April 2008 | Volume VI, Issue XI
Boeing’s satellite business
has helped change the
world—and shown how to
best use cross-company
April 2008 Volume VI, Issue XI BOEING FRONTIERS
ON THE COVER: Boeing’s Satellite Development Center, in El Segundo, Calif.
Photo illustration by Brandon Luong; photo by Bob Ferguson
Bob Ferguson photo
Among the stars | 14
Deran Bell, a solar array floor supervisor, is one of the many teammates in Boeing’s satellite business. This business and its people create products that provide essential services and many
conveniences—and have demonstrated how Boeing teams can improve their operations by
tapping knowledge from around the enterprise.
A neat trip across Boeing | 22
Thanks to a spirit of collaboration, there’s a traveling Foreign Object Debris exhibit now making its way across Boeing. The exhibit’s organizers
hope the display heightens employees’ efforts to prevent FOD.
APRIL 2008 3
The buzz builds
| 24
You’ll hear Airplane Programs Finance teammates in Commercial Airplanes talk
about “buzz”—the energy emanating from Lean focals who have helped Finance
people cut waste and create new resource capacity. Here’s a look at some of
their many projects.
1,400 and looking
forward | 28
Four teammates on the 747 program were there at the start of this program—
and are still contributing as Boeing recently delivered its 1,400th 747. This
quartet said they’ve seen first-hand the improvements Boeing has made to the
airplane and the processes used to build it.
Space for career
growth | 30
Lean focals Mike Lozar (left) and Bryant Bonner discuss
process improvements during a recent workshop. Lozar
and Bonner are two of about 100 focals and facilitators in
the Airplane Programs Finance Lean network.
Daniel Thompson photo
To inspire college students to join the aerospace industry after graduation,
Boeing recently hosted about 240 Denver-area undergrads at the Third Space
Exploration Conference.
Tried and true
methods | 31
To finish a long list of tasks before the delivery of Japan’s first-ever aerial
refueling tanker, the KC-767 tanker team turned to some “old school” tactics—
including Post-it notes on a wall—to increase visibility on remaining work.
It helped the team rally to get the job done.
An eye on future
growth | 32
The Boeing-developed SBInet system has brought advanced security technology to a section of the United States–Mexico border. It’s intended to help
U.S. Customs and Border Protection execute its mission more effectively—and it
shows how border security is a new Boeing market for network integration.
Steve Bowman (from left), Leonard White, Lou Forbush and
Don Smith all worked on the first 747—and are still with the
747 program 1,400 planes later.
Will Wantz photo
4 APRIL 2008
6 Letters
9 Notebook
10 Historical Perspective
12 New and Notable
The 9-90 building at the Boeing Developmental Center in Seattle includes several videoconferencing centers. Boeing is modernizing the Developmental Center’s interior to create collaborative, user-friendly work areas.
Jim Anderson photo
Tag of progress
| 36
Looking inside
| 40
Since the F-22 receiving team in Seattle implemented a radio frequency identification (RFID) system for raw metal tubing, they’ve cut costs and eliminated
error. Meanwhile, both Integrated Defense Systems and Commercial Airplanes
are exploring new RFID applications that benefit customers, suppliers and
internal teams.
Boeing is modernizing Integrated Defense Systems facilities in the Puget Sound
region. The goal: Create collaborative, user-friendly work areas—in response to
employee survey results—and support the company’s strategy for better asset
They can make it
happen | 38
Protecting our work
In St. Louis, you’ll find a team of 95 engineers that design tools—not the kind
you can buy at hardware stores, but unique and sometimes highly sophisticated
tools that are used to build Boeing jet fighters.
45 Stock Charts
46 Milestones
| 42
“One of my true joys lies in meeting Boeing inventors,” said Martha Ries, the
head of Boeing’s Intellectual Property Management organization. She leads
a team that aims to identify, protect and best use the company’s intellectual
property to achieve a competitive advantage.
49 Around Boeing
50 Spotlight
APRIL 2008 5
Publisher: Tom Downey
Editorial director: Anne Toulouse
a fair hearing
Paul Proctor: (312) 544-2938
Managing editor:
Junu Kim: (312) 544-2939
Brandon Luong: (312) 544-2118
Commercial Airplanes editor:
Dick Schleh: (206) 766-2124
Integrated Defense Systems editor:
Diane Stratman: (562) 797-1443
Engineering, Operations &
Technology editor:
William Cole: (314) 232-2186
Shared Services editor:
Mick Boroughs: (206) 919-7584
Human Resources and
Administration editor:
Geoff Potter: (312) 544-2946
Copy editor:
Walter Polt: (312) 544-2954
Production manager:
Alma Dayawon: (312) 544-2936
Web designer:
Michael Craddock: (312) 544-2931
Graphic artists:
Brandon Luong: (312) 544-2118
Cal Romaneschi: (312) 544-2930
Web developers:
Lynn Hesby: (312) 544-2934
Keith Ward: (312) 544-2935
Information technology consultant:
Tina Skelley: (312) 544-2323
How to contact us:
[email protected]
Mailing address:
Boeing Frontiers
MC: 5003-0983
100 N. Riverside Plaza
Chicago, IL 60606
(312) 544-2954
(312) 544-2078
Web address:
Send all retiree address changes to
Boeing Frontiers, MC 3T-12
P.O. Box 3707
Seattle, WA 98124-2207
Postmaster: Send address corrections
to Boeing Frontiers, MC 3T-12
P.O. Box 3707, Seattle, WA 98124-2207
(Present addressees, include label)
Boeing execs explain why the company
is protesting USAF tanker contract award
iting irregularities with the competition process and the evaluation of bids, Boeing last month filed a
formal protest with the Government Accountability Office and asked the agency to review the U.S. Air
Force’s decision to award a contract for replacing aerial refueling tankers to a Northrop Grumman–
European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company team.
During a live March 12 webcast on the Boeing intranet, Mark McGraw, vice president and program manager of KC-767 Tanker Programs, and Beverly Wyse, vice president of the 767 Airplane Program, answered
Boeing employees’ questions about the contract award and the protest—the first Boeing has filed in more
than a decade.
In this special edition of Letters to the Editor, Boeing Frontiers offers an edited transcript of this webcast.
Q: I’ve heard that Boeing offered a 777 tanker, a direct competitor in size and payload to the A330
tanker, and that the Air Force declined. Is this true?
McGraw: It’s not true. Back in the early parts of this program before we had the Air Force’s requirements, we
did extensive studies about which platform we should offer. We looked very hard at the 767 and the 777, and
we always communicated to the Air Force that we would proceed based on what they told us they wanted.
As the requirements came out, it was clear to us the 767 was the right choice. If you looked at what they asked
for as far as fuel load, passengers and cargo, the 767 clearly met all the requirements across the board with
margin. We also knew the 767 had great advantages in that it used less fuel than the A330, it would have lower
maintenance costs, and it would have less of an impact on the Air Force’s infrastructure. These were things we
thought would be strengths and would make for a great tanker platform.
Q: What were the negatives of our offering?
McGraw: Typically, a debrief will have a lot of glowing things to say and then will focus on several key weaknesses. The debrief showed we had one weakness that I would characterize as minor: We underestimated the
software task, which is very typical. Other than that, we had no major weaknesses. And frankly, our competitor
had some significant weaknesses, such as the Aerial Refueling System.
Q: Did Congress or U.S. presidential candidates have any effect on the contract award?
Wyse: We want to stay focused on the requirements that the Air Force put in the [Request for Proposals] and
our ability to meet them. While we very much appreciate all the support [we’ve received from Congress, Boeing
employees and the general public], our focus at Boeing really has got to be on those requirements: Did we
understand them, and did we address them?
We’d like to ask [Boeing employees] to really be careful about what you write and how you represent the company. If you personally want to support the many petitions that are out there, you absolutely have a right to do
that. Just be very careful not to do it on company time or using company resources.
Q: Where does mission effectiveness fit into the protest?
McGraw: We were very pleased when [mission effectiveness] was added [to the requirements], because we
felt this was really going to assess how a fleet of these tankers would operate in a real-world scenario. We felt
Letters guidelines
Boeing Frontiers provides its letters page for readers to state
their opinions. The page is intended to encourage an exchange
of ideas and information that stimulates dialogue on issues or
events in the company or the aerospace industry.
6 APRIL 2008
The opinions may not necessarily reflect those of The Boeing
Company. Letters must include name, organization and a telephone number for verification purposes. Letters may be edited
for grammar, syntax and size.
Jim Albaugh (right), Integrated Defense Systems president and CEO, makes introductory comments during a recent Boeing live webcast
about the U.S. Air Force tanker competition. With Albaugh are Mark McGraw (left), vice president and program manager of KC-767 Tanker
Programs, and Beverly Wyse, vice president of the 767 Airplane Program.
ThomAS’ Goertel photo
the right-size attributes of our offering would
really shine. And they did initially.
Our competitor was concerned about this. I
think they really struggled with their airplane,
because of its size, to complete some of the
mission [scenarios]. They pushed very hard
and at one point even threatened to not compete any longer. They were able to get changes
made in the model that, over time, separated
the scenarios from the real-world operations
where they started from.
But the Air Force always promised us they
would consider what they called “Other
Observations and Insights.” These observations [covered factors such as] how much fuel
the tankers burned, how many bases were
used to house those aircraft, and what happens if runways are cut by bombings. It also
covered what would happen if a country [prohibits the United States from using] a base or
limits what can be done from a base. We did
very well [in these situations], and we were
allowed to write a 100-page supplement in
our proposal to talk about these things.
Even though our competitor maybe needed
slightly less aircraft in these scenarios,
they always burned more gas. And they
always took up more bases, so there were
fewer bases available for C-17s, fighters and
other aircraft.
We were always promised that this would get
factored in with the tail count evaluation for
an overall fleet effectiveness score. But those
factors [that we wrote about in our proposal]
were downplayed extensively in that briefing
and were dismissed. That gets to the fairness
issue here of what was said to us, how this
was going to be conducted, and what was
actually done.
Q: If Boeing does not win the KC-X, what
will this mean for the commercial 767?
Wyse: We have more than 50 767s in our
APRIL 2008 7
backlog. At our current rates, that keeps the
production line full until the end of 2011. We
are still in discussions with airlines today
for both passenger and freighter airplanes.
There remains a good interest, and we’re still
focused on keeping that airplane efficient.
