Achieving mass customization in the Boeing Wire Responsibility Center
Author(s)Napier, Matthew Kirk, 1968-
Achieving mass customization in the BWRC
Leaders for Manufacturing Program.
Duncan Simester and Kevin Otto.
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Customized options are costly to produce using the current production and design methods of the Boeing Commercial Airplane Group (BCAG). The company is redesigning its engineering and manufacturing processes in order to enhance its ability to deliver customized options cost effectively. The majority of the company's continuous improvement efforts to date have centered on either its manufacturing operations or its engineering processes, and significant progress has been made in the areas of lean production and reduced flowtimes. While there is still plenty of room for improvement within each functional group of the business, there is arguably much more opportunity for improvement in the relationships between functional groups. The thesis analyzes the potential for significant cost improvements of initiatives that focus on formalizing cross functional continuous improvement relationships between the engineering and manufacturing groups. The analysis is conducted in the form of a case study of the company's Wire Responsibility Center (WIRC), which has the distinction of handling more customization, variability and change than most other areas of the company. This high degree of variation is coupled with large volumes of product - hundreds of units per plane - to produce fertile ground for the study of process improvements between engineering and manufacturing teams. This study shows the significant impact of the WIRC's Change, Error, and Rework (CER) Initiative on the quality and cost of its products and offers suggestions for further improvement. The thesis concludes with a discussion of how effective application of the lessons learned from this pilot project could greatly improve the profitability of The Boeing Company's Commercial Airplane Group.
Thesis (S.M.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Sloan School of Management; and, (S.M.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering; in conjunction with the Leaders for Manufacturing Program, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2000.Also available online at the MIT Theses Online homepage <http://thesis.mit.edu>.Includes bibliographical references (leaves 46-47).
DepartmentSloan School of Management.; Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering.; Leaders for Manufacturing Program.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Sloan School of Management., Civil and Environmental Engineering., Leaders for Manufacturing Program.