View all newsletters
Receive our newsletter - data, insights and analysis delivered to you
  1. Technology
July 15, 2014

Boeing set to start building 777 aircraft with robots

But what about the jobs? There will actually be more, says Boeing.

By Ben Sullivan

Aircraft manufacturer Boeing is in the final phase of testing robots that will assemble its 777 airliner fuselages.

As part of its ongoing technology investment, the method is dubbed Fuselage Automated Upright Build (FAUB), and uses automated, guided robots that fasten the panels of the fuselage together, drilling and filling the more than approximately 60,000 fasteners that are today installed by hand.

Boeing said that the method offers benefits including improved employee safety, presumably because no human employees are actually involved in the process now.

The firm, which was recently subject to a hack which saw data about its military C-17 transport aircraft stolen, said that more than half of all injuries on the 777 program have occurred during the phase of production that is being automated.

"This is the first time such technology will be used by Boeing to manufacture widebody commercial airplanes and the 777 program is leading the way," said Elizabeth Lund, vice president and general manager, 777 program.

"We’re excited to continue improving the production process here and we’re positioning ourselves to begin building 777X airplanes in the future."

Content from our partners
AI is transforming efficiencies and unlocking value for distributors
Collaboration along the entire F&B supply chain can optimise and enhance business
Inside ransomware's hidden costs

Lund further told Aviation Week that the robots will actually create more job opportunities.

"Will you be able to build the fuselage with fewer people than today? Yes. But there is a lot of work to do at the Everett site, with the 777X coming in and other site changes."

By attaining higher build rates, Boeing said that it can create additional jobs.


Websites in our network
Select and enter your corporate email address Tech Monitor's research, insight and analysis examines the frontiers of digital transformation to help tech leaders navigate the future. Our Changelog newsletter delivers our best work to your inbox every week.
  • CIO
  • CTO
  • CISO
  • CSO
  • CFO
  • CDO
  • CEO
  • Architect Founder
  • MD
  • Director
  • Manager
  • Other
Visit our privacy policy for more information about our services, how New Statesman Media Group may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications. Our services are intended for corporate subscribers and you warrant that the email address submitted is your corporate email address.