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Thread: The root cause of the 787 problems is?

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    Re: The root cause of the 787 problems is?

    Quote Originally Posted by the_recruit View Post
    Agreed, the issues are temporary teething. The whole electrical system is vastly more complex and different than anything they've done before. It's going to take a while to work out the kinks.
    and with Boeing's recent turn to outsourcing so much of the technology in the 787, that complexity may be a part of the problem

    Is outsourcing to blame for Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner woes?

    It’s been a miserable week for Boeing. Federal investigators have grounded all of the U.S. company’s new and much-hyped 787 Dreamliner jets after reports that the aircraft’s lithium-ion batteries were overheating and catching fire.

    Two major airlines in Japan grounded all Boeing 787 jets on Jan. 16 after one had to make an emergency landing.

    And already, a favorite culprit has emerged: outsourcing. Critics have long charged that Boeing was far too reliant on offshore suppliers for the 787′s production. More than 30 percent of the jetliner’s components came from overseas, including the Japanese-made lithium-ion battery that is now garnering all the headlines. (By contrast, just 5 percent of the parts of its predecessor, the 747, were foreign-made.)

    One possibility is that Boeing’s far-flung network of suppliers made it that much trickier for the U.S.-based manufacturer to spot and evaluate systemic problems.
    more from the LA Times
    The biggest mistake people make when talking about the outsourcing of U.S. jobs by U.S. companies is to treat it as a moral issue.

    Sure, it's immoral to abandon your loyal American workers in search of cheap labor overseas. But the real problem with outsourcing, if you don't think it through, is that it can wreck your business and cost you a bundle.

    Case in point: Boeing Co. and its 787 Dreamliner.

    Manufacturing clothes or shoes in a low-wage third world nation may make economic sense but out-sourcing parts of a highly complex structure, such as a modern passenger plane, doesn't appear to work so well. Wonder what the free market types will say to that little notion. Will they then argue that the whole plane should have been built overseas and that the real problem are those union 'thugs' who cause American manufacturers to move production out of the country?

    Not very American of them, I would say
    Last edited by Somerville; 01-19-13 at 04:23 PM. Reason: added words
    “And I have no doubt that every new example will succeed, as every past one has done, in shewing that religion & Govt will both exist in greater purity, the less they are mixed together.”
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    Re: The root cause of the 787 problems is?

    from the LA Times article linked above
    Boeing can't say it wasn't warned. As early as 2001, L.J. Hart-Smith, a Boeing senior technical fellow, produced a prescient analysis projecting that excessive outsourcing would raise Boeing's costs and steer profits to its subcontractors.
    and from that 2001 analysis
    Out-sourcing is commonly looked upon by management as a tool for reducing costs. But the
    unresolved question is “which costs?”. In addition, there is the matter of “what is the effect on
    overall costs?”. The most important issue of all is whether or not a company can continue to
    operate if it relies primarily on out-sourcing the majority of the work that it once did in-house.

    . . . out-sourcing as a supplement to sales activities may be justified but needs to
    be recognized, on average, as an added cost, not a cost reduction.
    How much of a company's decision to "out-source" is driven by a desire to punish labor unions?
    “And I have no doubt that every new example will succeed, as every past one has done, in shewing that religion & Govt will both exist in greater purity, the less they are mixed together.”
    ~ James Madison, letter to Edward Livingston, July 10, 1822

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    Re: The root cause of the 787 problems is?

    Quote Originally Posted by Somerville View Post
    and with Boeing's recent turn to outsourcing so much of the technology in the 787, that complexity may be a part of the problem



    more from the LA Times


    Manufacturing clothes or shoes in a low-wage third world nation may make economic sense but out-sourcing parts of a highly complex structure, such as a modern passenger plane, doesn't appear to work so well. Wonder what the free market types will say to that little notion. Will they then argue that the whole plane should have been built overseas and that the real problem are those union 'thugs' who cause American manufacturers to move production out of the country?

    Not very American of them, I would say
    How did you get your insight into the root cause of the problems with the 787? Where were you working? What did you see happening?
    Just a bit more detail on your observations. At some US vendors to Boeing were hiring Chinese and Indian 'engineers' to work in the US because they couldn't find qualified US citizens to hire (actually they were reducing cost). The culture of Chinese and Indian 'engineers' causes them to hide problems and deny their existence. They also stole company IP.