The 787 was brought into being to replace the
767. When that airplane is fully operational
and there’s more availability, we will eventually sunset the 767. But that’s a long way
off, and there’s still [customer] interest [in
the 767].
Q: Did we suffer in past performance?
Wyse: The Air Force uses a series of past programs you’ve worked on, to help evaluate your
risk in performing the program. The process
takes specific programs and evaluates, across
key criteria, the relevancy of that program to
what you’re proposing. We had very relevant
programs. But if you look at Northrop and
EADS, they don’t have the same relevancy.
Now, we did not actually see what programs
they were rated on. But we do know that things
like the fact that we’ve had 75 years of experience in tankers, that we’ve built many, many
commercial derivatives, that we’re the only
company that’s built military derivatives—
that experience was not taken into account.
If it had—and we talked to [the Air Force]
about it—it would be difficult to come up with
a result that had us as being riskier.
Q: I’m concerned that the protest will delay
the availability of new tankers. How long
will the protest take, and will U.S. warfighters be OK with a delay?
McGraw: That was a key aspect to the decision, and we didn’t take this decision lightly.
At the same time, this has been a long process. We’ve been at this latest round of the
competition for almost two years, and I think
maybe [the protest will add] another two or
three months. Hopefully the impact will not
be that great because we are very concerned
about further delays.
Q: How do we protect against damage to
our relationship with the Air Force in future
McGraw: One of the things we considered
as we went through this process was would
[a protest] impact our relationship with the
Air Force. Our competitors protest decisions,
and that doesn’t seem to have damaged their
But again, we took this step after a lot of
deliberation. And I think we have to do this
not only because we don’t feel like we were
treated fairly, but to really focus a spotlight on
the process here—not only for this competition, but all future ones.
Wyse: I think the Air Force also recognizes that
it’s our right to ask these questions. I know it’s
difficult in terms of the timing, but they understand the process and fully support it. The
other thing I think will help us is the fact that
our arguments are very, very compelling. n
The basics
ollowing the U.S. Air Force’s recent award
of a contract for refueling tanker aircraft
to a team of Northrop Grumman and
the European Aeronautic Defence and Space
Company (EADS), Boeing took a rare and extraordinary step of protesting this decision. In
a move that Boeing does not take lightly, the
company is citing irregularities with the competition and evaluation process of both bids.
Boeing is asking the Government Accountability
Office to review the decision and hopes the
GAO will overturn it.
The likelihood of such a reversal is low, but
it is not unprecedented. The key to winning a
protest is to prove potential inconsistencies
between the Request for Proposal (RFP) and
the Air Force’s decision, as well as to prove inconsistencies between the Air Force and federal regulation, procedure or law.
Boeing executives said the company has
strong arguments in this case. First, Air Force
evaluators quietly decided in the middle of the
process—without informing Boeing and for
unknown reasons—to suddenly assign more
value to a bigger tanker offered by NorthropEADS than to the medium-sized 767. Boeing
contends that is inconsistent with the RFP.
Second, the Air Force assigned Boeing
increased development and design risk for
failing to “reasonably explain buildup of cost.”
In so doing, the Air Force failed to comply with
federal regulations for the pricing of commercial items. Such treatment of Boeing’s cost/
price data is contrary to federal law, Boeing
So how does the protest process work?
The Air Force is required to file an Agency
Report, composed of contract-related documents, to the GAO in 30 days following the
protest notification. At that point, the GAO
makes the report available to both parties, and
both sides have 10 days to file written comments. In some cases, protesters amend their
protests, which can have the effect of restarting the entire protest process. The GAO may
also call for a hearing to resolve factual and
legal issues.
8 APRIL 2008
After the hearing, all parties will be allowed
to submit written comments. The GAO can
sustain or deny the protest. If sustained, the
Air Force likely would be required to rebid the
While protesting contract awards is uncommon for Boeing, being the target of such
protests has become more common in recent
years. After the Air Force awarded its contract
for the service’s combat search and rescue
helicopter—known as CSAR-X—to Boeing in
2006, competitors have filed multiple protests
that have delayed this contract.
In addition, following a lengthy protest,
the Air Force reaffirmed a $1.1 billion KC-135
programmed depot maintenance contract
originally won by Boeing Support Systems. On
March 12, Alabama Aircraft Industries filed a
second protest with the GAO. Boeing has vigorously fought these protests.
The best-case protest scenarios are
wrapped up in 100 days or less. But the reality is that protests can take much longer to
resolve. For many companies, the stakes are
too high not to take every opportunity to try
to win these awards—or at least walk away
knowing they made every effort to ensure that
the procurement process treated all competitors fairly.
—Stanley Holmes
A VIP flight
U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney (left) talks with U.S. Army Gen. David Petraeus (second from left), commanding general of the Multi-National Force–Iraq,
upon disembarking from a C-17 Globemaster III March 17 in Iraq. The C-17 is based out of Charleston Air Force Base, S.C.
U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Jeffrey Allen
“We’ll be able to reach
parts of the world that we
couldn’t have dreamt of
—Cal Flanigan, a Delta Air Lines pilot, speaking
about the airline recently taking delivery of its
first 777-200LR, in the March 1 Atlanta JournalConstitution
No promotions listed for periods ending
Feb. 29 and March 7, 14 and 21
“The Super Hornet is an aircraft with significant capability and [is] more than
capable of meeting all of
Australia’s defense needs.”
—Joel Fitzgibbon, defense minister of Australia,
confirming Australia’s plans to buy 24 Super Hornets, in a March 17 Dow Jones news service report
“Unless you try things, you
end up using the same old
dirty fuel.”
—Sir Richard Branson, president of Virgin Atlantic,
about the carrier’s intent to use cleaner fuels, in
a March 3 report. In February,
Boeing, Virgin Atlantic and GE Aviation conducted
the first commercial aviation flight using a sustainable fuel from biomass mixed with traditional
kerosene-based jet fuel.
You can reach the Office of Ethics & Business Conduct at 1-888-970-7171; Mail Code: 14-14; Fax: 1-888-970-5330;
TDD/TTY: 1-800-617-3384; e-mail: [email protected]; Web site:
APRIL 2008 9
Historical Perspective BOEING FRONTIERS
75 years ago, Boeing
introduced the Model 247,
the world’s 1st modern airliner
n 1933, the world was at the depth of the Great Depression. But
standing in stark contrast to this economic crisis was the aviation industry, which was experiencing a period of growth and
rapid change as air travel started to become something more than
a novelty. New air routes were crossing the United States, allowing
coast-to-coast passenger travel as well as the delivery of freight
and mail. All that was needed was speed.
Advances in the science of airplane structures made it possible to leave behind wood and fabric in favor of stronger all-metal
10 APRIL 2008
Historical Perspective BOEING FRONTIERS
The first Boeing Model 247 is parked
outside the Boeing hangar on the east
side of Boeing Field in Seattle the day
before it would make its first flight.
Boeing Archives photo
construction. Fast, streamlined monoplane
designs were the look of the future of air
travel, and Boeing introduced that future
on Feb. 8, 1933, when the Boeing Model
247 took to the air for the first time.
A star of the 1933 Chicago World’s Fair,
the Boeing Model 247 was the world’s first
modern airliner. It incorporated the latest
knowledge in streamlined, all-metal monoplane construction as well as retractable
landing gear, variable pitch propellers, wing
deicers, trim tabs and an autopilot.
It took the Model 247 20 hours, with seven stops, to fly between New York and Los
Angeles. While that may seem like a long trip
by today’s standards, it was more than seven
hours faster than any other airliner. The ability to cross the United States in less than a
day changed air travel overnight.
Boeing was at the forefront of modern
airplane design and had been a pioneer
in the introduction of all-metal monoplane designs, leading with the Model
200 Monomail and also pioneering the
first all-metal monoplane bomber for the
U.S. military, the B-9. Both of these programs, while groundbreaking, proved to be
interim steps whose lessons learned led to
the development of the Model 247.
The design philosophy behind the
247 was to maximize speed and minimize costs. To do this, it was proposed
by the Boeing development team, led by
Chief Engineer C.N. “Monty” Montieth,
that a small twin-engine airplane, based on
the B-9, would be safer and more useful to
the airline customers than the larger threeengine planes already in service or under
development. At the time, designers felt
that large planes were structurally weak.
Most pilots felt that they were unstable in
weather and favored smaller, more maneuverable, transports.
While Boeing engineers focused on
speed, there was also great emphasis put on
the passenger experience. Even though the
cabin of the 247 appears cramped and maybe even a bit treacherous by today’s standards (passengers in the forward seats and
the crew had to be careful while stepping
over the wing spars that ran across the aisle),
the 10 passengers flew in great comfort. The
cabin featured temperature controls as well
as individual reading lights and overstuffed
seats that were 40 inches (102 centimeters)
apart. A great deal of research went into insulating the cabin from both the cold of high
altitudes and the noise of the engines.
The revolutionary 247 was the first
Boeing commercial plane to be ordered by
a non-U.S. airline when Lufthansa ordered
two, and one was ordered for a private owner in China. In all, Boeing built 74 247s.
The 247 remained in major airline service until World War II, when several were
converted into Army C-73 transport trainers and others were transferred to airlines
spanning the Americas, from Avianca to
Wien Air Alaska, and in Europe to the
Royal Air Force.
The early success of the 247 was to be
its undoing. The initial order for the 247
came from United Air Lines for 60 air-
planes. At the time this huge order was a
tremendous boon for Boeing, but it would
quickly turn out to be a miscalculation
that essentially knocked Boeing out of the
commercial airplane business until the introduction of the 707.
At the time both the Boeing Airplane
Company and United Air Lines were
subsidiaries of the United Aircraft and
Transport Corporation, and it was only natural for Boeing to support United in achieving an edge over its competition. When
Trans Continental and Western Air came
to Boeing to order the 247 and were told
that it would have to wait until Boeing delivered all the United planes, TWA instead
turned to Douglas Aircraft to see what
Donald Douglas’ team could do to challenge the new Boeing airplane.
