The following is a guest blog from Dave Carbon, Boeing South Carolina vice president of operations, posted following NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons’ visit to the Boeing facility in North Charleston, South Carolina.
It’s amazing to think of how far we have come in the past 100 years. Incorporated on July 15, 1916, following the successful flight of a “B&W” seaplane, our first commercial aircraft—the B-1 mail plane—took to the sky for the first time in 1919. Fast forward to 2015, Boeing delivered a record 729 commercial airplanes to customers around the world, including a record 135,787 Dreamliners.
As the vice president of operations at Boeing South Carolina, I am in awe of the unprecedented process and product innovations that brought us from the B&W, to the B-1, to the 787. These innovations, driven with the help of our inventive workforce and supply chain, have truly changed the world as we know it. But the reality is these revolutionary changes are the collective result of a daily commitment to improving our processes, questioning our assumptions and building a better product for our customers.
Our teammates here at Boeing South Carolina, and the vast supply chain throughout the state and around the world who support us, are helping to lead The Boeing Company into our second century by pioneering new technologies and reimagining processes that constantly improve on safety, design and quality.
Here at Boeing, we are on the front lines in the global competitive commercial aircraft market. We are acutely aware of the ferocity of our competitors, and meeting our customers’ expectations is paramount. Integrating advanced manufacturing technologies into portions of our processes here in South Carolina is just one of the innovative ways our employees are looking to the future to help meet the demands of our customers by improving productivity and workflow.
We’re already realizing tremendous gains from the technologies we’ve brought online. These technologies will assist us as we increase our 787 production rates to 12 airplanes per month this year and up to 14 per month by the end of the decade. What’s more, in 2014, Boeing announced that the 787-10, the newest and longest of the 787 family, would be built exclusively in South Carolina. We’ll begin major assembly work on the first 787-10 later this year.
All of this progress is a tribute to the extraordinary capability of our workforce and supply chain. The reality is that our future is only as strong as our workforce, which is why we remain a big supporter of STEM educational programs across the country. Here at Boeing South Carolina, we started the DreamLearners program to engage our next generation of innovators. Since September 2012, more than 30,000 middle and high school students have come through our on-site DreamLearners program.
We recognize our success in a hyper-competitive world depends on our ability to innovate and integrate new technologies—no matter how big or how small—into all that we do here at Boeing to help satisfy our customers’ demands for advanced, reliable products and services. With a culture rooted in collaboration and transparency, the innovations we have brought online at Boeing South Carolina in a few short years are paving the way for a bright future of limitless opportunities to evolve and innovate in ways that will change the world.
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