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The 21st Century Jet

The Boeing 777 Multimedia Case Study

Shad H Shokralla

Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California at Berkeley

December 18, 1995

Research Advisor: Professor Alice M. Agogino Berkeley Expert Systems Technology Laboratory On-line Version URL: main.html

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Abstract
Multimedia case studies have been shown to be an effective way of documenting and teaching best design practices. This is a case study of the changes that the Boeing Commercial Aircraft Company made in the way they design and build airplanes. The 777 is the first jet that Boeing has created using this methodology. The changes were very dramatic and encompassed many areas, including technical, organizational and administrative changes. Boeing is touting the 777 as more than just a product, but as a new process. Although the technical innovations were numerous, what made the 777 project unique were the other changes Boeing instituted for this design/build effort. It was the first 100% digitally designed and pre-assembled airplane made by Boeing. Concurrent engineering, the concept of Working Together, was an integral part of the new philosophy and nearly 240 Design/Build teams were used through-out the process. The teams included design, manufacturing, customer and supplier personnel from the start. Designing and building a new commercial jet airliner is a long, five to ten years, and infrequent, one or two per decade, process. As such, it is crucial to document the design/build process for future projects, especially one that had so many firsts. A multimedia case study is an ideal vehicle for teaching engineers within Boeing as well as engineering students the design/build process of a large and complex product. This case study is also useful as an example of the process of changing an established system in a conservative company.

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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
Special thanks to Professor Agogino for suggesting the topic as well as providing guidance and support throughout the project. Thanks to the current BEST lab members who provided me with guidance in the preparation of the case study. And to all those previous BEST lab members, whose work was invaluable as examples of completed multimedia case studies. Thanks to Jorge Barreto who helped a great deal in researching and organizing the information. I would like to thank Professor Sara Beckman from the Haas Business school for the information she provided regarding Phil Condit and the Boeing 777. I am grateful to Boeing for providing information crucial in developing the case study. I am appreciative to the many industrial partners who help in supporting the BEST lab and in providing the facilities and equipment used by the BEST lab members. Thanks are due to my review committee, Professors Alice Agogino, Sara Beckman, and Gary Chapman, for taking the time to listen and offer suggestions for future work.

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Table of Contents
SUBJECT Abstract Table of Contents Acknowledgments Introduction Methodology for Creating the Case Study Background 3.1 The Commercial Aircraft Industry 3.2 The Boeing Company History 3.3 The People 3.4 The Airplane, 777 Why Change The Changes 5.1 New Philosophy 5.2 CAD Simulation and Integration 5.2.1 3-D Modeling 5.2.2 Knowledge Based Engineering 5.3 Concurrent Engineering 5.4 Design/Build Teams 5.5 Business/Marketing 5.6 Technical 5.6.1 Engine 5.6.2 ETOPS 5.6.3 Fly-By-Wire 5.6.4 Testing How to Change Course Did it Work Recommendations for Future Research References Appendix A: Screen dumps of case study PAGE i ii iii 1 3 5 5 6 6 7 9 12 12 13 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 19 19 20 22 23 24 25 A-1

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6.0 7.0 8.0

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1.0 Introduction
Boeing has been building commercial airliners since 1927 with the first Boeing commercial jet airliner, the 707, introduced in 1955. Currently, Boeing jets dominate the commercial aircraft market and Boeing hopes to continue this domination with the latest addition to the Boeing family, the 777. This success is even more remarkable when one realizes that the Boeing Design/Build process had not changed very much during the past three decades. The system was antiquated, cumbersome, and inefficient creating production delays, increased costs, and spawning a huge bureaucracy simply to handle the paperwork. Boeing was clearly motivated to bring this World War II era process into the 21st Century. Airbus Industries increasingly larger share of the commercial airliner market was a major force instigating these changes. Airbus had the advantages of government subsidies to help defray the costs of implementing best design practices, as well as latecomer advantages. It learned from Boeings, as well as Lockheeds and McDonnell Douglas, mistakes and it did not have 40 years of bureaucratic momentum to overcome. Other motivating factors include the need for Boeing to increase the income from the commercial aircraft division to offset the loss of revenue due to cutbacks in government defense and aerospace contracts. This multimedia case study documents the reasons behind the overhaul of the design/build process at Boeing, the changes themselves as well as the methodology used in accomplishing those changes. The information was collected from the general media including articles and public television documentaries about the 777. In addition, much of the information was provided by the Boeing Commercial Airplane Company in the form of written documentation as well as video recordings. The main effort of the author was in sorting through the information and providing a coherent and logical story that would inform as well as educate. Since the case study covers many diverse areas including technical, organizational, business practices, and marketing, it is useful as an educational tool in fields other than engineering as well. This case study was initially developed during the second half of 1995. During its preparation, the author realized that there were many aspects of the process that were necessary to tell the complete story but could not be included due to time constraints. 5