The result was the DC-1, an airplane
based on the 247 design but larger and faster. The DC-1 was the prototype of the production DC-2, which ultimately led to the
legendary DC-3. The Douglas DC series
would go on to monopolize the commercial airplane business until the introduction of the 707. During that 25-year period,
Boeing would produce only 78 commercial
Today it’s still possible to see a 247. The
most famous 247, flown by Roscoe Turner
and Clyde Pangborn in the London-toMelbourne, Australia, race of 1934, is on
display in the Smithsonian Institution’s
National Air and Space Museum in
Washington, D.C. The plane—also known
as “Adaptable Annie”—served as an airliner with United Air Lines and as a research
plane with the Civil Aeronautics Authority
(forerunner of the Federal Aviation Agency)
before it was handed over to the care of the
The only flyable 247 was restored by the
Boeing Management Association and is in
the collection of the Museum of Flight in
Seattle. The airplane currently is in storage
and undergoing restoration at Paine Field in
Everett, Wash.
A flyable DC-2 has recently joined
the 247 as part of the commercial airplane collection at the Museum of Flight.
The future display of these two landmark
planes standing together will remind future generations that Boeing and Douglas
ushered in the age of speed, reliability,
safety and comfort in air travel, building
a tradition of innovation that continues to
this day with the 787. n
APRIL 2008 11
[email protected]
A boost for the planet
In this photo from the fall of 2007, Boeing employees take part in a wetlands cleanup day in Southern California. On April 22—Earth Day—
employees will have the chance to take part in company-sponsored environmental events. Photo courtesy of the Bolsa Chica Conservancy
Earth Day observations align with Boeing efforts
to improve performance in environmental areas
By Chaz Bickers and Susan Birkholtz
ction, education, involvement: Those
are the goals of this year’s Earth Day,
which on April 22 is expected to see the
largest-ever participation globally in an event
that focuses on improving the environment.
Thousands of Boeing employees took part
last year in Earth Day events. This year is expected to be even bigger, with 50 sites joining in with both new events and those that are
becoming recurring staples, such as Boeing’s
13-year partnership at the Sedgwick County
Zoo in Wichita, Kan., which brings about 9,000
students in to learn about local ecology issues.
“Observing Earth Day each year highlights
the importance of making real improvements
and checking performance,” said Mark Arvizu,
the Environmental Health and Safety representative responsible for helping employees
learn about and effect environmental change
at Boeing. “This day is about making a difference, and it shows how Boeing, its employees
and its communities have a common goal to
help protect our ecosystem.”
This year, site representatives across the
world from Global Corporate Citizenship and
EH&S are teaming to support employees in
Earth Day events and activities.
“The environment is one of GCC’s five focus areas for investing in our communities, so
it’s a natural partnership for EH&S and GCC to
collaborate and focus our resources on Earth
Day activities—and a great example of ‘One
Boeing,’” said Patrice Mingo, GCC director,
Strategic Employee Programs. “It’s a win-win
for Boeing, our employees and our communities when we leverage the excitement and
ingenuity of employee volunteers with philanthropic grants to tackle environment-related
needs in our communities.”
Boeing is action-oriented on the environment and sharpening its focus. Since 1998, the
company has cut energy use by more than a
third and hazardous waste by more than half.
In January, Boeing introduced aggressive new
targets for its facilities that will improve energy
efficiency, greenhouse-gas-emissions intensity,
hazardous-waste generation and recycle rates
by 25 percent over the next five years.
And Boeing is seeking more transparency and accountability for its performance.
One example is the company’s participation
in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s
Climate Leaders program this year. By joining
EPA Climate Leaders, Boeing commits to reducing its impact on the environment by completing
a corporatewide inventory of greenhouse gas
emissions, setting long-term reduction goals
and annually reporting its progress to the EPA.
“By joining EPA Climate Leaders, Boeing is
making it clear we must improve our environmental footprint,” said Mary Armstrong, Boeing
vice president, Environment, Health and Safety.
12 APRIL 2008
Boeing will also be publishing an environmental report this year, outlining its approach and vision and publishing its performance on key environmental metrics, such
as greenhouse-gas emissions, recycling
rates and energy efficiency.
“Whatever improvement Boeing achieves
will rely on the dedication, inspiration and expertise of its employees, and Earth Day is an
opportunity to make linkages and uncover
ideas for change,” Arvizu said.
GCC-initiated Earth Day employee volunteer opportunities include one in Southern
California where the Seal Beach site is partnering with both the California High Desert
group and TreePeople, a Boeing grantee, for
a tree-planting event in areas burned by last
year’s wildfires. Another example is the Boeing
site at the Kennedy Space Center, where employees will be participating in a cleanup
event at the “spoil islands” in the Indian River
Lagoon with the nonprofit Keep Brevard
(County) Beautiful, also a Boeing grantee.
GCC’s Mingo noted that employees are
encouraged to contact their local GCC and
EH&S representatives with suggestions for
environment-related volunteer activities they
would like their site to consider sponsoring
and participating in.
To get involved, check with your local EH&S
or GCC focal or your local site or business-unit
Web site—and visit Boeing News Now. n
[email protected]
[email protected]
Back in the air
Rare Boeing airplane makes 2nd
‘1st flight’—80 years later
he world’s only flyable Boeing Model 40 recently took to the skies
nearly 80 years after its original first flight—and after eight years
of painstaking restoration by Pemberton and Sons Aviation of
Spokane, Wash.
The Boeing Model 40, the first production commercial airplane built
by Boeing, was developed in 1925 for a U.S. Post Office competition as
a replacement for the converted military de Havillands that had carried
the airmail since 1918.
When this particular plane, a Model 40C, was originally delivered in May 1928, it could carry four passengers plus cargo. Pacific Air
Transport, a subsidiary of Boeing Air Transport, used it to carry mail between Portland, Ore., and Oakland/San Francisco. In October of that year,
the plane disappeared in dense fog while en route from Medford, Ore., to
Portland. The pilot survived a crash landing and was able to make his way
to a nearby road, prompting a search for the plane to determine the condition of the flight’s passenger. The body of the passenger was recovered
several hours after the crash, but the plane was left where it came down.
Pemberton and Sons Aviation specialize in finding and restoring antique airplanes. Addison Pemberton, who is also CEO of Liberty Lake,
Wash.–based Scanivalve, a Boeing supplier of intelligent pressure
and temperature instrumentation, said he searched for this plane for
18 years before finally locating it on a mountaintop in southern Oregon.
What a blast!
The Boeing 40C flies over the Spokane, Wash., area on its second
“first flight” on Feb. 17, 2008. Photo courtesy of Ryan Pemberton
The restoration efforts, aided by information from the Boeing Archives,
took 62 volunteers eight years and 18,000 hours to complete.
Pemberton used as much of the original plane as possible in his restoration. Much of it, including the wings, had been destroyed in the crash
or by exposure to the weather and had to be rebuilt.
Pemberton’s Model 40C is only one of three in existence (the other two are on display in museums) and the only one in flyable condition. “Our 40C is the oldest active flying Boeing airplane in the world,”
Pemberton said.
—Dawsalee Griffin
Boeing plays a major role in two
successful rocket launches in March
United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket (left) carrying the U.S. Air Force’s Global Positioning
System IIR-19(M) satellite launched March 15
from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. GPS is a
space-based radio-positioning system consisting of a
24-satellite (at minimum) constellation that provides
navigation and timing information to military and civilian users worldwide. United Launch Alliance is a
joint venture between Boeing and Lockheed Martin for
government launches.
Meanwhile, Sea Launch on March 19 successfully delivered the Boeing-built DIRECTV 11 broadcast satellite to orbit from its ocean-based platform
on the equator in the Pacific Ocean (right), marking
Sea Launch’s fourth successful launch for DIRECTV.
DIRECTV 11 is the second of three next-generation
satellites built by Boeing Space and Intelligence
Systems that are helping to expand DIRECTV’s market
by providing the crystal-clear sharpness of satellitedelivered HDTV into millions of households.
Carleton Bailie photo
Sea Launch photo
APRIL 2008 13
14 APRIL 2008
Workers at the Satellite Development Center
in El Segundo, Calif., work on a Wideband
Global SATCOM satellite—a game-changing
spacecraft for the U.S. Air Force. To the
right of the WGS satellite is a scale model of
Syncom, the world’s first geosynchronous
communications satellite.
Help from
Bob Ferguson photo
Have Boeing satellites helped humanity?
Absolutely—as demonstrated by their 2,500
years of accumulated service
By Debby Arkell
surgeon in Los Angeles consults with physicians in Berlin by video conference. Driving home from work, she enjoys her favorite music via satellite radio. She accesses
her car’s GPS navigation system to locate a new deli and pays for take-out dinner with
the swipe of a credit card. Once home she turns on the evening news, catches tomorrow’s
weather forecast and settles in to enjoy a live telecast of the Grammy Awards.
That convenience is all thanks to satellites, those machines high in the sky that we rarely
think about yet depend on daily to keep us connected—and protected.
Hundreds of satellites circle the globe today. One-third of the satellites in orbit are Boeingbuilt, providing commercial, military, scientific and exploratory services. The company has
been a major player in the satellite business for 45 years and recently reached an industry
milestone of 2,500 years of accumulated satellite on-orbit service.
Manufactured at the Satellite Development Center in El Segundo, Calif., by Space and
Intelligence Systems, Boeing satellites are more complex, powerful and sophisticated than
ever before.
“Boeing is a market leader because we use cutting-edge technology in our payloads,
and our commitment to program execution and quality ensure that the products we build
are reliable and delivered on schedule,” said Craig Cooning, vice president and general
manager of S&IS.
A market evolves
Milestone surpassed: Boeing-built satellites recently
topped 2,500 years of accumulated on-orbit service.
Page 15
A primer on satellites: How do they work? What
does Boeing offer? Page 17
Operational improvements: How has this business
become even more successful? Through innovative
management, Lean+—and tips from the best of
Boeing. Page 18
The competition: What companies are going up
against Boeing in this market? Page 19
Satellite teammates: Meet some of the many employees who support this business. Page 20
Harold Rosen Q&A: Boeing Frontiers talks with the
“founding father” of today’s satellites. Page 21
The former Hughes Aircraft Company built Syncom, the world’s first geosynchronous
communications satellite, in 1963, when long-distance phone calls were costly and overseas
TV broadcasts impossible (see sidebar on Page 21). Back then, a satellite the size of a desk
required a ground antenna the size of a house.
Today, satellites can transmit video signals to an antenna the size of a pizza pan, and
customers can modify from the ground a satellite’s onboard capabilities as mission requirements evolve.
As satellite technology changes, so do missions, markets and customer expectations.
