Team members traveled to manufacturing facilities in the
U.S. and abroad and used in-service data and safety risk
management principles to conduct in-depth reviews of the
B787's critical systems. They chose specific components
to examine more thoroughly, including the aircraft's
Variable Frequency Starter Generators, Electrical Power
Panels, Fuel Line Couplings and Aft Fuselage Sections.
The team identified issues in the manufacturing and
supplier quality areas and made four recommendations to
Boeing to address those issues.
The team made parallel recommendations to the FAA for
improved, risk-based FAA oversight to account for new
business models. The FAA already is addressing the
team's three FAA recommendations by revising internal
policies and procedures for manufacturing oversight.
The team recommended that Boeing should: continue to
implement and mature gated design and production
processes; ensure suppliers are fully aware of their
responsibilities; establish a way to ensure suppliers
identify realistic program risks; and require its
suppliers to follow industry standards for personnel
performing Boeing-required inspections.
The team recommended that the FAA should: revise its
order on certificate management of manufacturers to
recognize new aircraft manufacturing business models;
revise its order on production approval procedures to
more fully address complex, large-scale manufacturers
with extended supply chains; and revise other orders to
ensure engineering conformity inspections for all
projects are based on risk.
Based on the team's recommendations, the FAA is revising
its policies, orders and procedures: to use risk tools
to ensure manufacturing surveillance is conducted at the
highest risk facilities; to assess risks related to
emerging technologies, complex manufacturing processes
and supply chain management; and to make engineering
conformity determinations using standardized, risk-based
As a result of those changes, FAA manufacturing
inspectors will expand their review of production
and quality data for critical suppliers, including
those located outside the United States. Through a
Global Manufacturing Team the FAA chartered in 2011,
the FAA is allocating resources to the areas of
greatest risk at the point of manufacture to
maintain appropriate FAA oversight. The FAA also is
working on a rule to strengthen the supplier
reporting process for quality issues at all tiers of
the supply chain.