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Therefore, this case study is an overall skeleton with a few detailed sections in addition to many sections that need to be completed in the future. Completing some of those areas requires enough work to qualify as complete MS projects. The second phase of the project will be to enhance the multimedia aspects of the presentation. At that time, input from Boeing in the form of a review of the case study and additional information will be solicited and incorporated therein.

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2.0 Methodology For Creating The Case Study


The case study was developed in several stages with the work divided into distinct areas to allow flexibility for multiple authors collaborating on the final product. The initial research work, layout of the case study and initial writing was done in a text format in order to give the multimedia director the option of choosing a suitable format for presentation. The various options for presenting the final multimedia case study include putting the case study on the World Wide Web, a Macintosh compatible CD-ROM or an IBM-PC compatible format. Each of these formats has unique features and potentially different audiences. At the time of this work, the World Wide Web presentation standard was going through rapid changes, with constantly improving capabilities. For classroom work, however, CD-ROM would be more appropriate. For the Macintosh, Hypercard is the preferred software package, while for PC users, Toolbook is the current standard. Director is a new multimedia development package which can work on all three platforms. The current prototype case study was written using html standard formatting and is available for viewing at URL main.html. The multimedia case study will eventually include video and audio clips as well as improved graphics. There will be an index for the reader who is only interested in a single aspect as well as a logical progression for those interested in the complete case study. References to other sources of information will be in the form of hyper-links in the Internet version of the case study. Included in the current WWW case study are references to other forms of information such as video, audio, or graphics which have not been digitized at this time. The original author foresees experts from other disciplines, such as the business arena, authoring various sections of the case study. Some ideas for further research are included in Section 8.0 of this report. At the completion of phase I of the case study, Boeing will be asked to review the current version and comment as to what they perceived as being important during this ongoing process of change, which will be incorporated as part of the next revision of the case study. In addition, many of the key personnel will be interviewed specifically on some of the issues presented here and their comments digitized and added to the multimedia version. Boeing will also be asked to provide some sample animations of the 3-D solid modeling used in the digital pre-assembly procedures. An example of Knowledge Based Engineering (KBE) will be included in the multimedia version once an appropriate 7

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application is chosen. The advantages of multimedia can be utilized by making the example an interactive process where the reader can become an expert system user. The example that is non-technical in nature and easily understood is the cabin configuration problem. How to locate the seats, lavatories and galleys to maximize the number of revenue producing seats while meeting all the structural, regulatory, and airliner preference requirements. The user will have the opportunity to customize the aircraft cabin interior by answering a few simple questions about seat dimensions and separation and number of seats by class. Appendix A includes some screen printouts representing a sample session through the Internet version of the case study using the Netscape browser. Included in these printouts are notes where graphics, audio and video will be included in Phase II.

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3.0 Background
The background information presented here is necessary to fully explain the motivation behind the changes. Since the audience for this case study is not limited, assumptions about the extent of the familiarity of the reader with this background can not be made. Obviously, some readers may have a more complete understanding of Boeing and the commercial aircraft market than the author; however, it is still useful for those readers to rapidly read some of this section in order to better understand the point of view of the author. 3.1 The Commercial Aircraft Industry The last decade has seen the commercial aircraft industry dominated by two manufacturers: the Boeing Commercial Aircraft Company and Airbus Industries, with McDonnell Douglas, a distant third. Lockheed has not built any new aircraft since 1984, although there are still many L-1011s flying the skies. Airbus Industries is a relative newcomer, but it has very quickly provided much competition to Boeing, surpassing McDonnell Douglas and Lockheed. Airbus Industries is a consortium backed by the British, French, German and Spanish governments. The great, and many say unfair, advantage that Airbus has over the competition is government subsidies allowing Airbus to operate in the red. Thus, Airbus can afford to develop new technologies without having to worry about passing on the costs to the customers and can price their aircraft very competitively to lure away airlines from Boeing. The effect of the changing airline industry resulting from deregulation in 1978 are still being felt in the commercial aircraft industry. The competition among airlines for passengers has resulted in a greater emphasis on cost cutting leading to mergers and bankruptcies. In addition, airlines modified their routing systems since they were not limited to certain routes, as was the case before deregulation, changing their buying patterns for aircraft accordingly. Airlines were now less concerned with having a technologically superior airplane and more concerned about the cost and efficiency of that airplane. 3.2 The Boeing Commercial Aircraft Company