“In the ‘70s, customers tended to be national institutions,” said Art Rosales, S&IS director,
Program Services and Execution. “Satellites gave developing countries a tremendous advantage and were a source of national pride. Accordingly, satellites were built primarily to
meet national infrastructure needs such as telephone service.”
Today—as a result of global privatization of industry—a large part of Boeing’s satellite
business is for the private sector. These companies provide satellite-driven consumer services such as direct-to-home TV, mobile telephony, Internet services and digital audio radio.
This shift has changed Boeing’s approach to manufacturing spacecraft. Since businesses
are more risk-averse and competitive than governments, Boeing has to be cost-competitive
APRIL 2008 15
“One of our near-term future business
strategies to be able to deliver a flexible payload
in a cost-effective manner, and we’re working
hard to bring costs down and make that a
reality for our customers.”
– Art Rosales, Space and Intelligence Systems director,
Program Services and Execution
Quality is critical for Boeing’s satellite customers. “They’re paying
to put a product in the sky that has to work for 15 years and can’t
be repaired,” said Charles Toups, IDS vice president of Engineering & Mission Assurance and formerly the leader of Navigation and
Communication Systems.
Bob Ferguson photo
in the products it offers.
A customer’s key priorities—whether a government or a private
business—are quality and schedule, both strongly tied to cost.
“The quality of the product is the customer’s overriding priority;
and for our government customers in particular, mission assurance
is critical,” said Charles Toups, IDS vice president of Engineering &
Mission Assurance. Toups has worked in the satellite business since
1982 and most recently led S&IS Navigation and Communication
Systems. “They’re paying to put a product in the sky that has to work
for 15 years and can’t be repaired, so the quality of that product
is paramount. We are continually focused on first-pass quality and
flawless execution.”
Schedule is also critical. “Satellite launches are huge capital outlays
for our customers, so getting satellites up there on time is very important,” Toups said. “The faster you can build a high-quality satellite and
get it launched, the better the value for the customer.”
Lean leads the way
To meet quality, schedule and cost requirements, Lean is a big part
of S&IS culture (for more on this topic, see story on Page 18). Its primary
focus is not manufacturing, however; the vast majority of satellite costs
are incurred in the design and development phases.
S&IS is working to improve resource control with Engineering processes, getting mature, stable requirements up front so designers know
what they need to do before they begin work. That helps minimize any
need for redesign. Toups noted that in the past Boeing tended to begin
production work on satellites too soon, which can lead to incomplete
designs and expensive manufacturing issues down the line.
“It may sound strange to say that starting later is better, but in situations like this it can be,” he said.
S&IS has also created a moving line for phased-array antenna
production. Since phased-array antennas have thousands of components, building them on a “pulse” line has meant reductions in
cost and build time.
A pulse line also is planned for the 12 satellites that make up the
GPS IIF program, an upgrade to the original GPS system used by governments and civilians worldwide.
“At the end of the day, our products must be a cost-effective part
of our customers’ business plans,” Rosales said. “To many, satellites
are money-generating machines in the sky. Our challenge and goal in
a competitive market is to give them what they want: something that’s
high-quality, simple to operate, and the best value for their market
Shaping the market
Future commercial applications may include altering the use of a
satellite while it’s on orbit. A customer may purchase a satellite and
wants its signal beamed down only over Southeast Asia, but later want
the signal broadcast over India instead.
“The ideal end-state is for the user to be able to reprogram that
pattern while the satellite is in the sky,” Rosales said. “We have this
technology today, but it’s very expensive. One of our near-term future
business strategies to be able to deliver a flexible payload in a costeffective manner, and we’re working hard to bring costs down and
make that a reality for our customers.”
The government side of the satellite business also is pursuing nearly
$12 billion in new opportunities, driven primarily by the Transformational
Satellite Communication System (a secure communications network for
the U.S. Air Force) and GPS III.
“We shape the market with new technologies and by working
closely with customers to identify product and mission operations
enhancements on existing programs. This allows us to stay on the
cutting edge while also extending the viability of current products
and programs,” Toups said. n
[email protected]
16 APRIL 2008
hat is a satellite? Simply put, satellites are objects that orbit a larger
object in space. They can be natural,
like the moon, or man-made. Man-made satellites facilitate communication and connectivity between otherwise disparate locations
or regions.
Satellites have a fixed life. Art Rosales, Space
and Intelligence Systems director of Program
Services and Execution, said the standard life
span for a commercial satellite is 15 years,
and the time from order to delivery varies
depending on the satellite’s complexity. Rosales
noted that customers begin planning their next
satellite acquisition after about seven or eight
years, and for a typical satellite it ordinarily
takes 24 to 36 months from placing the order
to launching.
Boeing satellites are built by a team of employees in El Segundo, Calif., and uniquely designed
to meet a customer’s specific requirements.
Satellites then are delivered to the customer
and launched into orbit on a rocket.
Satellites typically operate in one of three families of orbits defined by their altitude above the
earth: low earth orbit (100 miles to 300 miles,
161 km to 483 km), medium earth orbit
(6,000 miles to 12,000 miles, 9,500 km to
19,500 km), and geosynchronous earth orbit
(22,300 miles, 36,000 km). In geosynchronous orbit, the satellite moves with the earth’s
rotation, causing it to appear suspended over
a fixed spot on the earth. That makes geosynchronous orbits ideal for communications and
Earth-observation applications.
Once the rocket reaches the desired altitude
and orientation for the mission, the satellite is
released from the rocket into its initial orbit.
The initial geosynchronous satellite orbit starts
out as a highly elliptical orbit. Small rocket
motors onboard the satellite fire periodically to
help position the satellite into its final, circular
orbit—and help it attain the proper attitude, or
orientation, relative to a horizon line or other
frame of reference.
Once in orbit, the satellite begins to send and
receive signals. A communications satellite is
equipped with multiple transponders—devices
that amplify and transmit signals at various
frequencies. Transponders are like channels,
and only so much information can go through
a channel at a time. The more transponders a
satellite has the more signals it can send and
receive and the more antennas it can use. The
transponders and antennas make up the satellite’s payload.
The transponder receives a signal at a specific
frequency from a ground station, amplifies it,
and then retransmits it back to antennas or
receivers on Earth (or aircraft or other spacecraft) on a different frequency. This process of
receiving, amplifying and transmitting is what
enables phone calls around the world, real-time
TV broadcasts of global events, and even fax or
Here’s a primer on how
these spacecraft work,
what Boeing offers
other international data transmissions.
The satellite’s framework, called a bus, is home
to its power systems (usually solar cell arrays
that convert solar energy into electricity), batteries for the times the satellite goes into the earth’s
shadow, attitude control systems, temperature
control systems and more. Earth stations communicate with computers on the satellite to
monitor these systems.
Boeing currently designs and builds two satellite product lines—the 702 and the 601.
The Boeing 702 Satellite is the world’s most
powerful commercial satellite. It offers up to
18,000 watts of power and can deliver any
communications frequency customers request
via more than 100 transponders. Currently more
than 20 Boeing 702 satellites have been built or
are on order. Major customers include Thuraya,
Hughes Network Systems, XM Satellite Radio,
and the U.S. Air Force.
The Boeing 601 series of satellites is smaller
and less powerful than the 702. With more
than 80 units ordered, the Boeing 601 is the
top-selling spacecraft line. The satellite’s basic
configuration features as many as 48 transponders and offers up to 4,800 watts. A higherpower version, the Boeing 601HP, features as
many as 60 transponders and uses additional
technologies to provide up to 10,000 watts.
Major customers include AsiaSat, DIRECTV, SES
Astra, Intelsat, National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration, U.S. Navy and MEASAT (Malaysia
East Asia Satellite).
—Debby Arkell
Solar Panels
APRIL 2008 17
Lean on
By Bill Seil
ore and more, Boeing businesses, to be successful, are leveraging best practices and ideas from teammates across the
The satellite manufacturing unit of Boeing Space and Intelligence
Systems in El Segundo, Calif., is one example. Its journey on its return
to profitability and progress in cost containment over the past five years
can be attributed to many factors. But high on this list are an innovative
management team, use of the Lean+ companywide growth and productivity initiative, and eliciting help from colleagues across Boeing.
“The success of the El Segundo team is an excellent example of
leveraging the best of Boeing,” said Bill Schnettgoecke, vice president
and leader of the Boeing Lean+ initiative. “They began by taking Lean+
approaches used by Commercial Airplanes in a high-production-rate
environment (jetliners) and applying them in a low-production-rate environment (satellites). They blended in the right portions of Lean concepts (such as Six Sigma and Theory of Constraints) and transformed
their culture into one of employee engagement. The formula worked,
and they delivered results. That’s what Lean+ is all about.”
Eliminating ‘traveled work’
In any manufacturing facility, the ultimate goal is to eliminate
“traveled work”—open or incomplete items that continue down the
manufacturing line yet require additional work. The metrics at the
S&IS satellite factory underscore the benefits of Lean+, continuous
improvement, and other initiatives.
For example, incomplete or open qualifications and unit returns for
additional rework have gone to zero. The cost of repair, rework and scrap
is down 73 percent. On-time delivery of engineering products has im-
Satellite manufacturing team leverages
the best from all around Boeing
proved from 65 percent five years ago to 95 percent at the end of 2007,
an improvement of 46 percent. On-time delivery of electronic units has
reached 97 percent.
S&IS also conducts an annual Lean Manufacturing Assessment, and
has consistently exceeded its goal. For 2007, the goal for the S&IS satellite factory was to increase the score from the previous 2.45 to 2.90.
It achieved a final score of 3.09, meaning that it beat its score-growth
goal by 42 percent. The improvements are measurable, quantifiable,
and significant.
S&IS began its Lean journey in 2003. Charles Toups, then S&IS vice
president of Engineering and Operations, was familiar with the extensive
work BCA had been doing to bring Lean principles and other efficiency
measures to its operations.
Toups, now vice president, Engineering & Mission Assurance for
Integrated Defense Systems, attended Renton [Wash.] Engineering’s
“Gemba Day,” where teams discussed how they had applied Lean
principles. He also toured 737 assembly lines, saw examples of Value
Stream Mapping and met with other Lean experts. Soon, Lean personnel from the Puget Sound region began traveling to El Segundo to lead
workshops and get a closer look at the challenges the satellite business
was facing.
Assistance also came from Boeing rotorcraft operations in Mesa,
Ariz., and Philadelphia, which were applying Lean to their operations.
