett, Wash., tackle daily duties.In the world of wires, employees from the Boeing Fabrication Electrical Systems Responsibility Center (ESRC) in Everett, Wash., have developed an aggressive set of Lean strategies for the global "wire shop" they manage for Boeing Commercial Airplanes.

Like untangling a web of wire, however, Leaning out a complicated supplier "value chain" isn't easy.

The people at the ESRC knew they had to start the process by taking a hard look at what it means to deliver best-value, competitive products to their customers.


From safe to safer

Dan Boorman demonstrates how to use a Boeing Electronic Checklist in a 777 simulator.Flying an airliner can be complicated. Technical glitches, pilot complacency or unexpected events all can open the door for errors. That's why checklists are an essential element of a pilot's job. Pilots use printed and electronic lists to make sure critical procedures are done right and flights are safe.

Since its debut 10 years ago, the Boeing Electronic Checklist has become increasingly popular among 777 operators. It's touted as a major contributor to increased safety and efficiency in flight operations; Boeing believes so strongly in this tool it has included it on the new 787. The Electronic Checklist eventually will become part of every airplane Boeing delivers.



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