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Boeing Value Chain Analysis

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1) Inbound operation

a) Materials

New, lightweight, cost-effective structural materials are used in several 777 applications. (Referred to Appendix 1)

Beginning in early 1994, The Boeing Company initiated a process improvement activity called Define and Control Airplane Configuration/Manufacturing Resource Management (DCAC/MRM). This “breakthrough” initiative will improve the processes the company uses to produce airplanes, and is a significant opportunity to further reduce costs, cycle time and defects. DCAC/MRM will substantially enhance the company’s ability to deliver more value to its customers.

Define and Control Airplane Configuration refers to that part of the initiative that will simplify and improve internal processes for handling airplane configuration data. Specifically, these are the processes by which Commercial Airplanes generates the data that defines a customer’s requested configuration for an airplane — for example, the type of seats, galleys, lavatories, carpet, avionics, engines — and uses that data to turn a “basic” airplane into one that has the customer’s particular configuration.

Manufacturing Resource Management is the part of the initiative that will simplify and improve the manufacturing processes that are driven by the airplane configuration data.

b) Wing Design- Aerodynamic Efficiency

The 777 wing is the most aerodynamically efficient airfoil ever developed for subsonic commercial aviation. In a further refinement of designs introduced on the Boeing 757 and 767, the 777 wing features a long span with increased thickness. This advanced wing enhances the airplane’s ability to achieve higher cruise speeds, climb quickly and cruise at higher altitudes than competing airplanes. It also allows the airplane to carry full passenger payloads out of many high-elevation, high-temperature airfields. Fuel volume requirements for the 777 are accommodated entirely within the wing and its structural center section. Fuel capacity ranges from 31,000 gallons (117,335 L) for the 777-200 to 51,590 (195,285 L) for the 777-200LR.

Airlines helping to design the 777 encouraged Boeing to commit to the performance capabilities of an optimum wing, which has a span of 199 feet 11 inches (60.9 m). Raked 6.5-foot wingtips are being added to the 777-200LR and 777-300ER to improve the overall aerodynamic efficiency of the wing. The raked wingtip helps reduce takeoff field length, increase climb performance and reduce fuel burn.

c) The 777’s choice of Engines

The three engine manufacturers developed more efficient and quieter turbofans to power the 777, and all three have been selected by 777 customers. Engine selection for the 777 is split at roughly one-third for each of the engine manufacturers. Pratt & Whitney offers the PW4000 series of engines, General Electric offers its GE90 series, and Rolls-Royce offers the Trent 800 series of engines.

All three engines offer excellent fuel efficiency, while allowing the 777 to be as quiet as a 767, even though the 777 engines provide 40 percent more power. Key factors in this performance are new, larger-diameter fans with wide-chord fan blade designs and bypass ratios ranging from six-to-one to as high as nine-to-one. This compares to the typical five-to-one ratio for the engines of previous twin-aisle jets.

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