S&IS also networked with programs within IDS.
In some cases, best practices learned elsewhere could be applied
directly to satellite manufacturing. In other cases, ideas from around the
company inspired the El Segundo team to develop its own continuousimprovement approaches.
Steve Holt (left), a Commercial
Airplanes process engineer, and
Benny Leppert, a BCA liaison
engineer, have been leading Lean
workshops in El Segundo, Calif., for
several years to support Boeing’s
satellite business. The pair is at the
777 moving line in Everett, Wash.
Gail Hanusa photo
18 APRIL 2008
Kevin Naya, S&IS director, Lean+, said networking within the Boeing enterprise has been
invaluable. Its diverse range of programs create a wealth of experience. And unlike benchmarking with other companies, there are
fewer concerns about discussing proprietary
The S&IS team members and their BCA
colleagues faced several challenges in sharing Lean+ ideas. Some involved differences
in technology and terminology, and there was
the tremendous difference between their two
product lines—satellites and commercial airplanes. In addition, while jetliner manufacturing involves a steady flow of airplanes on the
production line, only a few identical satellites
are produced at the same time.
Still, the basic principles of Lean+ applied.
Louis Kesselman, manager, Space Systems
Design, S&IS, recognized this in early 2006
when a major new commercial satellite program was starting. Kesselman benchmarked
a number of Boeing programs and found
some great ideas. As a result, the El Segundo
team has successfully leveraged a BCA Lean+
systems-engineering tool called SLATE/FI,
which enables systems engineers to find requirement errors earlier in the design. This
began an ongoing Lean+ collaboration that
soon extended into other projects.
‘A foundation to build on’
Steve Holt, a process engineer in
Configuration and Engineering Analysis,
Commercial Airplanes, said he first met Toups
when Holt was giving a presentation at Renton
Engineering’s Gemba Day. This led to Holt traveling to El Segundo to lead a two-day class in
Critical Chain Project Management, a Lean+
tool. Holt and his colleagues continued to offer
advice on Lean+ issues. Soon, it became an
information exchange.
“It was wonderful fun; I had a great time
with them,” Holt said. “We gave them a foundation to build on. Then, to develop their own
expertise, they brought in their own consultants. They were able to come up to speed
very quickly, and we began to learn from
each other.”
Holt noted he now shares the pride of
the satellite group each time they win a new
Two other BCA employees who traveled to
El Segundo at that time were Benny Leppert,
an associate technical fellow and liaison engineer, and Kevin Sweeney, a Lean Design/Build
consultant. They led workshops covering Lean
processes, including a tool called Design for
Manufacturing, Assembly and Test (also known
as Lean Design). They have since led multiple workshops using the Lean Design/Build
Roadmap methodology, a series of Lean+
tools that have played an important role in the
Also seeking the sky
787 Payloads Validation Center. S&IS employees
have traveled to Puget Sound to benchmark the
center and the way the roadmap is used.
John Herrold, a systems engineer in System
Integration Process and Tools, part of BCA
Engineering, has made multiple trips to
El Segundo with other members of the
BCA team to provide Lean+ training and project support to Kesselman’s team.
“It’s a two-way street that has proven to
be mutually beneficial,” Herrold said. “In addition to assisting other programs, we can leverage what we learn from them and bring new
Lean+ ideas back to Commercial Airplanes.
Our management is very supportive of this
type of collaboration.”
Dayde McLaughlin, deputy director of the
Lean+ initiative, added that the initiative will
soon be offering additional opportunities for
employees to network and share Lean+ ideas.
These will include enterprise standardized
training that will encourage the use of common learning and Lean+ terminology throughout the company. The Lean+ initiative also is
upgrading its Web site with new collaboration
tools, including blogs and wikis.
As the S&IS satellite business continues its
Lean+ journey, it will keep drawing from the
wide experience of the Boeing enterprise. The
S&IS successes serve as a dramatic example
of the value of information sharing—and how
leveraging best practices can open new paths
to success. n
[email protected]
Following are short profiles of some of the world’s other satellite manufacturers. Note: this summary is not intended to be all-inclusive.
EADS Astrium: EADS Astrium is a subsidiary of the European Aeronautic, Defence and Space Company. Astrium Satellites, one of EADS Astrium’s
three business units, has produced telecommunications satellites for operators including Eutelsat and Inmarsat, and for other missions.
Lockheed Martin: Lockheed Martin’s Space Systems and Technologies division provides space systems capabilities to commercial and governmental customers worldwide. Its payloads include communications and space-science instruments.
Raytheon: Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems group is one of seven of Raytheon’s businesses. The group supports military, intelligence and civil
Space Systems/Loral: Space Systems/Loral, a subsidiary of Loral Space
and Communications, designs, manufactures and integrates
geostationary satellites and satellite systems.
Thales Alenia Space: A joint-venture between Thales and Finmeccanica,
Thales Alenia Space’s satellite payloads can support telecommunications,
defense, navigation, Earth observation and other science and
observation missions.
—Debby Arkell
Shown is an artist’s conception of a Lockheed
Martin A2100 satellite.
Lockheed Martin graphic
APRIL 2008 19
Reaching for the sky
Two thousand five hundred years of on-orbit service by Boeing satellites is an unprecedented accomplishment. And Space and Intelligence Systems employees are responsible for making that milestone a reality.
Featured here are just a few of the talented teammates who have contributed to this success.
Job title and description: Subcontracts manager in S&IS Supplier Management & Procurement.
“I negotiate and prepare contracts with our suppliers for satellite hardware and I maintain supplier
ratings and monitor their performance.”
Years at Boeing: 5
The impact of satellites: “The development of satellites has increased our communication capabilities across the globe, creating enhanced networks and changing the way we connect. Satellites
also have given us the opportunity to expand our scientific research and increase our space mission
accomplishments. They are vital in ensuring the success of our national security.”
Job title and description: Wideband Global Satcom Flight Ops Products Integrated Product Team
Lead for S&IS El Segundo in California. “Our team is responsible for the successful delivery of flight
products to the Boeing Mission Control Center and U.S. Air Force Customer Operations Center, including satellite databases, operations procedures, simulators and several other products needed to
launch and maintain the bus/platform portion of WGS satellites.”
Years at Boeing: 8
Helping Boeing be a satellite-technology leader: “Boeing’s satellite engineers are some of the
best in the industry and have a strong desire to develop cutting-edge technologies. The combination of my people, project management and engineering skills, as well as my commitment to team
member engagement, is my unique quality. Applying it ensures that we continue to have high-impact
teams whose value is far greater than the sum of their parts.”
Job title and description: Chief engineer for the GPS IIF Satellite Program. “I’m responsible for the
technical integrity of Global Positioning System satellites—ensuring they function correctly and meet
all mission requirements.”
Years at Boeing: 18
Proudest satellite moment: “My favorite satellite dream is one that motivates me every day: the
upcoming launch of the first GPS IIF satellite, where I stand with my team and watch our vehicle
head to space and we revel in the satisfaction of transforming an idea into a reality.”
20 APRIL 2008
—Debby Arkell
Bob Ferguson photos
A proud founding father
Harold Rosen, Syncom’s inventor, discusses the
past, future of satellites
recently talked to Harold Rosen on the telephone—a long-distance call made possible
because of his initiative. Literally. Not because he chose to pick up the phone and dial,
but because he is the inventor of geosynchronous communications satellites—the satellite
systems we use today to communicate and
transmit data around the world instantly.
Syncom, the world’s first geostationary communications satellite, was borne of Rosen’s
ingenuity. Launched in 1963 when Rosen was
an employee of Hughes Aircraft Company (now
part of Boeing), it enabled the first overseas
phone call between heads of state and brought
TV programming to the United States from the
other side of the planet.
His soft-spoken, unassuming voice belies
decades of technological innovation and
know-how that many of us likely will never
understand. Rosen retired in 1993 and currently
consults with Boeing on new satellite designs
and to lend his expertise in problem investigation. Following is an excerpt from my conversation with Rosen.
the project: getting the company to support the
idea by funding a prototype and generating
national support for its launch and service. Upper management was cautious, so the project
did not initially receive the support needed to
develop and demonstrate a satellite prototype.
(Former Hughes executive) John Rubel is the
one that really made things happen. He was
the one who worked behind the scenes in
Washington, D.C., with both the Department
of Defense and NASA personnel to get us the
external support we needed.
Q: What’s your proudest moment in your
Hughes/Boeing career?
Q: Did you have any idea how your invention
would change the world?
A: I see the pace of satellite innovation slowing
down. I believe there’s a limit to what we can
do and there’s definitely a limit on the bandwidth and orbit slots available to us. The hot
new area is the Internet. That technology hasn’t
even reached its adolescence, whereas satellite
technology is much more mature.
A: I’m not surprised how important satellites
have become to our lives today. Early Bird, the
first commercial satellite, derived from Syncom,
was a gigantic leap forward. That satellite had
the capacity of all communications cables that
had been laid to date. Technology has increased
rapidly since then, and there’s been a cumulative effect.
A: When I viewed the first broadcast of the
opening ceremonies of the 1964 Summer
Olympics [which was] in Tokyo—the first
continuous transoceanic television broadcast. I
was at the NBC studios in Burbank (Calif.) when
I saw the programming, broadcast via satellite.
At the end of such a struggle it was a moment
where I was really proud.
Q: What might the future have in store?
Q: What was the genesis of the first geosynchronous communication satellite?
A: The story of Syncom began at Hughes with
the cancellation of one of our department’s
biggest projects—an advanced radar for an interceptor that was being designed to counter a
fleet of high-speed Soviet bombers—and with
the launch of Sputnik, the world’s first artificial
satellite. My department head challenged me
to find a new project that would capitalize on
some of our radar technology.
I conferred with two colleagues, and both independently suggested to me the new project be
a communication satellite. Both pointed out the
then-sad state of international communications.
Telephony was hard to schedule and expensive,
and transoceanic television was impossible.
This excited me. I began to learn all I could
about what appeared to be an important and
relevant field, and our work got under way.
Now retired, Harold Rosen continues
in an advisory role with Boeing. Behind
Rosen is a photo of him taken during
the 1960s, when he was displaying the
Syncom satellite prototype.
Bob Ferguson photo
Q: What was Syncom’s biggest challenge?
