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View Diary: Boeing's outsourcing strategy in the spotlight as FAA grounds the Dreamliner (196 comments)

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  •  Are you sure it was an "execution" error? (0+ / 0-)

    Or was it a "management" error?

    The reason I ask is are you saying Boeing did things right and subcontractors did things wrong, or was the system inadequate?

    For a part to be "inches" off of a fit we have the following choices:

    Engineering/configuration management issues (or engineering "execution" if you like)

    - Design errors such as differences in dimensions of mating parts (pretty common when one part is changed and it's mate not)
    - Manufacturer given the wrong information (erroneous or outdated)
    - Design changes specified but not transferred and verified downstream in time
    - Product inspection criteria or methods inadequate or erroneous (for example, temperature of inspection for plastic parts such as carbon fiber composites verses the temperature at which they would be joined later)
    - Critical inspections/verifications not specified

    Manufacturing "Execution" issues

    - Correct information was received but errors in tooling or fabrication made
    - Errors were made in adapting design data to sub-part design, tooling or process, checks did not detect the errors
    - Parts not conforming to specification (e.g., dimensions incorrect our out of tolerance when measured by specified methods)
    - Necessary tests, inspections or verifications not planed or executed

    My understanding of the parts mis-match problem Boeing had with the composites is that, while parts were correctly fabricated at contractors and verified against engineering data, there were errors made in failing to control the range of thermal expansion coefficients of the materials used in different plants, and subsequently, when parts were later joined in assembly at different temperatures and under different loads, there were mis-matches due to thermal expansion and/or strain under load.

    These are engineering issues and assembly methods engineering issues.

    I might be mistaken, but I'm not aware that Boeing concluded any of these suppliers made parts "wrong", just that the designs and systems used to produce them we inadequate in terms of controlling variables of process and materials that would ultimately be problems.

    As I stated, the design and fabrication strategy for this plane did push the system further in terms of the scope of outsourcing or global manufacturing, and that did create some problems with configuration management particularly given the fact the design included use of new technology proven on a smaller scale but not at the scale they would use here (specifically, the extensive use of plastic composites).

    So we have to ask whether Boeing adequately considered the potential problems such an approach would encounter, and I think their own conclusion is that they did not.

    However, virtually all aircraft are the products of supply-chains that have been global for decades so I don't think "outsourcing", per se, is the root of the problem.

    Did Boeings labor issues contribute to the mess? I'm sure it did because at working level, these are the people who manage the process and if you don't have enough, or they are focused on things other than the task at hand, it caiuses problems.

    But the premise of this diary is that "outsourcing" is ultimately the cause of these battery failures and that is frankly ridiculous.

    And I think it's foolish to make ridiculous arguments even when it is here on the front page of Daily Kos.

    What about my Daughter's future?

    by koNko on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 01:35:57 AM PST

    [ Parent ]

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