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William Boeing and Conrad Westervelt incorporated the Pacific Aero Products Company in 1916 to build navy seaplanes. The following year saw the name change to the Boeing Airplane Company. Since that time, Boeing has been building military and commercial aircraft in Seattle, Washington. During the last 80 years, Boeing has expanded into other areas including aerospace, defense, computer systems, hydrofoils, and at one point, even furniture. The company has grown to be the world leader in commercial aircraft and one of the largest aerospace firms in the United States. The Boeing Commercial Aircraft Company is the largest division of the Boeing Company accounting for 76% of sales and 77% of operating income in 1994. Boeing initiated the commercial jet airliner age when Pan American World Airways took delivery of the first 707 on August 15, 1958 and the success has continued with each new model; 727,737,747,757,767. Boeing is hoping that the success will continue with the latest addition to the family, the 777. Boeing has seen sales drop 25% in two years from a high of $30 billion in 1992 to $22 billion in 1994, which has led to a shrinkage of the workforce by 40,000 from 1991 to 1994. This workforce reduction is due in part to the increased efficiency brought on by the changes discussed here. 3.3 The People The people who are largely responsible for this undertaking are listed here with a brief description and some insights into their view of this process. The person who is given the most responsibility for this endeavor is the current president of the Boeing Company and the heir apparent to become Chairman and CEO of Boeing, Phil M. Condit, having been 777 program manager prior to his promotion to president. Taking over as 777 program manager is Alan Mullaly, formerly VP of Engineering. Frank A. Shrontz is the Chairman and CEO and is due to retire in 1996. Ronald B. Woodard is President of the Commercial Airplane Group. John Cashman is the Chief Pilot of the 777 program. On the customer side Gordon A. McKenzie is United Airlines 777 program manager. 3.4 The Airplane, 777 The 777, the worlds largest long range, twin-engine airliner, was designed to fill a gap in the Boeing lineup between the 747 and the 767. The facts and figures of aircraft are included below. The 777 is advertised as the most comfortable aircraft flying; within most configurations there is more headroom, legroom, and seat widths than other aircraft. 10

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Further the airplane is prewired with fiber optic LANs that can handle everything from individual video screens for every passenger (even coach) to fully interactive stations including video games, FAX, phone, data, and shopping capabilities. The standard is a 5.7 inch LCD screen with six video channels and 19 CD quality audio selections at each seat. The interior of the aircraft is spacious with overhead bins that fully retract into the ceiling allowing 6 4 passengers to stand without bumping their heads. COST: $116 million to $146 million, depending on model and configuration. DIMENSIONS: Length: 209 feet, 1 inch (63.7 meters). Wingspan: 199 feet, 11 inches (60.9 meters). Tail height: 60 feet, 9 inches (18.5 meters). Exterior fuselage diameter: 20 feet, 4 inches (6.19 meters). Interior cross-section width: 19 feet, 3 inches (5.86 meters).

CAPACITIES: Passengers: 305-328 three-class, 375-400 two-class, 418-440 all-economy. Lower hold cargo: 5,656 cubic feet (160.16 cubic meters) total. ENGINES: Pratt & Whitney PW4000 series General Electric GE90 series Rolls Royce Trent series. NUMBER oF PARTS: About 132,500 engineered, unique parts. Over 3,000,000 fasteners. TYPICAL RANGE: A-Market (Initial model) 4,520-5,500 miles (7,270-8,860 kilometers) B-Market (Longer-range model) 6,890-8,435 miles (11,100-13,590 kilometers)

