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View Diary: Safety board may keep Boeing's heavily outsourced Dreamliner grounded for months (145 comments)

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  •  I'm disagreeing . (0+ / 0-)

    That they screwed up because of others doesn't fly in my book .

    If you went to a high end restaurant and they told you your food sucked because they bought ingredients from others ?

    If you paid for a painted portrait
    and it was horrible and the painter said
    "I outsourced the paint" ?

    Nobody forced their parts onto Boeing .

    "Drop the name-calling." Meteor Blades 2/4/11

    by indycam on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 12:04:13 PM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  Excuse me (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Bronx59
      That they screwed up because of others doesn't fly in my book .
      Did someone here say it wasn't Boeing's fault?  Sure as hell wasn't me.    

      Let me make this crystal clear:  It was Boeing's process, Boeing's outsourcing, Boeing's lack of control, and so on that caused the problem.  Some of the biggest headaches suppliers had was Boeing.  

      Better?

      •  3000 miles away ? (0+ / 0-)
        It is very difficult and expensive to rework/redesign mistakes especially when those mistakes are made 3000 miles away...
        The mistake was not made 3000 miles away . The mistake was made at Boeing , not 3000 miles away .
        Did someone here say it wasn't Boeing's fault?  Sure as hell wasn't me.
        You are claiming that the mistake was made outside Boeing .
        I'm saying it was inside and nowhere but inside .
        Every last part Boeing puts into their plane is a part that Boeing put into their plane unless some suppliers are let onto the floor to install their equipment into Boeing's plane .

        We differ in opinions .

        "Drop the name-calling." Meteor Blades 2/4/11

        by indycam on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 12:20:42 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Whatever. (0+ / 0-)

          I'm moving on.  Find another playmate.  

          •  Aviation Week Jan 21 2013 (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            hmi, K S LaVida, LilithGardener

            pg 22-24 .

            Caged Li-ion
            Controlling powerful battery's volatility poses urgent design challenge for Boeing
            You might like to read the article .
            Until now , Boeing has remain unequivocal over the question of adopting or even studying different battery technology, saying simply: "We have no such plans at this time."

            If you read it , you might just find out the truth of the matter , the problem is not a problem from 3000 miles away , the problem is an in house problem .

            "Drop the name-calling." Meteor Blades 2/4/11

            by indycam on Sat Jan 26, 2013 at 03:20:58 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Well, I'll fan the flames, the problem isn't in (5+ / 0-)

              Everett, or Seattle.  Boeing moved their HQ to Chicago, somethig about lower costs, I'm sure.  More likely there wasn't any more money to squeeze out of Washington, Seattle, Everett, Renton, Kent, Auburn...........

              “that our civil rights have no dependence on our religious opinions, any more than our opinions in physics or geometry.” Thomas Jefferson

              by markdd on Sat Jan 26, 2013 at 06:43:07 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  ... (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                markdd, Bush Bites

                http://www.boeing.com/...

                The Future of Flight Aviation Center & Boeing Tour is located in Mukilteo, Wash., 25 miles north of Seattle. Public tours of Boeing's Everett factory are available seven days a week. The Everett, Wash., facility is home to the 747, 767, 777 and 787 Dreamliner production lines.

                During the tour of the world's largest building by volume (472,000,000 cubic feet or 13,385,378 cubic meters), visitors will see airplanes being built for our worldwide base of airline customers.

                For more information about the Future of Flight Aviation Center & Boeing Tour, e-mail us.

                "Drop the name-calling." Meteor Blades 2/4/11

                by indycam on Sat Jan 26, 2013 at 07:02:05 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Elsewhere on the same web page (4+ / 0-)
                  With corporate offices in Chicago, Boeing employs more than 170,000 people across the United States and in 70 countries.
                  It's hard to build silk purses if all management is sending you is sow's ears

                  “that our civil rights have no dependence on our religious opinions, any more than our opinions in physics or geometry.” Thomas Jefferson

                  by markdd on Sat Jan 26, 2013 at 07:15:22 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  ... (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    markdd

                    http://www.boeing.com/...

                    We're more than 175,000 professionals on 5 continents
                    I doubt that all the "brains" are in Chicago .

                    http://boeing.mediaroom.com/...

                    SEATTLE, Jan. 24, 2013 PRNewswire -- Boeing (NYSE: BA) welcomes the progress being made in the 787 investigation discussed today by the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) in Washington, D.C. The regulatory and investigative agencies in the U.S. and Japan have dedicated substantial resources to these investigations, and we appreciate their effort and leadership.
                    Funny this says Seattle and not Chicago .

                    If you do a google map search for 100 N Riverside Plaza, Chicago, IL 60606 , you will see what looks to my eye to be a building for bean counters .
                    I bet the team that does the design engineering isn't in Chicago . But they might be , who knows .  

