Turnaround Time

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  • Supporting the 787
    Posted by Frank Jackman 6:39 PM on Jul 30, 2010

    The much delayed entry into service of the Boeing 787 has put enormous pressure on Boeing and every company in the supply chain. Personal and company reputations are on the line, as are huge amounts of capital and resources. And for many companies, that pressure will not ease once the aircraft finally enters service. If anything, it could increase.
    For all intents and purposes, the 787 is expected to operate at a reliability level at or near that of a mature aircraft program from day one. There is no slack -- or goodwill -- left to accommodate equipment teething problems or aftermarket supply chain process glitches. All the components better work flawlessly and, if they don't and something thing needs to be replaced, the parts and people had better be standing by.
    In a number of different conversations last week at the Farnborough International Airshow outside London, different suppliers talked about the strain of the 787 delays. And they also talked about the enhanced level of communication between suppliers on the program and the level of detail the suppliers reached to ensure that everyone's components worked together. What the 787 delays have accentuated is how dependent the companies in the supply chain are on each other.
    Delivery of the first 787 to launch customer All Nippon Airways is scheduled for the fourth quarter, but in the weeks leading up to Farnborough there was some talk delivery could slip into early 2011. I thought  it interesting that a Honeywell release on Wednesday said the first aircraft would be delivered in December or January.

    Tags: om99, 787

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