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4.0 Why Change


The first question that comes to mind is why would the undisputed leader in the commercial airliner industry make such a risky change?. In other words, doesnt the old motto If it aint broke, Dont fix it apply in this case? Well according to many observers both inside and outside of Boeing, the system was broke. To give an example of the inefficiency of the process that coordinates engineering and manufacturing, it used to take 800 different computer systems to manage it. This process has been around since Boeing was building the B-17 bomber in World War II. The process of tracking parts in an airplane was called effectivity and was done manually! A drafter required two years of training to fully understand the system, and still one-third of the paperwork contained errors. Ron Woodard finally announced in an October 1993 message to employees that effectivity just doesnt make sense, and that the process adds absolutely no value to our products and results in tremendous costs. Regardless of all the evidence pointing to flaws in the system, changing a successful company is not easy, especially if one considers the cost and the additional time involved. For the 777, the additional time is estimated to be six months over the normal 48 months to develop a new airplane. CEO Shrontz, who takes responsibility for not modernizing Boeing more rapidly, says that trying to change this company without a crisis wasnt easy. We had 75 years of history, and we were very successful, there was a strong feeling of Why Change?. There was also an admitted attitude of arrogance prevalent at Boeing. Phil Condit pointed out the feeling at Boeing was that airplane building was unlike any other industry, and that what may have worked for the automotive industry would surely not apply to Boeing. He says: One of the things we have done is say. Airplanes are different, which is one of the neatest ways not to learn. You go stand on a Toyota production line and say Wow, this is neat, but airplanes are different. This is a necessary thought process when one compares the number of defects per seat in a Toyota car versus a Boeing airplane, although there is a substantial difference in complexity between a mass-produced automobile and a commercial jet aircraft. Boeing has recently implemented a system to track defects across its entire line of aircraft and came out with a number of 52 defects per seat in 1993. Those 3.5 million defects range from dents or damaged carpets to misdrilled holes and interference problems. At the other end of the spectrum are Toyotas numbers: 0.75 defects per car or 0.15 defects per seat. However, Boeings numbers are measured during the manufacturing process and all are caught and 12

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corrected before the airplanes go into service, while Toyotas numbers are based on surveys of car owners after 90 days. Getting a tremendously large bureaucratic system to move forward seems like an even more daunting task, especially while continuing to produce airplanes. As one executive noted, it would be so much easier to shut down the whole company and make the change. A crisis was arising in the form of Airbus Industries which was taking a larger share of new plane orders. Many of the innovations pointed out by Boeing, which made the 777 a unique aircraft, had already been implemented by Airbus. The Airbus fly-by-wire A-320 has been flying since 1985, and Airbus claims that the A-320 is 90% and that the A-330 & A-340 are 100% designed by computer. While the 777 was designed using 3-D solids technology, it is not clear what Airbus means by 100% designed by computer. Airlines were realizing that older planes were less costly to operate when the escalating cost of depreciation of new airplanes is taken into account. In addition, the dropping cost of jet fuel reduced the savings from newer, more fuel-efficient aircraft. Increased costs due to greater fuel consumption, higher maintenance, and larger flight crews were considered a relative bargain when compared to the cost of a new airplane. The desire to avoid repetition of the same problems that the 747-400 program had in the late 1980s with the 777 program is another reason for these changes. The cyclical airline industry was experiencing an unprecedented boom with a corresponding increase in airplane orders. The Boeing backlog of orders increased by 140% from 1984 to 1988, and Boeing was caught short of employees due to the layoff of 20,000 employees in the early 1980s, having to scramble to meet delivery obligations. Further, many of the employees did not have the experience necessary to keep up with the overambitious production schedule, and delivery delays resulted. Condit admitted to trying to do too much too fast with too few seasoned workers. additional problems Boeing tried to eliminate with the new design/build process included quality control and subcontractor delivery schedules. The design parameters that had been well understood and the goals that the designers continually struggled to achieve were no longer significant. For example; ever since the Wright Brothers first flight, more range was desirable. To double that first flight measured in feet was a major accomplishment, to fly non-stop across the Atlantic was a 13

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worthy milestone, but as technology improves and the ability to fly half-way around the world is attained, extending an aircrafts range is suddenly meaningless. There has not been a substantial increase in flight speeds of commercial airliners, with the exception of the supersonic Concorde, since the original jet airliner, the Boeing 707. The design parameters are shifting from being performance based to being cost based. For example, on the 707, 50% of operating cost was fuel burn and 20% was cost of ownership, on the 777 those numbers are 18% and 62%, respectively.

