Future Innovations and the Impact of Digital Manufacturing on An Evolving Workforce

Future Innovations and the Impact of Digital Manufacturing on An Evolving Workforce

The influence of digital manufacturing continues to realize momentum at Boeing. As a neighborhood of our second-century initiatives to accelerate productivity and growth, there's a deeper specialization in how we are maximizing our digital capabilities to enable a more dynamic workforce and improve first-time quality during aircraft production.

This is an exciting time for growth across the industry because the idea of producing excellence transforms into an idea that's more hooked in to leveraging the proper technologies at the proper time and adopting a more holistic approach. Digital manufacturing is all about capturing those processes that leverage precision and repose on our competency and expertise. What I find most fascinating about this subject is how quickly certain technologies are putting the facility into the hands of those who need it most in real-time–technicians and support teams performing on the factory floor.

One major digital manufacturing capability that we are rapidly implementing is Production Analytics, which has proven to play a big role within the way we better equip our employees to perform daily. Our production analytics capabilities integrate various legacy IT systems with new data visualization and predictive/ prescriptive analytics technologies and are helping Boeing unlock efficiencies across our end-to-end value stream. With these new digital technologies, production analytics helps our technicians and therefore the teams that support them to:

• receive early warnings of potential part shortages and prescribe actions to the proper team member to stop them

• predict safety, quality, and price-performance

• assess in real-time job performance, manufacturing risks, and disruption, and

• visualize manufacturing flow, bottlenecks, and machine performance

At Boeing, we launched our first successful Google Glass pilot in 2016. Since then, we’ve invested longer in understanding the intricacies of this tool including the way to best manage a virtual database of data. 

Digital manufacturing requires us to get back to basics in terms of capturing the predictive analysis that leans out our processes and promotes standardization

The Skylight Application, from Upskill, one among our investment portfolio companies, has allowed us to introduce voice commands and touch gestures that ultimately help teams to finish processes more quickly. the power to possess access to a digital bank of data catered specifically to the tools you're performing on within seconds is revolutionary because it means we empower our workforce to use technology to think on their feet and make the simplest decisions for his or her teams and therefore the products they support.

Along with digital technologies, we are leveraging automation and robotics powered by data and model-based engineering to enhance safety, quality, and productivity throughout our production system. Our Manufacturing Operations Management (MOM)model and frequency Identification (RFID) infrastructure are delivering promising results through improved kitting capabilities and asset tracking proficiencies across programs. It’s a flexible experience during which we have a tool that’s simulating the factory floor and allowing users to capture costs with a wider lens of visibility.

Additionally, we are always seeking to bring innovation to the workplace from inside and out of doors our walls. For instance, Boeing HorizonX applies its momentum to new business opportunities to unlock the subsequent generation of game-changing ideas, products, and markets. Through HorizonX, we've partnered with companies – like Upskill - focused on additive manufacturing, digital technologies, and more. Looking externally, we've found more new capabilities and business models to reinforce how we execute our business within manufacturing and operations.

Digital technologies and innovation work hand-in-hand at Boeing and that we are making strides to make sure that our latest innovations translate into real-world solutions. From an engineering perspective, we are seeing significant reduction times from engineering design to first flight and have successfully adopted a “build anywhere” model which has the potential to yield cost savings and minimize flow time. Both of those advancements were made possible because of refining digital capabilities to best meet production needs. For the primary time, we’re creating a network that exists beyond one particular program or location where everyone has access to the large picture. There’s tons of power behind adopting this type of model. Just consider all the ways we will unlock new potential.

 

Digital manufacturing requires us to urge back to basics in terms of capturing the predictive analysis that leans out our processes and promotes standardization. The digital element, whether that’s integrating robotics capabilities, applying modeling and simulation, or exploring predictive analytics, has sparked a replacement generation of talent within our workforce. One thing I anticipate is sharing all of the ways in which adopting these new technologies continues to shift our culture forward. I feel within the world of producing there’s still a notion that more technology means fewer jobs which isn't the case. Expanding our digital footprint equates to jobs that are safer and more productive. It means we are using every employee in our workforce to their full capacity and ensuring they're exposed to the newest advancements within the field. Aerospace has always been a cutting-edge industry and Boeing continues to succeed in its potential as an everlasting global industrial champion in our fast-paced global market. In my view, digital manufacturing continues to be an important tool leading the way in how we differentiate not only our products but also the people behind them.

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