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Boeing pauses production to focus on safety, quality and training

Since January, more than 70,000 Boeing Commercial Airplanes (BCA) employees across the company have paused production and delivery activities for a day to focus on ways to improve safety and quality.

“When we find issues, we go as far as standing down a team to make sure that everybody on the team or everybody in the area is aware of the issue. It’s not meant to be punitive, and we share the information across the programs, from the 737 to the 777 to the 787 to the 767,” says Mike Fleming a senior vice president at Boeing Commercial Airplanes. 

Based on employee feedback, the top areas of focus include training, processes, defects and culture.

“We want our teammates to know their voices are heard, and that we are taking action to address their improvement ideas. Ensuring the safety and quality of our products and services requires a full team effort. Our customers, our company and the flying public depend on it,” says Elizabeth Lund, quality senior vice president and Quality Operations Council chair, at Boeing Commercial Airplanes. 

Employees at more than 20 sites in the US, UK, Canada, and Australia have participated in stand downs. The sessions have generated more than 35,000 employee comments, with common themes like obstacles in their work, ideas and suggestions to improve.

All submissions get categorised, prioritised and reviewed for action. Boeing says it’s systematically addressed thousands of comments and suggestions and that teams are working through the entire list including many that will be included as part of Boeing’s Safety and Quality Plan (90-day plan) that is due to be submitted to the FAA at the end of May.

Examples

  • Training: Boeing have added new training material for manufacturing and quality roles that averages about 20-50 more training hours per employee, depending on work scope.
  • Tooling: To help Boeing employees better do their jobs, more than 7,000 new tools and other equipment have been provided across commercial airplanes programs.

In recent BCA employee meetings, leaders talked about these changes and what’s ahead. The move comes after Ryanair cuts its summer schedule because of a lack of 737 Max deliveries. 

Image accredited to Boeing. 

 

 

Author: FTN Editor

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