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5.0 The Changes


The changes to the Boeing Commercial Aircraft Company encompassed all fields. From the philosophy of the company to the technical details, every aspect of the design/build process was or is being modified. 5.1 New Philosophy Boeing is touting the 777 as a new process not just a new product, a philosophy that is espoused by everyone from the top down. Cards worn on name tags were printed listing the mission, goals, objectives, and strategic initiatives for the Boeing Company and the 777 division. On the Boeing company 1992 card the mission statement is: To be the number one aerospace company in the world and among the premier industrial concerns in terms of quality, profitability and growth. On the back side of the 777 division cards was this mission statement: Working together to produce the preferred new airplane family. The thrust of this philosophy is summed up in the name of the first 777 delivered to United Airlines, Working Together. A theme that runs throughout the case study is that even though a modern commercial jet airliner is a technology intensive product, designing and building it is still a human process. The human element kept creeping into the best intentioned plans. For example, the common CAD database meant that as soon as a designer released a drawing, everyone could access the design and modify their own designs to eliminate any problems. This led to the phenomena that no one released their drawing until the last possible moment for fear of criticism by others. In addition to the tangible changes, Boeing personnel were asked to go through some mindset modifications. The I can do it alone was changed to We can do it together. Getting people who were used to sitting down and solving problems alone to work in teams was a major obstacle, and Boeing spent a considerable amount of time trying to understand how good teams work. Boeing personnel initially resisted the idea of having customer personnel on the teams fearing that they would compromise the design process. Boeing has always been a conservative company which highly valued its privacy, and to change this decades old philosophy to one of idea sharing with suppliers and customers was not a simple task. Eventually, and with much prodding from upper management, most people realized the benefits of having everyone involved from the start.

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On average, Boeing designs and builds a completely new airplane every 12 years. This long time between new aircraft puts additional pressures on designers, who are constantly creating new systems, to get their new designs into the current version. As Phil Condit point out, everyone wants their new ideas in the new plane. At some point, however, new and improved has to take a back seat to freezing the design and building the airplane. Boeing has always prided itself on building technologically advanced aircraft with minimal emphasis on cost with the philosophy that building a better plane is more compelling than building a cheaper plane. With the airlines new emphasis on cost, the designers have to continually evaluate their designs in terms of value. As Ron Woodard correctly points out: The guy in row 15 wont pay 55 cents for something in the cockpit if it wont get him there faster. 5.2 CAD Simulation and Integration The development of the 777 was the single largest trial of CAD and the initial results were impressive. The port wing tip of the first 777 was out of position by 1/1000 of an inch when attached to the fuselage and the starboard wing was exactly located to within the accuracy of the measuring gauges. 5.2.1 3-D Modeling The 777 is the first Boeing airliner 100% designed using 3-D solid modeling technology. The software used is CATIA (computer-aided, three-dimensional interactive application) developed by Dassault Systems of France and is marketed in the United States through IBM. The 777 division used more than 2,200 CATIA workstations networked to an eight-mainframe computing cluster, this being the largest single CAD project anywhere requiring 3 Tera-Bytes (3,000,000,000,000) of data to store the information. In addition to being a 3-D design tool, CATIA is also used as a digital pre-assembly tool. In the past, Boeing built a full-scale non-flying mockup of the complete aircraft to check fit or interference problems at a cost of 2.25 million dollars. Since the various systems were designed independently, it was necessary to make sure that a bolt did not occupy the same physical space as a hydraulic line, or that an electrical conduit did not run across the middle of a ventilation duct. The mockup was also used to check accessibility of all the parts for maintenance work. With a 3-D database that everyone uses simultaneously, the interference problems are eliminated, and the access question is answered by 16

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5.2.2 Knowledge Based Engineering Knowledge Based Engineering (KBE) is taking CAD one step further by not only capturing the design information but also the rules that were used to create the design. Also known as an Expert system, Boeings current KBE system was developed using ICAD software, from Concentra Inc., and the Common LISP object-oriented computer language. The ability of KBE systems to codify design rules is very useful on large projects to allow standardization among different design teams. For instance, stringers in a wing are very similar structural elements to ribs in a fuselage, but they are often designed using different criteria based on the experience gained in many generations of designers in the different fuselage and wing teams. Standardized design rules lead to more part commonality and reduce manufacturing tooling costs. One of the major benefits of KBE is the ability to quickly optimize design based on logic and conditional rules allowing the designer to conduct additional trade studies and look at more options resulting in a more optimal design with reduced weight and complexity. Adding manufacturing rules into the system results in a design which is easier and cheaper to manufacture. KBE systems automatically generate parts lists and final stress notes used in FAA certification. KBE is not only used in design but also in custom cabin configuration. All the rules for the dimensions and spacing of seats, aisles, lavatories and galleys are entered into the system allowing the airlines to quickly determine the maximum number of seats and locations of all the components for their chosen configuration. This process helps reduce the time required for configuration changes to about three days. As far as the passengers are concerned, what this means is that seat selection is important; same class seats on the same flight could possibly vary by one or two inches in legroom and seat width. 5.3 Concurrent Engineering Concurrent engineering is by no means a new concept or revolutionary idea, but for Boeing it was a completely new way of doing things. Boeing is a very conservative