A: Once I was convinced we had a practical,
viable design, the biggest challenge was to get
the internal and external support we needed for
APRIL 2008 21
—Debby Arkell
FOD for thought
Boeing comes together to help eliminate debris in airplanes
By Mary Jo Becker
ne stray washer, one unaccounted
wrench, one snippet of errant wire. How
best to attack these otherwise innocent
items—known as Foreign Object Debris—
that, once lost in an aircraft, can pose a danger to pilots, passengers and employees?
One team of FOD fighters from across
Boeing has been working the past year to raise
awareness and strengthen a personal sense of
responsibility among employees for preventing FOD. The outcome of the team’s efforts includes a Web site of shared resources and a
15-minute online training program. A traveling FOD exhibit is well into a year-long tour
organizers hope will draw 25,000 employee
viewers at multiple Commercial Airplanes and
Integrated Defense Systems sites.
And all it took to get started was a conversation between the FOD best practice representatives from Boeing’s two main business
units—and an open spirit of collaboration to
improve FOD prevention across the company.
“The value came when we agreed to work
together on something common,” said Kim
Brumble, FOD exhibit integration manager for
BCA. “And though it seemed that might be difficult to do, once we got together, it worked
like magic.”
Brumble and Maryfrances Wolf, IDSexecutive sponsor of the FOD exhibit, organized a
FOD summit in early 2007 in Everett, Wash.,
to bring together FOD focals from across
the company. Grouped into small teams, the
50 attendees focused on four themes:
performance, culture, accountability and
knowledge. These “table teams,” as they
were known, met each day of the week-long
summit, examining various site processes and approaches, brainstorming ideas
and summarizing their discussions, which
22 APRIL 2008
were further distilled into common FODprevention messages.
The traveling exhibit features 3-foot-by6-foot (91-centimeter-by-183-centimeter)
panels showing BCA and IDS products and
employees, and also features videos and brochures exploring each of the four themes. In
addition, real-life examples, such as an engine
damaged by loose parts and a tire pierced
by a nail, bring home the dangers of FOD.
The exhibit’s overarching theme is one FOD
focals believe employees will remember: “I
Can Make It Happen.”
“That theme of personal responsibility is
critical and underlies all FOD prevention,” Wolf
said. “We wanted anyone who saw the exhibit
to walk away and know what they individually
could do within the next eight hours to make
the FOD situation better.”
FOD prevention efforts traditionally include
such practices as “FOD walks” and sweeps,
tool control programs and a clean-as-you-go
‘Like a chewed-up ear
of corn’
Here’s another tale of how Foreign Object
Debris can create tremendous damage.
Dave Desmond, chief test pilot in St. Louis,
recalled an incident about 10 years ago when
one of the two engines on the fighter he
was flying experienced a massive, flaming
compressor stall. He landed safely, but the
engine, destroyed by a stray piece of metal
that ricocheted across the blades, “looked
like an ear of corn after someone has chewed
off the kernels.”
Jorge Sanchez, a Commercial Airplanes Flight Test technician,
examines the damage that can be caused by just one loose part.
This GE engine, destroyed in 2001 by a test instrument ingested
during an on-ground test, will travel with a Foreign Object Debris
prevention exhibit this year as a reminder to secure all parts and
Jim Coley photo
emphasis in work areas so no stray trash or
work materials are left behind. But such approaches can fall victim to a pattern of cyclical attention: When a serious incident occurs,
the attention rises; once it’s addressed, interest can wane.
With a common approach, maintained
awareness campaign and ongoing networking, “we want to level off that cycle,” said Dan
Swanburg, FOD exhibit process integration for
BCA. “It should never drop off our collective
radar screen.”
Next summit approaching
To that end, FOD focals attending the next
summit—which takes place this month in
Huntington Beach, Calif.—will break into table teams once again and delve into new topics, Swanburg said. These include policies and
practices, metrics, systems, and tool services
and controls. Focals will once again review
how these are approached at various sites
and programs and make recommendations
for commonality.
In preparation for that next step, IDS FOD
focals will eliminate 36 different site procedures with the release of one common IDS
FOD and tool control procedure, PRO-6865,
said Mike Stevenson, St. Louis FOD focal.
“Being part of this effort has been really
rewarding,” Stevenson said. He estimated
that 600 employees viewed the exhibit when
it came to St. Louis. “We had lots of good
feedback and some we didn’t expect—for instance, people in some areas weren’t aware
of their metrics related to FOD.”
Stevenson placed a sign-up sheet by the
exhibit for viewers to note any current FOD
concerns or issues—another measure to
make the exhibit relevant to employees. Each
item listed is being followed up for resolution.
In Wichita, Kan., John Mull, tool control and
ground safety FOD focal at the site, incorporated items in the exhibit that employees had
picked up on a FOD walk, including bits of
concrete and metal.
“By adding a personal touch to the training
we do regularly, the exhibit will really help to
drive a culture where FOD awareness, prevention and ownership are part of everyday life at
Boeing,” Mull said.
Employees in St. Louis and Wichita also
shared suggestions to improve the exhibit.
One recommended an interactive display that
would challenge employees to find the FOD in
a work setting. Another suggested that adding more examples of FOD found inside aircraft would help drive home the message that
“As operators, we are always concerned about
potential damage or even catastrophic loss of
an aircraft because of FOD,” said Desmond.
“But there’s been a long and arduous effort to
make people very conscious of foreign object
damage. All of us in Flight Operations are
extremely grateful for the many people working
on and around our aircraft who make FOD
control an integral part of their jobs.”
—Mary Jo Becker
For more information
To learn more about the enterprisewide effort
to eliminate Foreign Object Debris, visit the new
FOD Control Web site on the Boeing intranet at
Among this site’s features is an itinerary of the
traveling FOD exhibit. Look for the Events tab
in the left column, which links to the current
exhibit schedule. In addition to visiting various
Boeing work sites, the exhibit will be at the
Spring 2008 Lean+ Conference in St. Louis
on May 7-9.
FOD poses real danger. The FOD focal team is
reviewing such input for future modifications
to the exhibit.
“There is an intense effort among the
team to make the exhibit relevant, interesting
and real,” said Dan Jerome, BCA Fabrication’s
Integrated Aerostructures FOD focal in Auburn,
Wash., and Auburn host for the exhibit.
“FOD isn’t the most exciting concept to think
about when we come to work every day. But it
becomes pretty exciting when you’re flying at
35,000 feet and 550 miles per hour with your
family. In the end, our single focus on FOD prevention is critical in providing our customers
with a safe aircraft and preserving Boeing’s
reputation of integrity.” n
APRIL 2008 23
[email protected]
Commercial Airplanes BOEING FRONTIERS
What’s that
BCA Airplane Programs
Finance team gets Lean
By Patrick Summers
n Airplane Programs Finance, they call it the “buzz.”
They’re referring to the energy generated by a network of Lean focals, facilitators and employees that’s fueled impressive progress in
eliminating waste and creating new resource capacity. Much of the capacity has come in small increments, minutes and hours at a time.
Airplane Programs Finance has sponsored more than 360 Lean projects in the past year, engaging 800 people throughout the organization.
This work supports the companywide Lean+ and Internal Services Productivity growth and productivity initiatives.
“We won’t wait for the perfect plan, but just start trying and practicing
at a local level,” said Lean Coordinator Linda Clarke. “We work small projects that are meaningful to the individual.” Under the leadership of Vice
President Jerry Allyne, Airplane Programs Finance accelerated implementation of Lean principles and practices with a strategy that emphasizes
• Clear and continuing commitment from Allyne, his leadership team
and managers.
• Grassroots engagement in Lean projects: employees and teams
from all Commercial Airplanes business units, with active participation, teaching and assistance from Allyne and the leaders and
• Ongoing support from a network of internally developed Finance
Lean resources that provides the training, tools and coordination
needed for successfully creating a Lean culture.
For Allyne, leading by example is critical in driving and determining a
Lean journey’s success.
“This is something you cannot delegate,” he said. “Leaders make a
personal investment and spend time on what they think is important. I
spend at least one-third of my time leading and participating in work-
Airplane Programs Finance Vice President Jerry Allyne (left) and Manager Lonn Sipes review operational metrics on a factory-floor visibility
board in Auburn, Wash. The visibility boards are part of a Lean Management System pilot project.
Will Wantz photo
24 APRIL 2008
Commercial Airplanes BOEING FRONTIERS
Here’s a look at some of the many Airplane Programs Finance
Lean successes.
was the development of a weekly “box score” to measure the 737
EBU’s operational, capacity and financial performance. Similar box
scores are now in use in Everett Propulsion’s four production value
• Supplier Management Finance is tackling 30 years’ worth of accumulated, cumbersome processes and systems in designing a
leaner Procurement Board to significantly increase the efficiency
of transactions with Boeing suppliers. The team is implementing
targeted improvements in phases. These changes are expected to
cut procurement-approval flow times from the current 180 days to 50.
Phase II of the project expects to take the number of required management signatures from 30 to less than six for most transactions.
• The 747/767/777 programs are moving forward in developing common financial-planning processes that cut across organizational
boundaries to increase efficiency and reduce redundancy and waste.
Previously, each organization created its own products, such as revenue forecasts, cost performance reporting and advanced forecasting.
In a new, Leaner process, cross-organizational teams develop common products that use standard work across all three programs.
• Boeing Supplier Management and Finance assisted supplier TMX
Aerospace, which provides BCA Fabrication and many suppliers with
aluminum and titanium, in the design of a more efficient process for
receiving and acknowledging orders. A Value Stream Mapping workshop
identified more than 50 process improvements that will cut the flow time
of several targeted processes by up to 90 percent.
• In BCA Fabrication, collaboration between Electrical Systems
Responsibility Center Finance and supply-chain business analysts is
eliminating defects, ensuring accuracy and streamlining the Material
Forecasting process. A major benefit has been a dramatic reduction in
the time needed to identify and investigate deviations from the plan.
• A Lean Accounting pilot project in Propulsion Systems’ Renton,
Wash., 737 engine build-up (EBU) value stream made the transition
to a sustaining process and was replicated in the Everett (Wash.)
Propulsion value stream. One of the project’s key accomplishments
shops, meeting with teams, visiting projects and developing strategy.”
The leadership team articulates the Lean vision and mission, encourages open dialogue with managers and staff, and takes part in Lean activities in every business unit. In 2008, 100 BCA finance managers will
complete Lean 201—part of the training in Lean fundamentals offered
by the Lean Enterprise Office. They’ve also developed Lean plans.