                    "Drop the name-calling." Meteor Blades 2/4/11

                    by indycam on Sat Jan 26, 2013 at 07:44:52 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Press releases can be made from anywhere (5+ / 0-)

                      Typically the first word the publicist places on the form is the city they want it to originate from.  I would suspect that corporate is trying to distance themselves from the damage they caused.

                      As I design engineer, I know that the design team does not get to make sourcing decisions of this magnitude, they're made by the bean counters.  Not just the fabrication / assembly work was outsourced, the bidders were required to provide design work for their sub-assembly.  So while there may have been standards and requirements set forth, it doesn't appear that there was an effective mechanism for enforcing compliance in place.

                      Management always sees joint development projects as a way to save development costs.  They think that they will be able to bring a new product to market for half the cost.  Yet, every joint development I've been on has cost more than doing it in house.  There is so much 'forming, storming and norming" that no one gets the chance to perform.

                      “that our civil rights have no dependence on our religious opinions, any more than our opinions in physics or geometry.” Thomas Jefferson

                      by markdd on Sat Jan 26, 2013 at 08:38:00 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Nice to see (4+ / 0-)

                        Nice to see someone else in this exchange knows what the hell they're talking about and not just quoting "press releases".  

                         

                        So while there may have been standards and requirements set forth, it doesn't appear that there was an effective mechanism for enforcing compliance in place.
                        Bingo!  We've come full circle to "Nice to see".
                        •  Been there, done that (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          BroadwayBaby1

                          I wear the T-shirt when I change the oil in the car.

                          “that our civil rights have no dependence on our religious opinions, any more than our opinions in physics or geometry.” Thomas Jefferson

                          by markdd on Sat Jan 26, 2013 at 09:38:13 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                        •  Bingo nothing . (0+ / 0-)

                          You go and find that someone makes the same mistake you have and you feel that proves you correct ?

                          Have you read the Av week yet ? It really does tell the story of the problem very well .
                          Do you understand why the question was asked if they were thinking about getting rid of the "Li-ion" ?
                          You could hear about the problems from people who understand , or you could go on as you are .

                          So while there may have been standards and requirements set forth, it doesn't appear that there was an effective mechanism for enforcing compliance in place.
                          "may have been" ? "it doesn't appear" ? "Bingo" ?
                          Its not a problem of "enforcing compliance" of "standards and requirements set forth" .
                          That is not what is going on .
                          Boeing said lets go with large li-ion batteries , batteries that are known to be unsafe , batteries that have been tried and rejected in other aircraft , batteries that have been replaced in other aircraft when these very same problems happened .

                          Do you know at what temperature the li-ion battery melts and goes on fire ? Do you know the same for nickle ?
                          Do you know what thermal runaway is ?
                          http://en.wikipedia.org/...

                          Especially prone to thermal runaway are lithium-ion batteries.
                          ...................................................................
                          http://www.bobatkins.com/...
                          As of January 8th 2008 the TSA (transportation security authority) has some new restriction on transport of lithium batteries on aircraft. Basically they don't want large lithium batteries carried on aircraft because of the (remote, but real) possibility that they may catch fire. They REALLY don't want them in checked baggage and they don't want too many in carry-on luggage.
                          http://airsafe.com/...
                          More on Lithium Batteries

                          The term "lithium battery" may refer to a lithium ion battery, lithium metal battery, or a lithium polymer battery. Lithium polymer batteries are a kind of lithium ion battery. Lithium ion batteries re rechargeable lithium batteries, like the ones found in cameras, cell phones, laptop computers, and radio-controlled toys. While smaller lithium ion batteries are allowed on aircraft, larger ones containing more than 25 grams Equivalent Lithium Content (ELC) are not. An indirect measure of ELC is watt-hours, with eight grams ELC being equal to about 100 watt-hours. If you are not sure of your battery's ELC or watt-hour measurement, or if your kind of battery is allowed on the flight, check with your airline or with the manufacturer of your battery.

                          Another kind of lithium battery that is banned from airliners are lithium metal batteries with more than two grams of lithium. The lithium metal batteries commonly used by consumers usually don't have this much lithium, but if you are unsure you should check.

                          http://www.wired.com/...
                          The lithium-ion batteries used in the 787 are relatively new batteries made of relatively large cells compared to those used in most consumer devices. The history of lithium-ion batteries has many thinking the problem might not be a “teething problem” with the airplane, but instead an issue with the batteries.

                          Unlike the well-proven, and relatively small bundles of battery cells used in consumer devices or even the Tesla electric car known as “18650s,” the batteries in the 787 made by GS Yuasa of Japan are produced in low numbers and are not used in many applications. And as the focus on the battery continues, one lithium-ion expert says the large batteries used by Boeing simply increase the potential for failure.