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company that dislikes change. The old throw it over the wall method had worked in the past and it gave both design engineers as well as manufacturing engineers a ready scapegoat for errors. This, however, does not lead to an efficient design/build process. Phil Condit points out that, on average, each and every drawing in the Boeing system is changed 4 1/2 times before final release meaning that we design four and a half planes for every plane we build. Concurrent engineering requires heavier emphasis on planning at an earlier stage in the process. This saved many iterations as the design did not have to go from designer to planner to manufacturer to assembler and back again as everyone uncovered imperfections to the original design. Since all parties are involved from the beginning, the design does not leave the team without having been reviewed by everyone. 5.4 Design/Build Teams The initial go-ahead from the Boeing board of directors to design/build the 767-X aircraft was given with the caveat of requiring orders from customers. The first customer for the Pratt & Whitney powered version of the aircraft was United Airlines. Phil Condit specifically attributes the decision of United to order 34 airplanes, with options for 34 more, to the fact that United could influence the design from the beginning. The original agreement between United and Boeing management was a hand written list of goals including statements such as: a) Everything works, b) No surprises, and c) Working together. This led directly to the concept of design/build teams which were involved on every aspect of the design effort. At one point there were 238 such teams. Each team was responsible for a particular element and included personnel from all disciplines: design, manufacturing, operations, procurement, customer support, as well as customer and supplier personnel. The typical team consisted of 15 members and met every few weeks to monitor progress and discuss problems. Boeing quickly discovered that dividing people into teams does not assure the success of the working together concept. Teams must have leaders to guide the process toward a decision. Many teams were great at discussion but never arrived at a conclusion. From the beginning there was a feeling that a critical element of design was to get input from the customer into the design process, to get the engineers into direct contact with airline personnel. One of the goals was to find out directly from the gate mechanics the 18

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information they need to efficiently service the plane. Teams were formed and sent to talk directly with airline mechanics and service personnel and get their point of view on the designs. Two examples of the knowledge gained from the field illustrate the value of this process. In one of the electronics bay there is light directly in the center of the ceiling. One of the mechanics pointed out that whenever he is in there and leans over to check an item, he blocks the light and must always have a flashlight to see. The simple solution was installing lights at the corners of the enclosure. Another example came when the team had opened a lower hold to check on a part and discovered thousands of small salt packets that had fallen off of food trays and found their way down below the passenger compartment. The combination of that salt and moisture condensing on the inner skin of the aircraft produced a salt water bath splashing about on the inside of the aircraft. One of the issues that Boeing is still struggling to solve is how to get valuable field service data into the design process. 5.5 Business/Marketing This section is by no means complete, but the author felt that some mention of the changes in business and marketing practices was necessary to complete the case study. These are just some ideas that need to be explored in detail in future development of the case study. One of Boeings stated goals and marketing strategy cornerstones was the idea of service readiness from day one. Previously, airliners took delivery of a plane that spent weeks getting the bugs worked out before it was ready to carry passengers. In addition, many Boeing engineers were assigned to the sole task of making design modifications after final assembly. For example, after the first 747-400 went into service, there were still over 300 engineers still re-designing the plane. The idea of day one service readiness is obviously an important selling point to the airlines who do not like to see a $150 million investment sitting in a hanger depreciating, instead of earning its keep flying passengers. The largest competing products to the 777 may be those produced by Boeing itself! Many airlines are discovering that it is less expensive to retrofit older airplanes, Boeings and other models, with newer engines to meet the new noise requirements and improve efficiency than to purchase new aircraft. Much of the airline fleet is reaching the end of its 15 year useful life and Boeing was counting on those airlines as customers for the 777. 19