An important driver in the Lean plan’s progress is the Lean coordinator, who works closely with Allyne to help shape strategy and provides
critical visibility for projects across the organization. The coordinator
keeps segments of the Lean network connected and running smoothly.
The network has expanded its resources to include 66 focals, each
leading local Lean teams; 35 facilitators in different stages of certification to lead Lean workshops; and tools and activities, such as
Lean assessments, visibility tools, “Go, See and Learns,” and
workshop support.
“A lot of times people don’t realize how good they are and can be,”
said Carl Mason, a manager in the Lean Enterprise Office. “Empowering
people at the grassroots level like Jerry is doing can make a big, longterm difference.”
Airplane Programs Finance will continue with grassroots Lean implementation in 2008 while beginning to align projects for larger crossorganizational solutions. Each director, manager and business unit has
developed a 2008 Lean plan. Next steps also include fully integrating
Lean goals into performance evaluations and mentoring other leaders to
help Allyne articulate and implement the Lean vision.
“This is the tip of the iceberg. We’re just getting going,” Allyne said.
“We have a tendency to drive too quickly for results. We need to nurture
the grassroots engagement. My experience has been if we keep doing
the right thing and trust the process, results will come.” n
—Patrick Summers
Here’s a look at the Lean achievements of the Airplane Programs Finance
team of Commercial Airplanes.
Approximate number of Lean projects in work or completed
Number of employees engaged in Lean activity
Number of hours of capacity created—much of it
coming in small amounts
[email protected]
APRIL 2008 25
Commercial Airplanes BOEING FRONTIERS
28 APRIL 2008
Commercial Airplanes BOEING FRONTIERS
By Dan Ivanis
t’s difficult to say exactly what Leonard
White, Steve Bowman, Don Smith and Lou
Forbush were doing when Boeing delivered
its 1,400th 747 to AirBridgeCargo Airlines on a
sunny morning in late February.
Likely as not, each of them was working
on the 1,401st 747. Or the 1,402nd. Or planning for the 1,450th. That’s what they do: They
work on 747s. And it’s what they’ve been doing since before the first 747 rolled out of the
Everett, Wash., factory on Sept. 30, 1968.
White, a senior quality manager, Bowman,
a quality manager, Smith, a production manager, and Forbush, a quality inspector, have
White, Bowman, Smith and Forbush are
part of that foundation. They were all working on the 747 even before construction of the
Everett, Wash., factory was completed.
“The thing I remember most is how cold
it was because the walls weren’t finished,”
Bowman said. “We came in wearing coats
and long johns, and we were crawling inside
the wings. We were working 12 hours a day,
seven days a week. There were people who
would just sleep here at night and then go
back to work in the morning.”
Smith began his Boeing career in Renton,
Wash., on the 727 program. He joined the
747 team as an interior mechanic in final assembly. “We basically helped the engineers de-
ployee engagement,” White said. “Even now,
we have some really good initiatives going on
in 747, and we’re probably getting further into
Lean than I’ve seen us go before.”
While Forbush plans to retire later this year
or in early 2009, the other three men plan to
still be working on 747s when the airplane’s
next chapter—the 747-8—makes its way
through the factory for rollout, first flight and
first delivery in 2009. The Volga-Dnepr Group,
the customer for the 1,400th 747, has five
747-8 freighters on order.
“It’s been a good journey,” White said.
“I’m very glad to be on the 747. We’re still
on top and I think the 747-8 is going to help
keep us there.”
and counting
The 747—and four of its original teammates—are still going strong
taken diverse paths over the years. All of them
are a bit surprised to still be working on the
747 program 1,400 planes later.
“I remember going to change board meetings when we were working on planes in the
300s,” White said. “I’d ask about implementing a process change, and they’d tell me that
we weren’t going to build enough of these to
make the change worthwhile.”
The 1,400th airplane was a 747-400
Extended Range Freighter being leased to
AirBridgeCargo Airlines, a subsidiary of the
Volga-Dnepr Group, by GE Commercial Aviation
Services. It’s the seventh 747 freighter in
the AirBridgeCargo Airlines fleet, joining five
747-200/300 Freighters and a 747-400ERF.
“This milestone speaks to the strong
foundation laid at the very beginning of the
747 program,” said Ross R. Bogue, vice president and general manager, 747 program and
Everett site.
Lou Forbush (from left), Steve Bowman,
Leonard White and Don Smith all worked
on the first 747—and are part of the program after 1,400 planes.
Will Wantz photo
sign the plane,” he said. “They had the ideas,
but they hadn’t done all the final drawings.
We were experimenting and building our own
parts as we went. It was quite a bit of fun.”
Forbush started working for Boeing on the
707 program and joined the 747 program in
1967. He’s left Boeing—by choice or layoff—
and returned five or six times before staying
permanently since 1985. “I just think working
on the largest airplane in the fleet and in the
largest building in the world is exhilarating,”
he said.
White keeps a photo close at hand that
shows him among a “tiger team” of tool fabricators who followed the first 747 through the
factory and worked issues as it went along.
He’s spent about half of his 42-plus Boeing
years on the 747, including the last three as
the senior quality manager for the program.
“When I came back to the program in
2005, it was like coming back to work with an
old friend,” he said.
White has witnessed first-hand the improvements made in the plane and the way it
is assembled.
“Productivity and safety have dramatically
improved with programs like Lean and em-
“I’m really looking forward to the 747-8
and I wouldn’t miss the first flight for anything,” Bowman said. “I’ve been on several
working-together transition teams trying to
get everyone up to speed. New tools, new designs … it’s like starting over again in some
And who would know better than four men
who were there at the beginning. n
APRIL 2008 29
[email protected]
Integrated Defense Systems BOEING FRONTIERS
that go
Boeing helps attract the next
generation of space engineers
By Ed Memi
ollege grads often say they want to go
places with their career. Then, there are
those who don’t want to go just any
place: They want to go to the moon! Or at
least, be a part of the industry and organizations that will one day return us there.
To inspire students who might be leaning that way, Boeing recently hosted
241 Denver-area college students at the
College students at the recent Third Space Exploration Conference examine a prototype Moon rover developed by the Field Robotics Center
at Carnegie Mellon’s Robotics Institute.
Third Space Exploration Conference. Besides
talking with industry and NASA engineers,
the students toured exhibits and listened to
a panel discussion on students’ opportunities
in various sectors such as the U.S. Air Force,
Boeing, NASA and Orion Propulsion. Orion Propulsion is teaming with Boeing on the upper
stage of the Ares I rocket, which will put astronauts on a journey to the moon.
David Berman (University of Colorado) said
he was inspired by Orion Propulsion’s presi-
Thinking about space
Boeing recently hosted more than 240 Denver-area college students interested in a career in engineering at the Third Space Exploration Conference. Here’s what some of the attendees said about
mankind returning to the moon and Boeing’s part in this mission.
“Boeing had a much bigger role than I realized. They are doing some really cool stuff. This was a
great way to hear what’s going on in the aerospace field.”
—Christopher Welch, Colorado School of Mines
“Sending astronauts back to the moon and then to Mars is one of the biggest challenges we face.
The technology to place an astronaut on Mars doesn’t exist, so it would be an incredible achievement. A moon and Mars landing would inspire the next generation as Apollo inspired the last.”
—Brian Dreiling, Colorado School of Mines
“I learned that Boeing has a significant focus on human space ventures for NASA and a willingness
to develop young aerospace engineers and connect them with industry.”
—Carl R. Seubert, University of Colorado at Boulder
“Boeing plays a critical role in NASA’s endeavor to return to the moon and to travel to Mars. I learned
the company’s role in space is to provide new and more capable launch vehicles that further the
United States’ ability to loft both man and machine into space.”
—Kevin Nastas, U.S. Air Force Academy
30 APRIL 2008
dent, Tim Pickens. “As a kid, he built rocket
bikes and trucks. Now, he’s the president of
an aerospace company! He filled me with enthusiasm that this line of work can be innovative and fun.”
Boeing Space Exploration engineer Melissa
Preble, who helped organize the events, said:
“Our goal was to show young engineers that
there is a future in space exploration, and they
can be a part of it.”
The space industry, along with the rest of
the aerospace industry, is facing a shortage
of engineers. Last year, the United States produced more undergraduates in sports exercise than in electrical engineering, and about
a third of students who enter college to study
engineering switched majors. NASA administrator Mike Griffin cited these sobering statistics in a speech in January.
Preble said, “Too often we sit and talk
about the need to inspire the next generation
of leaders. But what we actually do to encourage young people will define companies like
Boeing as we compete for a shrinking pool of
engineers. Providing opportunities like this for
young professionals and college students is a
good start.”
Boeing’s Space Exploration division plans
to host a similar event at the International
Space Development Conference in May in
Washington, D.C. n
[email protected]
Integrated Defense Systems BOEING FRONTIERS
Plain and
Old-school process spurs
team toward delivery of
Japan’s 1st refueling tankers
By Felix Sanchez
Japan’s first KC-767 Tanker arrives in Gifu, Japan, after a 12-hour
flight from Integrated Defense Systems facilities in Wichita, Kan.
he clock was ticking. Pressure was mounting. The KC-767 tanker
team faced a mid-February deadline for delivering Japan’s firstever aerial refueling tanker. “Miles” of Excel spreadsheets outlined
myriad critical tasks to solve lingering problems on the program.
But spreadsheets weren’t getting the job done. Team members
needed to visualize the enormity of the situation and feel individual ownership and responsibility for the challenge.
So Cliff Hall, International Tanker program director, and his leadership team went “old school.” They developed a “war room” in Wichita,
Kan. There, they plastered a wall with color-coded Post-it notes—each
listing a specific task that remained to be done on Japan One as well as
the name of the person assigned to the task. On another wall, labeled
“Help Needed,” team members posted requests for any and all aid they
needed to accomplish their mission for the day or week.
“It worked,” Hall said. “It’s one thing to see an unfinished task coldly
noted on a spreadsheet, but when it’s written on a note stuck on the wall
for all to see—and the name of the person who’s responsible for seeing
that task completed is on the note as well—something clicks.”
“It was definitely not high-tech, but the visualization it provided really
spurred the team,” added Randy Eno, Japan program aircraft delivery
team leader. “Visually, it kept everyone on the same page.”
For weeks, team members packed the war room for daily meetings.
