Monday, February 4, 2013

Boeing 787’s problems blamed on outsourcing, lack of oversight

Seattle Times: Dateline 2-4-2013

Seattle Times Aerospace Reporter

"Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner has suffered numerous electrical system flaws beyond the battery problems that led to its current grounding, according to engineers with knowledge of the situation.
Company engineers blame the 787’s outsourced supply chain, saying that poor quality components are coming from subcontractors that have operated largely out of Boeing’s view.
“The risk to the company is not this battery, even though this is really bad right now,” said one 787 electrical engineer, who asked not to be identified. “The real problem is the power panels.”

The control panel was the first public smoke way back during test flights days in 2010. However, word is flushing out of its wood-pile of engineers, telling a story that cost saving style of management ,I call "OZ Outsource Operations" or Just OOO. Oz is the mythical city in the Northwest near Seattle, Wa, that chooses its plastic, parts and principals PPP from Bargin Bin Bundles -BBB, throughout the world. The Seattle Oz code turned to Plug, Play, and Poof, PPP2 Technology.  It seems the more time that flies by, you may hear the more times "it wasn't me" flying out.  

The Battery Is Fine 
 As in, 'its not the bomb that EXPLODED, but a faulty fuse misfired" exploding the bomb."  That fuse was outsourced for 99 cents and the engineers did not have oversight over the fuse. Now the control panel, central processing computers and plastic giblets found in the 787 follows the same path as the faulty fuse. The bomb went off as designed when that darn fuse ignited it. I also heard that a battery melted down and started a big fire engulfing the whole 787 program. Now we have "Harbor Freight" (my apologies to Harbor Freight, I buy there, for my hobbie tools) -like parts melting the electrical systems.  That is a stock- holder problem, because Boeing's quest to maximize value for its stock-holders, sacrifices on engineering and Electrical control panels. It is the beauty of a "plan" coming together "A-Team" style, but someone forgot to removing the outsource (IV bag in its arm delivering its sugar water). Way back when the program started de-delamination as in fastener problems, tail sections flaking out from Italy, and wing box shimming issues from Japan. All solved and all fixed! However, the culture of outsource continues to rear its ugly head.  
The Ostrich pulls its head out of the ground and speaks, "What's that smell, is that another outsource coming my way?" Then it promptly puts its head back in the ground, thinking that room freshener and its head planting has solved the problem. After-all the Battery Is Fine.

Rearing Its Ugly Head

The FAA Likes Onions, It Makes Them Cry.
As the FAA unwraps each layer of the Onion, then they report back, yep its an Onion, with tears streaming out its eyes, "we approved this?"  Another layer is being unpeeled with the control panel look.  Boeing really needs to call its Board together and audible a change that will send problems on course through a resolution process.  Release the outsource model from its prison and its  failure, and install the outsource model as a partnering venture of "knowing whats going on". Duh!

Onions are like people, they make you cry, and they can be sweet, as in Walla Walla Washington, WWW sweet onions.  Each layer will have a consistent themes  of:  "it wasn't Me", "Outsourced",a "Best value". However the people on the floor know "the rest of the story" as in Paul Harvey.
Glossary Notes:
OOO   Oz Outsource Operations
PPP     Plug Play Poof
WWW Walla Walla Washington
PPP-BBB    Plastic, Parts and Principals- Bargin Bin Bundles (Mix and Match arcade)

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