Boeing’s Dreamliner : Big Gamble on Global Outsourcing

In the wake of recent incidents, today’s LA Times headline, “Regulators to Review Boeing 787 Dreamliner Design and Assembly” is disturbing news for a company that has only delivered 49 units of a total 848 orders.  The price of a Dreamliner starts at  US$206.8 million. 

This 2007 King5 TV report emphasizes that 70 percent of the components of a Dreamliner are manufactured and assembled by foreign subcontractors who ship their parts/assemblies to the Boeing Factory in Everett, WA for final assembly.  This global outsourcing business model has resulted in years of delay in roll out.  How will  it affect risk management and liability?

Per Wikipedia:

Manufacturing and suppliers

After stiff competition, Boeing announced on December 16, 2003, that the 787 would be assembled in its factory in Everett, Washington.[4] Instead of building the complete aircraft from the ground up in the traditional manner, final assembly would employ just 800 to 1,200 people to join completed subassemblies and to integrate systems.[30] Boeing assigned its global subcontractors to do more assembly themselves and deliver completed subassemblies to Boeing for final assembly. This approach was intended to result in a leaner and simpler assembly line and lower inventory,[31] with pre-installed systems reducing final assembly time by three-quarters to three days

Subcontracted assemblies included wing manufacture (Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Japan, central wing box)[34] horizontal stabilizers (Alenia Aeronautica, Italy; Korea Aerospace Industries, South Korea);[35] fuselage sections (Global Aeronautica, Italy; Boeing, North Charleston, USA; Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Japan; Spirit AeroSystems, Wichita, USA; Korean Air, South Korea);[36][37][38] passenger doors (Latécoère, France); cargo doors, access doors, and crew escape door (Saab AB, Sweden); software development (HCL Enterprise India);[39] floor beams (TAL Manufacturing Solutions Limited, India);[40][41] wiring (Labinal, France);[42] wing-tips, flap support fairings, wheel well bulkhead, and longerons (Korean Air, South Korea);[43] landing gear (Messier-Dowty, UK/France);[44] and power distribution and management systems, air conditioning packs (Hamilton Sundstrand, Connecticut, USA).[42][45]   Boeing is considering bringing construction of the 787-9 tail in house; the tail of the 787-8 is currently made by Alenia

5 responses to “Boeing’s Dreamliner : Big Gamble on Global Outsourcing

  1. I predict this will end very badly; multiple disasters can bring Boeing to an end. My father worked on William Allen’s house in Seattle several times, and dad said Allen kept complaining the company wasn’t run as it should be. That was a long time ago; some things never change, or else VERY slowly.


    • In late 1993 I was a temp secretary for a large construction contractor that was actively involved in meeting the ISO 9000 /Total Quality Management model required by Boeing to be on their list of qualified contractors. According to Wikipedia, the concept of the Dreamliner would have started about that time.


  2. “This global outsourcing business model has resulted in years of delay in roll out.”

    I think the administration played a big part in denying Boeing the right to build a plant in South Carolina. SC is a “Right to Work” state and the union sued to prevent the construction. Obama’s Department of Labor pushed it and Boeing lost.
    Since that happened, the company had to enlarge the plant in Washington. That meant the ability to make parts in-house was limited due to EPA and Union regs.


    • the romanov martyrs

      Oh yes, the UNIONS are the problem! We should all be thrilled to work in dangerous conditions for a pittance and zero benefits! If the unions were so all-powerful you’d think they could’ve kept American workers employed. God forbid Americans get a living wage, they’re so greedy! Poor noble corporations, they’re so misunderstood and magnanimous, they never would’ve hired foreigners and outsourced all our jobs if we had just gotten with the program and lowered ourselves to Turd World standards! I’m sure all the billionaires are weeping for the plight of the American worker, when they’re not buying their 10th yacht and flying on their private planes, because they care about you!

      Unbelievable how people can actually cheerlead the scumbags who are raping and pillaging this country. When YOU are forced to work in the conditions you are so eager to foist upon others, then you might understand why unions matter. And don’t think you are so special, so educated, so irreplaceable that it can’t happen to you, because it will. When it was blue collar workers they “deserved it” because they didn’t go to college and weren’t “your class of people”. Now it’s the educated people, the doctors, the nurses, the software designers and middle managers who are on the block and who will speak up for them? Certainly not the blue collar workers, you made your disdain for them clear and you laughed at their misery, so enjoy reaping what you’ve sown. Juan, Rajneesh and Ling Ping won’t speak up for you either, they’ve got your jobs and you are irrelevant…they’ll deal with you later once they’ve finished taking over. So enjoy! YOU DESERVE IT. (Not that you’ll understand or see this as anything other than “liberal” BS…even though I’m as far from a liberal as can be). WAKE UP…..or perish.


  3. the romanov martyrs

    Isn’t globalization grand? I sure hope all the true believers in “vibrant diversity” and “we’re all the same, no differences in race at all YOU BIGOT” get on the Dreamliner and reap all the benefits. As for this bigoted racist, you couldn’t get me within 100 feet of that death trap. Good luck!


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