Ultimately, Boeing encourages each and every employee to be creative, disciplined and persistent. Innovation is at the heart of what Boeing does – every decision is geared towards building a sustainable future for the brand.
How Boeing saves time using continuous innovation
An example of how Boeing saves time and thus money can be seen when you look at the development of the 757 assembly line. Plant engineers struggled with a time-consuming bottleneck due to having to lift the plane’s heavy seats up to its doorway and inside for installation. Once the seats came to the plant, they were fitted with wheels, lifted by an overhead crane to the airplane doorway, unloaded, rolled into the cabin, divested of their wheels and finally installed. The process from beginning to end took 12 hours.
Members of Boeing’s ‘Moonshine Shop’ – a team of people tasked with developing ideas in late night thinking sessions – began searching for a more effective process. They asked the question: “If not cranes, then what?”
The team attended county fairs and studied Ferris wheels; they looked at ski lifts and automated roofing carriers but nothing quite fit the bill. Eventually one of the team members mentioned the hay loaders her say on farms near his home. Could they be adapted to ferry heavy seats up to the plane for installation?
The team began looking into the workings of hay loaders and finally found a rancher who could develop a viable machine that met their exact specifications, adding safety guards. The new hay loader was put into production and shaved an astonishing 10 hours off seat installation. It was quickly rolled out across all 757 manufacturing plants.
Then there was a problem with the airplane tires being punctured by the ubiquitous metal fasteners that littered the floor as they rolled down the assembly line. Engineers created sweepers that hooked onto the landing gear, which worked to catch the larger items but missed the tiny fasteners. Then...