Boeing has rolled out the first 777 to be built at the increased production rate of 8.3 per month, or 100 airplanes per year. The airplane is a 777 Freighter that will be delivered in February to Korean Air.
The production increase began in October when the first airplane parts entered the Everett factory. Planning for the increased rate has been in work for almost a year.
"As we built the first airplane at the new rate, we saw some of the best production metrics ever," says Scott Fancher, vice president and general manager, 777 program and Airplane Development. "Our factory is running smoothly and we've reduced the time it takes to build a 777 by one day from 49 to 48 days."
New manufacturing innovations such as flex-track drilling in the body and wing panels, automated floor drilling and wings painting equipment also contributed.
"Employee involvement teams have been critical to the rate increase," Fancher says. "Ideas from those teams are saving time while improving quality and safety."
In the past 31 months, the 777 program has increased rate two times. First from five to an all-time high production rate of seven in 2011, and now going beyond that to an all-time high rate of 8.3 airplanes per month.