Ah, the diddly squat metric. While often a source of controversy among engineering and managment teams and within the FAA, it is usually assigned a value of approximating zero or insufficient to the demands of the task.
I also wouldn't be so quick to assign base motives such as jealousy and/or resentment towards the Boeing person who made the comment. There were plenty of rather brilliant people at Boeing who could see, with a high degree of clarity, that an event of this type was certain, probability equal to 1, to happen, based on the management approach Boeing used with this airframe. As a result, many of them avoided this project like the plague.
Paumanok, artfully put! But good last line aside, you raise an excellent point. Aside from not indicting the supply-chain ecosystem in general, here's hoping that Boeing doesn't sting so much from this episode that it scales back the approach on future designs.
Remember, this was the first time that Boeing had employed the new supply chain model that compartmentalized production and moved a significant amount of quality control back to individual parts vendors. There were some major concerns that such a model would be employed for an item that contained so many parts. Having said that, its amazing that for the want of a 10 cent thermal fuse, the Dreamliner is sleeping.
There are enough blames to share here and the development only points to the complexity of the design chain and the supply chain. While we focus on what failed we forget the thousands of parts and systems that continue to function as expected.
In such a highly engineered plane, a lot of things worked as expected. Nonetheless, so much is at stake that the failure of a single part or system can have catastrophic consequences.
What this points to is the fact that the design team and the procurement team must work ever more tightly together.
Yes, I agree with Boeing Sr Engineer. Outsourcing of highly engineered product is very demanding task. Involvement of not so technical supply chain and management people, with their attitude to simplfy all problems and its solution introduces many risks to program. There are many lessons to learn. I wish Boeing enginner can soon find root couse and rectify it.
Absolutely, although I think we all have the urge to micromanage our suppliers (in whatever form they work with us), it's humanly impossible.
That said, as you point out, the systems are in place to cull the herd, if you will. However for Boeing, this could be a moment that damages their business in the medium term.
The strategic vision was a cost-efficient, fuel-efficient aircraft that was relevant to as many routes as possible. Then, leverage the supply chain like it's never been leveraged before. Makes perfect sense.
Here's hoping it very isolated problem with the battery cells themselves. The latest, from our colleague Chuck Murray at DesignNews, is that the NTSB is citing a short in one the cells. They still don't have a sense for what caused the short. (http://www.designnews.com/document.asp?doc_id=258717&itc=dn_analysis_element&)
I agree with Rohscompliant. All new designs will go through some amount of 'growing pains'. It is very difficult to account for any problem that may occur, no matter how well engineered a product is. We can all blame Murphy's Law.
If it is a supplier then it is a supply chian problem. Supply chain shall have strong engineering knowledge to make sure all the outsourced development or supply chain will not become a prey for lower quality parts end up into the product. Glad there is no tragedy happened till now and Boeing should rethink and improve the quality check. Otherwise any small mistake will cost big money.
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