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However, since Boeing is not in the retrofit business for every refurbished 737 or 747, one less 777 is built. If this trend continues, the market for the 777 will be reduced to the area between the 767 and 747, that of the long range twin jet. Perhaps the strongest selling point of Boeings marketing strategy is the idea of customer involvement and giving the customer configuration flexibility. The initial mandate from the Boeing board of directors was to make the 767-X a market-driven aircraft. Teams from four customers, United Airlines, British Airways, All Nippon and Japan Airlines, were heavily involved from the beginning of the 777 program. Cathay Pacific and Thai airlines have also been involved but to a less extensive degree. Boeing gives airlines great flexibility in configuring the cabin by making the galleys and lavatories completely modular. Boeing has set targets for reducing costs by 25%, defects by 50% and order-to-delivery time by half to six months. A large step toward achieving the cost reduction goal is going to just-in-time management of the nearly $8 billion inventory Boeing keeps on hand justin-case. As a Boeing manager points out the idea was not to delay a $100 million plane for lack of a $2,000 part. Boeing currently has an annual turnover ratio of just over two as compared with ten at other world-class manufacturers. Fortune magazine estimates that reducing the inventory in half would save one billion dollars annually in financing, storage, and handling costs. 5.6 Technical The following sections detail some of the technical highlights of the 777 program. Boeing prides itself on the technical innovations designed into every aircraft. However, this section concentrates solely on those technical improvements which fit in with the new philosophy. 5.6.1 Engine Boeing offers the 777 with engines from three manufacturers; General Electric, Pratt & Whitney, and Rolls Royce. The three types of engines are designed to the same specifications and offer nearly identical performance giving each airline the option of using the manufacturer of their choice. Since the 777 launch customer, United Airlines, selected Pratt & Whitney engines, basic certification will be conducted on four airplanes using the PW4084 engines. British Airways bound aircraft will be used for the engineairframe testing of the General Electric GE90 engines. Certification of the GE 20

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configuration was completed on November 9, 1995, with delivery to British Airways on November 11, 1995. The Rolls-Royce Trent 800 engine tests will be conducted on Cathay Pacific Airways aircraft, and certification of the Rolls-Royce equipped 777 is expected in January 1996, with first delivery going to Thai Airways International. 5.6.2 ETOPS Extended-range twin-engine operations, ETOPS, is the name given to the ability of aircraft to receive approval from the US Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) and the European Joint Aviation Authority (JAA) for extended flights of more than one hours diversion time from alternate airports on one engine. Boeing is requesting 180 minute ETOPS from the FAA and 120 minute ETOPS from the JAA. The longer ETOPS is for flights over the Pacific while two hour ETOPS is sufficient for cross-Atlantic flights. Normally, ETOPS certification is approved after one to two years of airline service to demonstrate reliability, but Boeing is seeking that approval upon delivery. Longer ETOPS certification allows more direct routing, economizing both time and fuel. 5.6.3 Fly-By-Wire Fly-By-Wire is not a new technology, having been used in military aircraft for years. Airbus has had commercial aircraft using it since 1985, but the 777 is the first Boeing commercial aircraft to incorporate the technology. The system in the 777 is the first fully digital three-axis flight control system used in a commercial airliner, Airbus uses a twoaxis system with the rudder controls being analog. Essentially, fly-by-wire is a system of transmitting control commands from the cockpit via electric wires to actuators on the control surfaces themselves. This means that there are no direct mechanical links, cable or hydraulic, between the pilots and the control surfaces eliminating weight and reducing complexity by removing a majority of the cables, linkages, and hydraulic tubing. Further, it facilitates the use of software to assist the pilots in making smoother and safer maneuvers. 5.6.4 Testing One of Boeings cornerstone goals for the 777, Day One Service Readiness, is being accomplished by conducting extensive testing and integration throughout the program. Boeing is using this testing program to work out all the bugs before delivery. The 500,000 square foot, $110 million Integrated Aircraft Systems Laboratory (IASL) is the newest addition to Boeings testing facilities, containing over $250 million of test

