On the Call: Boeing CEO Jim McNerney
Boeing Co. is speeding up production of its new 787. It's a huge effort, because the 787 is built on assembly lines in Everett, Wash., and in South Carolina. It's also running a modification center in Everett for some early planes that rolled off the assembly line but needed fixes before they could be delivered.
The production of anything as big as a jet airplane and as new as a 787 requires a learning curve, for the company in general and for workers on the factory floors. The more experience they get making the plane, the more they figure out ways to do it better and faster. On Wednesday, Boeing CEO Jim McNerney was asked how that's going.
McNerney said that the two main factories where 787s are assembled are "seeing learning curve gains about as we had predicted. In some cases maybe a little better. But, as predicted."
In the Everett rework center, "we're also beginning to see a learning curve there. That is somewhat offset, however, by the fact that we did the easier-to-do airplanes first, and now we're moving into airplanes that require a little more work .... We're fully confident that the learning curve that we projected is going to come true."