How do you build a 737?

I’ve written before about the Boeing plant in Renton, WA. Here is a fascinating video about how an airplane is actually built, this one is for Russia’s S7 airlines. The 11 days of final assembly  compressed in 2 minutes (and they do have a conveyor belt for airplanes!)

After a little bit of research, the details on the assembly line:

Length of moving line: 742.5 ft. (226 meters)
Speed of moving line: 2 inches (5 cm) per minute (75 hours to go through the line)

Read on, the performance improvement numbers are fascinating –>

Implementation Milestones
Moving line simulations begin on Line 2 October 1999
First movement of 2 inches December 1999 (Multiple workshops are held during this period to balance the line, implement visual control systems, develop access solutions and movement mechanisms)
Implementation begins on Line 4:
• First airplane turns to straight line November 2000
• First airplane begins continuous movement March 2001
• Second airplane turns to straight line March 2001
• 130 kits complete for 1st position March 2001
• Service-ready wing delivered to Final Assembly Spring 2001
• 31 Feeder lines complete May 2001
• Permanent move mechanism installed Summer 2001
• Second airplane begins continuous movement October 2001
• Third airplane turns to straight line October 2001
• Third airplane begins continuous movement November 2001
• Fourth and final airplane turns to straight line November 2001
• 300 Standard work instructions implemented December 2001
• Moving Line fully operational January 2002
• 116 Feeder lines complete March 2004
• 527 Standard work instructions implemented March 2004
• Fifth moving line position added January 2005
• Final assembly time reduced to 10 days January 2007

Benefits Achieved in Final Assembly
Factory Cycle Time Reduction 50%
Inventory Reduction (historical):
• Stores Inventory 61%
• WIP Inventory 62%
Inventory Turn Rate Improvement 476%
Footprint (ft.) Reduction 24%



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