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equipment. The IASL is yet another example of the philosophy shift from doing toward planning in the 777 effort. Systems that in the past had not be tested together until the first flight are integrated and tested in the IASL. Aircraft Zero or the 777 without the skin, as the integrated systems were called, had been flown for many hours before the first flight over Seattle. This testing is very useful in moving development work forward to allow early ETOPS certification. The 777 has the most extensive in-flight test program of any previous Boeing model. Nine airplanes will be used with engines from all three manufacturers. Before the test program is completed, the 777s will fly nearly 7,000 hours in more than 4,900 flights. The flight testing for each engine configuration will last about one year with customer involvement of flight and ground crews in the latter stages of the test programs. All of the 777s involved in testing will carry large amounts of instrumentation and data recording equipment and will return to the factory after completion of testing for retrofitting before delivery to the airlines. One of the pleasant surprises that resulted from the flight testing was the lower than expected aerodynamic drag of the fuselage. The reduction in drag saves about 15-20 minutes on a typical flight between Seattle and London. The full scale failure test of the wings on the #2 production airplane is quite impressive. Each wing was subjected to 500,000 pounds of force and the wing tips deflected 24 feet before failing at 154% of maximum flight loads, well above the 150% target. The applied force represents a factor of safety of 1.5 times the loads experienced during a 2.5 g dive maneuver. The right wing failed 0.020 seconds before the left wing. Over 2000 individual strain gauges were used to instrument the plane with 500 miles of cables relaying the data.

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6.0 How to Change Course


Changing course of such a large operation is a complicated task. What makes the task more daunting is the need to continue to deliver aircraft designed under the old system while installation of the new one occurs. Phil Condit explained the Stampede Theory of Management in a talk to the Haas School of Business at Berkeley. He pointed out that during a conversation with Arthur Young of Hewlett Packard fame, Mr. Young introduced him to the theory. The analogy is that getting a successful company to move forward quickly is akin to getting a stampede started, and once the stampede is going full speed, any change of direction must be made gradually and from someone running alongside. Standing in front of the stampede and pointing out a completely new direction will get you run over, and introducing change too fast will result in the stampede not being able to make the corner. An important lesson that Boeing learned is not to make too many changes at the same time.

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7.0 Did it Work


Did all these changes substantially change the design/build process for commercial jet aircraft at Boeing? Yes! Was it a change for the better? Yes! Were the changes enough to maintain the market share that Boeing currently enjoys? The answer to the last question is difficult to answer now since the changes are not complete and their effects will not be known until well into the 21st century. During the research for this case study, United Airlines had taken delivery of the first 777 on schedule on May 17, 1995 in Seattle, Washington. "The Working Together concept was very dynamic," said United 777 Program Manager Gordon McKinzie. "Working closely with Boeing, we helped resolve hundreds of design elements. The result is that the 777 is the exact plane we wanted, and we're proud to have been part of it." Boeing President Phil Condit commented regarding United Airlines: "Their input to the design process has clearly resulted in the right airplane, for the right market, at the right time." Condit notes that since the program was launched, the 777 has captured more than 75 percent of its market. The goal for the 777 program was to reduce the noncomformance events (parts that dont fit) by 50%; the actual reduction was 75-80%. An unanticipated benefit of working together was an education of the customer regarding the complexity of the design/build process of airliners. Phil Condit explains that by being involved in the process they understood that some of their previous demands were difficult to accomplish and they compromised the product. Customer involvement worked much better than expected and they quickly became an integral part of the process.

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8.0 Recommendations for Future Research


To complete this case study, more research will have to be completed. As previously mentioned, a business perspective will add substantially to the content of the case study. Knowledge Based Engineering (KBE) use will be more widespread, not just at Boeing or aerospace firms but throughout industry. KBE applications at Boeing is another area that requires more research. Although KBE was used sparingly on the 777, Boeing is currently expanding its use in future programs like the Next Generation 737 transports. Much of the manufacturing work on the 777 and future airplanes will be done by entities other than Boeing all over the world. These partnerships are a crucial part of the success of building a huge product like a commercial aircraft. Managing those partnerships with the different corporate cultures and the process of transferring large amounts of design data amongst the partners is a research project within itself.

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REFERENCES
1. Carlstrom, C. M., Development, Testing, and Assessment of the Cyclone Grinder Multimedia Case Study, MS Project Report, Berkeley Expert Systems Technology Laboratory, Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of California at Berkeley, October 11, 1993. 2. Au, S., A Multimedia Archival System for Explosively Actuated Valves: A Study in Design Archival, MS Project Report, Berkeley Expert Systems Technology Laboratory, Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of California at Berkeley, December 15, 1993. 3. Multimedia Case Studies prepared by members of the Berkeley Expert Systems Technology Laboratory, Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of California at Berkeley including: Cyclone Grinder. URL= http://www.needs.org/develop/cyclone/aboutcyclone.html IBM Proprinter, URL= http://pawn.berkeley.edu/proprinter_html/banner.html Saturn Automobile, URL= http://www.needs.org/develop/saturn/banner.html

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