Boeing's 767 program is changing the way it builds airplanes. The program moved a 767-400ER (extended range) jetliner, in a nose-to-the-door configuration, to simulate how airplanes will be built in the future in the factory in Everett, Wash. Use of a moving line allows the jetmaker to improve quality, reduce costs, while shortening the time it takes to deliver airplanes to its airline customers.
The moving line and related changes were adapted from automotive lean manufacturing methods in Japan. And while moving lines in airplane production are not new, what is new is the fusion of moving lines with lean manufacturing techniques. A continuously moving assembly line slowly moves products from one assembly team to the next. This technique keeps production moving at a steady pace, allowing employees to gauge status at a glance and reduce the amount of work-in-process inventory
Continuous Innovation - 767 Program Begins Moving-Line Process