Boeing forced to buy 787 assembler Global Aeronautica stake where construction problems are focussed, from Vought Industries
The Boeing Company have announced today that they will acquire the 50% interest in Global Aeronautica (GA) previously held by Vought Aircraft Industries. There was no explanation provided nor did they disclose terms of the transaction.
GA is also 50% owned by Alenia North America and operates a fuselage subassembly plant for the 787 near Charleston, S.C.
Alenia North America, is part of the giant Italian engineering conglomerate Finmecanicasa. Alenia builds the center fuselage sections 44 and 46 in its facilities and delivers these to the Global Aeronautica integration facility. Alenia also manufactures the horizontal stabilizer of the 787 in its Foggia facility.
Vought will continue to produce the 787 aft fuselage sections 47 and 48 in a new 342,000-square foot building and employs about 300 workers at its South Carolina plant adjacent to Global Aeronautica. (Rumour has it that this has been the source of some major problems)
Elmer Doty, president and chief executive officer, Vought Aircraft Industries, said, “This seamless transition of joint venture ownership will build upon the strong foundation already established within Global Aeronautica. Selling our interest has no impact on our adjacent facility, where the Vought 787 team remains focused on manufacturing composite fuselage sections for this incredible airplane.”
Boeing’s 787 program vice president, Pat Shanahan, says cautiously that the move is intended to help “overcome supply-chain challenges.” Other sources say that Boeing will work with Alenia "to apply proven lean manufacturing expertise to continue improving the efficiency and productivity of Global Aeronautica's operations," while Vought, the partner which has been bought out, "will focus on its primary business of delivering quality aft fuselage structures for the 787."
Let's hope that it works.
Seattle's Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace (SPEEA), IFPTE Local 2001 has taken the opportunity to ram home their concerns about global outsourcing..."We are hopeful this is an indication that the company realizes that not just anyone can engineer, design and build these very complex aerospace products,” said Ray Goforth, executive director of the union representing engineers and technical workers at Boeing. “Our members have been saying for some time that this global network is not working.”
Employees working on the 787 program have voiced concerns about unnecessary rework required on parts coming in from outside Boeing. In some areas, employees are working 20 to 40 percent overtime and traveling frequently to help suppliers. SPEEA members at the former Boeing plant in Wichita, now operated by Spirit AeroSystems, Inc., have expressed the same concerns.
Boeing have problems with parts, construction re-designs, claims, the last thing they ned for the health of their US operations is Union problems and difficulties with the upcoming wage negotiations....
In October, SPEEA begins main table negotiations with Boeing for 21,000 employees in Washington, Kansas, Oregon, Utah and California. Negotiations begin in May for 3,000 represented employees at Spirit AeroSystems, Inc. in Wichita, Kansas.
Boeing closed down 75 cents = 1.0% at US$73.47