11 days – that is how much time it takes to collect one brand new and sparkling Boeing 737, the most popular airliner in the world! Whole Plant in Renton collect 38 aircraft per month, and the very line of 737 made in 1967! Customers have already delivered more than 7,600 aircraft … A further 3,000 boards ordered and awaiting assembly and delivery! In this case, at the assembly line of the atmosphere is more relaxed than the imposingly-. Visually, no one not in a hurry, because the most important thing – it’s security, it is here that the cost of failure is very high. Therefore, each assembly line worker works in a very comfortable pace, without haste and fatigue.
In this feature, I invite you to the factory, which collects Boeing-737, because all you will almost certainly fly on this plane at least once in a lifetime!
Photos and text by Alexander Cheban
So, with this type I start a great series of reports from the Boeing plant in Seattle. But first, layout factories around Seattle. In Renton collect 737th, then the plane flies at Boeing Field Airport, where after a series of test flights is its transfer to the customer. Long-haul aircraft is collected and transmitted to the customer in Everett, there is also a center for visiting tourists, the plant can take part in the tour.
Manufacturing facility in Renton includes production lines, busy assembling the single-aisle Boeing 737 NG and modifications. Production in Renton were deployed on the eve of the Second World War. It created the famous Flying Fortress Boeing B-17.
After the war, in 1952, came from the factory, the first jet airliner Boeing 707. It developed the series and all subsequent modifications of single-aisle Boeing:? 707 – 727? 737? 757. Today, the production program of Renton are 4 versions of the Boeing 737 NG. There will also be running the latest version of the assembly of the aircraft Boeing – 737 – 737 modification – MAX.
In 2003, the consolidation of production was carried out in Renton. All engineering and support units have received residence permits in areas immediately adjacent to the production. Such restructuring has improved the efficiency of management and interaction. In this case, the production area was reduced by more than 40%. Production is organized as a moving assembly line, essentially – the world’s first conveyor assembly of passenger aircraft.
Pay attention to the following two pictures, they are hanging at the entrance to production. First made in the 80s, the second – a modern conveyor (!) Scheme work. The entire assembly line is continuously driven at a speed 5sm/min!
Fuselages for Boeing 737 built in Wichita, Kansas. Transported by rail to a distance of 3218 km. Delivery to the factory in Renton takes about 8 days. The fuselage of the Boeing uniformly green, while Airbus has different shades of green. The answer is: a Boeing 737 fuselage is assembled all in one plant, in different parts of the Airbus produced in different plants. However, the big Boeings also on different, but more on that in a later reporting.
The rhythmic production of the aircraft was made possible by the implementation of a virtual model of each aircraft assembled. Long before setting the plane virtual model provides a perfect assembly of all components and accessories (kitchen – from Japan, the chairs – from Italy), according to the most varied requirements of our customers. Here fully implemented the principles of «Lean Manufacturing». On the other hand it is possible to reduce the cycle from order to delivery with a 2 and a half years to 11 months. Each month of the factory go up to 38 aircraft Boeing? 737 and only in 2012 was 415 aircraft delivered to customers.
Now one plane collected 11 days, plans to reach the mark in 10 days! And it is not due to the increase of number of employees or premises, namely by optimizing the assembly process:
The new 737-800 for FlyDubai. It is for this airline December 16, 2011 Boeing delivered 7,000 th 737y!
Almost everything – it’s handmade!
We turn to the second line. Overall height of the roof off the assembly line of 737 is 33 m, width – 230 m, length – 340m:
The grounds are huge, so the crossings employees use bicycles:
In the center of the room is mounting galleries, hydraulics, chassis:
The following items are mounted salon and chairs, toilets, luggage:
Then roll out the plane and transported to paint in the next shop, but he makes the first flight being completely unstained! Here is the aircraft for the Chinese to come back to the shop to build additional processing nodes after test flights:
And next to the lake. Beauty!
After rolling out planes for 5 days towed to the airfield Renton, it’s just a couple of hundred meters from the assembly line. Here is filling; perform preflight tests, including procedures for testing engines. The aircraft performs its 1st flight in the supply center for the Seattle airport Boeing Field; painting the aircraft is in Seattle or Renton, painting takes 3 days; painting one third of all aircraft produced in Renton.
Then completed flight tests, that employs pilots and pilots of Boeing customer and takes all of about 7 days.
In the paint shop I neither Boeing nor Airbus failed to get very hungry, but needed a lot of wear and time, as usual is not enough … Usually it takes about 190 gallons of paint long painting 737. After drying, the weight of paint on the same plane is about 113 pounds, depending on the paint scheme.
The following reportage I’ll talk about what I saw at the airport Boeing Field. For example, a brand new 737-900 for Ukrainian UIA, who had just returned after his first flight from the factory in Renton to Boeing Field:
70% of all cars sold by Boeing commercial aircraft have on the family 737. It is here that the transfer of the first of the forty Boeing, UTair who ordered the program to renew and replenish the fleet.
Thanks for the tour!
Every moment in the sky in the world in the air are more than 1,700 Boeing 737! Monitor “live”, you can view each type of aircraft from those that are in the air. At the time of my visit was: 787 – 14: A380 – 80.