                          http://www.technologyreview.com/...
                          The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board chairman, Deborah Hersman, said yesterday that the battery that recently caught fire on a Boeing 787 Dreamliner in Boston showed signs of short circuiting and a phenomenon called thermal runaway.

                          The specific lithium ion battery chemistry used in the airplane—lithium cobalt oxide—is particularly prone to thermal runaway, in which heat in a battery triggers more heating until it catches fire (see “Grounded Boeing 787 Dreamliners Use Batteries Prone to Overheating”). Thermal runaway can be triggered by a short circuit between the electrodes in a battery. The NTSB said that it is not clear why safeguards put into place to stop thermal runaway didn’t work.

                          http://www.technologyreview.com/...
                          Because the electrolyte materials used are flammable, no lithium-ion batteries are completely safe. Some companies are developing a version that doesn’t use these electrolytes (see “Solid-State Batteries”). Consequently, battery makers install various safety features, including electronics designed to prevent overcharging. They also often include sensors and cooling systems.

                          According to GS Yuasa, its battery for the 787 “comes with battery management electronics which guarantees multiple levels of safety features.” A specification sheet for the batteries warns, “Inappropriate handling or application of the cells can result in reduced cell life and performance, electrolyte leakage, high cell temperatures, and even the possibility of smoke generation and fire.”

                          Boeing declined to comment on its selection of battery chemistries.

                          "Drop the name-calling." Meteor Blades 2/4/11

                          by indycam on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 09:36:26 AM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                        •  Still not an outsourcing problem (0+ / 0-)

                          http://www.nytimes.com/...

                          In what would seem to be the worst possible outcome right now, Boeing might also have to redesign its powerful new lithium-ion battery system, or even switch back to older, safer models. Aviation experts said such changes could cost hundreds of millions of dollars and shave off some of the 20 percent savings in fuel costs that the new jets have delivered.
                          One risk for Boeing is that adjustments in the lithium-ion batteries could require changes in other electrical equipment. But the biggest risk is that the batteries could prove too volatile, and Boeing would have to redesign its systems to use heavier and less-efficient nickel-cadmium batteries.
                          The F.A.A. set a series of conditions in 2007 to ensure that the 787’s batteries did not overheat or spew flammable materials. It was reviewing whether the company had properly taken those steps.

                          "Drop the name-calling." Meteor Blades 2/4/11

                          by indycam on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 10:47:16 AM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                      •  What industry are you in ? (0+ / 0-)
                        I know that the design team does not get to make sourcing decisions of this magnitude, they're made by the bean counters.
                        Do you think the bean counters said lets do "Li-ion" ? Do you think the bean counters overruled the engineers on the " Li-ion" issue ?

                        As a design engineer would you have ever said yes to a bean counter saying to put a "Li-ion" battery pack in when you know the history of "Li-ion" battery on aircraft ?

                        As I design engineer, I know that the design team does not get to make sourcing decisions of this magnitude, they're made by the bean counters.  Not just the fabrication / assembly work was outsourced, the bidders were required to provide design work for their sub-assembly.  So while there may have been standards and requirements set forth, it doesn't appear that there was an effective mechanism for enforcing compliance in place.
                        You still don't get it , its not a matter of outsourcing . Nobody outside Boeing said to Boeing that they had to use "Li-ion" batteries . That was a design engineering problem .
                        I would suspect that corporate is trying to distance themselves from the damage they caused.
                        You point a finger at corp when you must know that the design engineers did the design work .
                        Management always sees joint development projects as a way to save development costs.
                        This isn't a joint development problem .

                        Boeing screwed up , they failed , they failed to spec out the batteries to be not "Li-ion" , they failed to notice the problems before they handed over the aircraft .

                        Typically the first word the publicist places on the form is the city they want it to originate from.
                        Marc Birtel
                        Boeing Commercial Airplanes
                        +1 425-266-5822
                        Wanna guess where area code 425 is ?

                        "Drop the name-calling." Meteor Blades 2/4/11

                        by indycam on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 08:53:32 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                      •  I'm a technician . (0+ / 0-)

                        Optical , mechanical , electric and electronic .
                        I deal with the equipment that design engineers design .
                        There are design engineers who know what they are doing and then
                        there are other design engineers who should find another line of work .
                        Some designs are nightmares , some are dreams .
                        I've worked on equipment that shows design brilliance .
                        I've worked on equipment that shows something else completely .

                        "Drop the name-calling." Meteor Blades 2/4/11

                        by indycam on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 10:01:59 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

              •  That's silly. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                LilithGardener

                They were either moving to Denver, Chicago or, i think, one of the Texas cities, mainly because their executives were tired of flying four hours to DC and wanted to be in better proximity to all their plants and offices.