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    Re: The root cause of the 787 problems is?

    Quote Originally Posted by Utility Man View Post
    Regulation is the problem.

    They should be allowed to fly, just restrict them to rural routes and tea party passengers only, until the bugs get worked out.



    That's an odd restriction. These are being assembled by the highly skilled UNION workers of the state of Washington.

    It seems as though those who support this approach, this UNION approach, to burning airplanes should be forced to use these.

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    Re: The root cause of the 787 problems is?

    Quote Originally Posted by code1211 View Post
    That's an odd restriction. These are being assembled by the highly skilled UNION workers of the state of Washington.

    It seems as though those who support this approach, this UNION approach, to burning airplanes should be forced to use these.
    How the hell can it be the fault of American unions when the parts going bonkers on Boeing is made overseas?
    PeteEU

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    Re: The root cause of the 787 problems is?

    Quote Originally Posted by OhIsee.Then View Post
    We have had some insight (e.g. working for a vendor to Boeing) on the root causes of the 787 problems. Can't comment now, but maybe in the future. But, what do you think is the root cause is?
    Bigger is not necessarily better.
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    Re: The root cause of the 787 problems is?

    Quote Originally Posted by danarhea View Post
    Bigger is not necessarily better.
    Nope. Nothing at all to do with the problem root cause.

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    Re: The root cause of the 787 problems is?

    Quote Originally Posted by rathi View Post
    A classic case of technological overreach. Using electrical systems to replace
    hydraulics and pneumatics to save weight is a viable concept, but only if you have stable and high energy density batteries. Li CoO2 batteries have the fire risk, NIMH are too heavy and Li Po4 weren't ready in time. Commercial airliners demand safety and predictability over performance and that requires taking a more conservative technological approach.
    Sigh....the dreamliner is "fly by wire" and is not the fiirst aircraft by a long shot set up that way.

    It still uses hydraulics ( electrical DC servo's would be too heavy and require too much power ). It just uses "power paks" wich are a complete hydraulic device located at the control surface or landing gear. There's no hydraulic lines snaking throughout the plane.

    Their problem ? Their batteries. Aircraft are always the predecessor to any tech you will see on a automobile.

    From antilock brakes to fuel injection to fuel injection AND NiCad batteries. Aircraft had them first.

    Thermal runaway involving aircraft batteries is nothing new either. Its been the cause of many Aircraft avcidents.

    The 787 isn't a technological overreach. Its still has hydraulics and loads of proven and legacy tech built into it.

    They just chose the wrong batterys

  9. #29
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    Re: The root cause of the 787 problems is?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fenton View Post
    Sigh....the dreamliner is "fly by wire" and is not the fiirst aircraft by a long shot set up that way.

    It still uses hydraulics ( electrical DC servo's would be too heavy and require too much power ). It just uses "power paks" wich are a complete hydraulic device located at the control surface or landing gear. There's no hydraulic lines snaking throughout the plane.

    Their problem ? Their batteries. Aircraft are always the predecessor to any tech you will see on a automobile.

    From antilock brakes to fuel injection to fuel injection AND NiCad batteries. Aircraft had them first.

    Thermal runaway involving aircraft batteries is nothing new either. Its been the cause of many Aircraft avcidents.

    The 787 isn't a technological overreach. Its still has hydraulics and loads of proven and legacy tech built into it.

    They just chose the wrong batterys
    Getting rid of bleed air is a considerable step in electrifying the plane beyond the current standard for airliners. That requires considerably backup larger batteries to handle the increased power. The current batteries in the dreamliner weigh around ~125 pounds using the lithium cobalt oxide batteries. If Boeing switched to NIMH batteries with 1/4 the energy density, that would increase weight by 375 pounds. Now I agree it would be worth ditching a couple seats to mitigate the heavier batteries to the avoid fire risk , but using other batteries would come with disadvantages of their own.

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    Re: The root cause of the 787 problems is?

    "Bleed air" ? I'm confused and I'm a licensed A&P mechanic...its been almost 30 years since I used my ticket but none the less I've got a really good memory and am a avid plane buff.

    All I can think is bleed air being taken off of the compressor section in a turbine but those systems are generally used for cabin pressurization and environmental applications.

    They are highly effective and don't represent a profound amount of weight.

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