Boeing has successfully achieved a production rate of 35 aircraft a month for the Next-Generation 737 family, with the delivery of the first 737 produced at the new rate to leasing company AWAS Aviation Services, Inc.
Norwegian Air Shuttle will lease the aircraft, a Boeing 737-800, from AWAS.
The 35th Boeing 737NG to be built at the new rate rolled out of the final assembly line at Boeing’s Renton plant on January 10, demonstrating that the production system was operating successfully at a rate of 35 aircraft a month.
Boeing says its employees will focus on stabilizing the production rate at 35 a month while investments are underway to go up in rate to 38 737s a month in the second quarter of 2013 and 42 a month in the first half of 2014.
Leaders of the 737 program acknowledged employees’ contributions to achieving the record rate at an employee celebration at the Renton factory on January 10. Employee teams implemented new lean-manufacturing improvements to create additional production capacity on the 737NG line.
“Working as a team, we have achieved production levels never previously reached,” said Beverly Wyse, vice president and general manager of the 737 program. “It’s because of the focus and dedication of 737 employees that we’ve reduced waste in our production system and identified opportunities to further increase our productivity.
Wyse added: “The first airplane at the 35-a-month production pace rolled out of the factory the smoothest ever. Only eight jobs were completed outside of our production sequence out of thousands and we only experienced three part shortages during production.”
The program also celebrated securing production of the Boeing 737 MAX family at the Renton factory.
“The capability of this team played heavily into the decision to keep the 737 MAX here in Renton,” Wyse said. “With the years of dedication and experience our employees have, there’s no-one better at designing and building the 737.”