                "Michael Moore, who was filming a movie about corporate welfare called 'Capitalism: A Love Story,' sought and received incentives."

                by Bush Bites on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 08:17:11 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

      •  Boeing's outsourcing (4+ / 0-)

        Boeing did not just outsource manufacturing, that is something that all aircraft manufacturers have done since at least the massive buildups during WW2.

        Boeing outsourced the engineering and design. In many cases probably gave away their technological crown jewels. There was a quote in AW&ST by a Japanese manager to the effect that they now had the expertize to design and build composite airplanes of their own. Japan build the wings, probably the most critical part of the airframe, the fuselage is essentially a salami that gets sliced to length.

        I suppose there were not enough designers at the "Chicago based Boeing Aircraft Co."

        •  Newsflash. (0+ / 0-)

          Rumor has it Japan has computers.  Even a company that makes them.  I think it's called Toshiba.  Also, getting word that there's a bunch of CAD/CAM/CAE/FEA software to go with it, as well as decades worth of documentation and textbooks that reveal our deepest, darkest secrets on laminar flow.

          •  But Boeing (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            DixieDishrag

            had developed sophisticated proprietary software regarding Boeing aircraft and parts design.  In order for Japan to build to spec that software would have had to be shared. so yep Boeing gave away the crown jewels in order to save a buck.  

            Bean Counter's should NEVER write policy or influence engineering design.  They are bean counters who's specialty is counting beans. That is a specialty that advises decision makers how much it is going to cost and are not decision makers themselves except when it comes to buying more pencils and adding machines to count beans.

            Life is not a problem to be solved but an adventure to be experienced.

            by DarkHawk98 on Sat Jan 26, 2013 at 11:13:24 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  So you specify common formats for exchanging data. (0+ / 0-)

              If you're contracting out work to Mitsubishi or GE or GS Yuasa, you're probably looking for these companies to bring their own resources and expertise to bear on the problem.  You're not standing up their design, engineering adn plant teams for them and telling them how to do their jobs.  

              And where do you get the idea that Bean Counters should never write policy or influence design?  You think these companies exist as money trees for engineers to build whatever they want, however they want, on whatever timetable and for whatever cost?

              •  Short Versus Long-Term Focus (3+ / 0-)

                Unfortunately, the finance team and accountants typically have a focus on only the short-term results for the enterprise.  If they can save a buck today, even if it means they'll go out of business tomorrow, they're likely to do it.  All that matters is making the next quarter or looking good over the next year.  We've seen this demonstrated again and again and again in industry.  Just think of the Ford Pinto disaster, caused by trying to save a few bucks.  It only cost the lives of a couple of people, but, hey, that's collateral damage to the finance and accounting crowd in the corporate world.

                The issue is who calls the final shots in the decisions.  When Boeing was headquartered in Seattle, where they were founded and the business grew up, the engineers and builders overshadowed the other arms of business.  In Chicago, located specifically there to get away from the operating components of the enterprise to avoid favoritism among the operating groups after Boeing's acquisition of McDonnell Douglas, the finance and accounting crew will dominate because all they're looking at are the numbers.  Corporations begin to run into problems when they begin to believe that the simulation which is the accounting spreadsheet is actually reality in the physical world and can make decisions solely on that basis.  Such thinking kills businesses.

                "Love the Truth, defend the Truth, speak the Truth, and hear the Truth" - Jan Hus, d.1415 CE

                by PrahaPartizan on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 08:38:27 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  You have to balance both. (0+ / 0-)

                  That's why we supposedly have management.  I'm not saying accountants should dictate policy, but they certainly need to give management the long and short on resources available to pursue a whole slate of projects, and they need to provide a financial outlook on various priority configurations in order for managers to make an informed decision.

                  Boeing and many other engineering firms enjoyed a glut of defense dollars for much of the 20th century.  At a time when you had a customer that would buy five or more airframes for the same role, America could afford to indulge the cost-plus shop.  Times have changed.

                  •  Should and Do Diverge (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    DixieDishrag, louisprandtl

                    The finance and accounting shops should do lots of things.  Unfortunately, too much emphasis gets placed on the short term outlook versus the long term in most American enterprise these days and has for far too long.  When the only operative aphorism is "We have to survive to get to tomorrow" without understanding that survival means different things for different people in the business, then some pretty shoddy decisions get approved.  Opting for the short-term solution in almost all cases is what's brought us to the situation we find ourselves in today.  Boeing is a part of that culture and we shouldn't be surprise to find it stuck in tar pit.

                    "Love the Truth, defend the Truth, speak the Truth, and hear the Truth" - Jan Hus, d.1415 CE

                    by PrahaPartizan on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 09:35:46 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

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