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Boeing to improve efficiency at S.C. plant


By Matt Tomsic
mtomsic@scbiznews.com
Published Sept. 4, 2012

Boeing South Carolina is adding on to two of its buildings as part of original site plans announced in 2009 and to increase efficiencies for its production of two Dreamliner sections built in North Charleston.

 The Boeing Co. is adding more than 300,000 square feet to two of its facilities in North Charleston to make production more efficient. (Photo/File)
The Boeing Co. is adding more than 300,000 square feet to two of its facilities in North Charleston to make production more efficient. (Photo/File)

“We are expanding the footprint of our aft-body fabrication and assembly building and our component paint facility,” said Candy Eslinger, a spokeswoman for the Boeing Co. “It helps us more efficiently achieve production rates that we’ve committed to.”

Eslinger said the expansion is not expected to add more jobs.

“This expansion is purely about gaining efficiencies in the production flow,” Eslinger said. “We don’t anticipate adding additional positions in connection with this expansion project outside the ones that are open now.”

The aft-body facility is now 467,000 square feet and Boeing will add 276,000 square feet to the building. There, workers build the last passenger section of the airplane, section 47, and build the section that integrates the horizontal and vertical stabilizers and the aft-pressure bulkhead, section 48. Eslinger said Boeing has studied aft-body operations since it acquired the facility from Vought Aircraft Industries in 2008.

“After several months of review studies and discussions, what we found is we can get a more efficient production by expanding the actual building,” Eslinger said.

The paint facility is in a separate building that is 66,000 square feet. Construction crews will expand it by 37,000 square feet.

The facility paints the primer and white coat for the aft- and mid-bodies that are seen on the flight line before the 787s fly to Texas to be painted for the delivery customer. Eslinger said the paint facility expansion has been part of site plans since Boeing broke ground in North Charleston in 2009, and the aerospace giant is implementing that part of the site plans now.

Eslinger said construction will last about two years.

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