As a job was finished or a problem fixed, corresponding Post-it notes
were peeled off the wall and sent to the “graveyard of retired tasks.”
“Again, it was an effective measurement tool, because the team
could instantly visualize progress,” Hall said. “It was such an incredibly
simple process for an incredibly daunting task, and there was certainly
some initial skepticism about it. Who would think Post-it notes on a wall
could create such a dynamic forum?”
Boeing photo
The results spoke for themselves. In mid-February, Boeing completed Federal Aviation Administration certification requirements for Japan’s
KC-767 Tanker, receiving the FAA stamp of approval in the form of a
Supplemental Type Certificate.
That cleared the way for Japan to receive its first two of four
KC-767s. Japan One was ferried and delivered to the Japan Air SelfDefense Force in late February. Japan Two was ferried on March 3.
Following the delivery, Hall said, “The team was walking this high off
the ground, an indication of how well we work as a team when we’re
all synced up.”
And what of those scores and scores of Post-it notes in the “graveyard of retired tasks?”
“Who knows?” Eno quipped. “Maybe we’ll have a celebration and
shred ’em.” n
[email protected]
About Japan’s tankers
Japan has ordered four convertible freighter 767s, providing the Japan Air
Self-Defense Force the flexibility to carry cargo or passengers while maintaining its primary role as an aerial refueling tanker. The aircraft features
Boeing’s advanced aerial refueling boom and Remote Aerial Refueling
Operator II system. Additionally, Boeing is building four tankers for Italy
with delivery of the first two aircraft planned for this year. The KC-767 also
was Boeing’s offering in the U.S. Air Force’s KC-X competition for its nextgeneration tanker aircraft. Since the 1930s, Boeing has built and delivered
more than 2,000 tankers that feature the world’s most advanced aerial
refueling method with the highest fuel-transfer rate available.
APRIL 2008 31
Integrated Defense Systems BOEING FRONTIERS
An SBInet sensor tower stands in the Arizona desert near
the U.S.-Mexico border. The SBInet program, part of the
U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Secure Border
Initiative, transitioned last year from IDS’ Advanced Systems
organization to its Network & Space Systems business unit.
32 APRIL 2008
Integrated Defense Systems BOEING FRONTIERS
Always on
the lookout
SBInet is new market for network integration
By Eric Mazzacone
a.m.: A U.S. Border Patrol agent peers into the dark, open expanse
of the Arizona desert along the United States–Mexico border. On
nights like this, when the moon is just a sliver in the sky and shadows play tricks on the eyes, it’s difficult, if not impossible, to visually detect everyone crossing the border illegally. But the agent doesn’t have to
rely on his eyes alone. He also has SBInet, a system developed by Boeing
that’s brought advanced security technology to 28 miles (45 kilometers)
of the Border Patrol’s Tucson Sector, known as Project 28 (P28).
2:07 a.m.: Radar atop an SBInet tower detects a group of individuals illegally entering the United States on foot. As the group crosses
the border, an alarm sounds at a nearby Border Patrol communications center. There, a Sector Enforcement Specialist quickly uses Global
Positioning System technology to determine the location of the activity.
Next, the specialist implements SBInet’s long-range video camera to
pan to the location of the crossing. The camera’s infrared technology
identifies 23 distinct individuals—three of them armed. Location coordinates and other essential information are transmitted via securewireless network to the nearest Border Patrol agents in their vehicles.
The agents take control of the SBInet tower cameras, which provide
imagery of the border crossers, plus topographical information and the
location of other law enforcement assets in the area.
2:20 a.m.: Three Border Patrol agents move in to interdict and apprehend the 23 border crossers within yards of a roadway they could have
used to escape more rapidly. During processing, the three armed men
are determined to be members of MS-13—one of the most dangerous
organized-crime organizations in the world.
Although this particular scenario is hypothetical—Customs and
Border Protection (CBP) does not release specific details of Border Patrol
operations—the potential for a similar scenario is very real. The SBInet
system deployed in the P28 area of the United States–Mexico border
is a force multiplier for agents in that area. During operational testing
between September 2007 and February 2008, the system—for which
Boeing is the prime contractor—helped Border Patrol agents apprehend
more than 2,000 people crossing illegally.
“SBInet is a core technology component of 21st century border security,” said Jack Chenevey, Boeing SBInet program manager. “It not
only will allow our customers to execute their mission more effectively,
but also help them identify the safety risks they’re facing so they can
respond with the right number of personnel.”
A network-enabled solution
In February, after experiencing and overcoming integration challenges,
Boeing’s P28 proof-of-concept demonstration of the SBInet security solution—which networks cameras, radars and communications—was
accepted by CBP. Developed as a proof-of-concept of Boeing’s overall
SBInet technology solution, P28 serves as an operational test bed for
field integration of hardware and software technology.
“Last year, Border Patrol apprehended more than 800,000 illegal immigrants. But still, others successfully eluded apprehension,” Chenevey
said. “By providing CBP personnel with a real-time picture of what and
where things are happening on the border, they will be better equipped
to plan law-enforcement activities and respond with the most appropriate level of support needed to safely and rapidly deal with illegal
border crossers.”
SBInet’s real-time situational awareness backbone rests on
the Command, Control, Communications and Intelligence Common
Operating Picture (C3I COP) missions system being developed in
Boeing’s Rapid Application Development facility in Crystal City, Va. The
C3I COP platform will increase situational awareness and safety.
“The COP provides a bird’s-eye view to CBP personnel by presenting sensor and global positioning data to the operators relative to their
current locations so that they can actually see what’s happening in realtime from their vehicles,” Chenevey said. Knowing the location of both
suspected illegal border crossers and other CBP personnel is an important safety factor. Getting this capability to the operators in the field
provides them with a new level of insight they can use to plan their responses more efficiently and effectively.
Related story
How IDS’ Advanced Systems organization played a role
in the development of SBInet. Page 35
APRIL 2008 33
Integrated Defense Systems BOEING FRONTIERS
The right tools for the job
SBInet eventually will encompass the
northern and southern U.S. land borders and
the Great Lakes. To respond to the borders’
wide variety of terrain and weather conditions,
Boeing employs a flexible “toolbox” approach
that allows CBP to customize law-enforcement
tactics with regional conditions in mind.
To ensure that Boeing’s border-security
toolbox contains all necessary components,
Boeing Supplier Management personnel are
working overtime to review proposals from
technology companies. Strategic Development
is also expanding its efforts to review nextgeneration technology that is about to come to
the level of full-scale deployment.
Using data collected by SBInet technology,
CBP will accumulate statistics on detection,
identification, classification, response and apprehension to speed up the visibility of trends
and shifts in migration and adversary tactics, thus improving strategic and operational
“CBP law enforcement personnel face a
daunting task,” Chenevey added. “Boeing’s
goal is to make that task less overwhelming
by providing CBP every advantage possible
to predict, detect, identify and classify the illegal entry of people and contraband across
U.S. land borders and the Great Lakes.” n
[email protected]
Members of the SBInet team bolt a sensor payload mounting bracket to the top of an SBInet
surveillance tower near Tucson, Ariz. In February, U.S. Customs and Border Protection
accepted the demonstration of the SBInet security solution.
SBInet: A Boeing enterprisewide product
Homeland security is a complex and critical initiative that requires
advanced and comprehensive solutions. Boeing’s intellectual capital and
hands-on systems-integration experience have positioned the company to
provide effective solutions in this crucial market.
Employees from Corporate Offices, Phantom Works, and Integrated
Defense Systems’ Network & Space Systems and Advanced Systems organizations contributed to SBInet, which achieved full customer acceptance
of the program’s P28 demonstration task order in February.
Today Boeing is managing a high-visibility homeland security program. As
the prime contractor for SBInet, Boeing is delivering real-time visibility and
situational awareness to improve border security.
“The progress made to date on SBInet would not have been possible
without the diversity in employee thought, skills and experiences available
at Boeing,” Oswald said.
“Real-time information sharing is the crux of successful operations for
many of our customers,” said Steve Oswald, Boeing vice president and
general manager, Intelligence & Security Systems. “Boeing’s venture into
the border security market made sense not only from a business perspective but from a capabilities perspective as well.”
Oswald also lauded the IDS start-up support team established for SBInet.
“This team brought experts from across the enterprise to SBInet for the
sole purpose of getting the program on track and helping to build and
maintain momentum,” he said.
The capabilities that have made SBInet a reality as a border-security
force multiplier in the program’s Project-28 (P28) area of operations near
Sasabe, Ariz., were the result of extensive enterprisewide collaboration.
“Developing complex systems in separate ‘stovepipe’ organizations doesn’t
work well,” Oswald said. “Success requires bringing the right people with
the right skill sets and resources to bear to create the net-centric environments our customers need to accomplish their missions.”
34 APRIL 2008
Boeing SBInet Program Manager Jack Chenevey added: “When you’re facing a complex problem with an aggressive deadline, as we did on SBInet,
you have to work smart. The start-up support team brought expertise to
the program’s strategic operations and direction, which helped the rest of
the program team focus on delivery.”
—Eric Mazzacone
Integrated Defense Systems BOEING FRONTIERS
Pass the baton
Engineers Lowell Cook (left) and Trevor Batts, working in the SBInet test lab in Huntsville, Ala.,
moved with the SBInet program when it transitioned from IDS’ Advanced Systems organization.
Eric Shindelbower photo
For Advanced Systems, execution of programs is as critical as development
By Marc Sklar
hink about relay racing, where triumph
comes from not just speed, but also precise timing, coordination and teamwork.
A botched baton handoff likely means failure
as competitors pounce on the opportunity.
Relay racing is a good analogy for how the
Advanced Systems organization of Integrated
Defense Systems operates. It’s responsible
for capturing new business opportunities and
transitioning technologies for IDS. Yet Advanced
Systems “passes the baton” to not merely
one person. Instead, these program transitions can involve thousands of employees,
multiple Boeing sites, suppliers, partners and
customers—all running at a full sprint at the
“Developing capabilities that meet our
customer’s requirements and are ready for
flawless execution by the businesses is what
Advanced Systems is all about,” said Darryl
Davis, Advanced Systems, president. “If we
don’t excel at both, we won’t succeed.”
SBInet—a part of the U.S. Customs and
Border Protection’s Secure Border Initiative
to secure U.S. borders—is an example of
a smoothly transitioned program. In August
2007, the program moved from Advanced
Systems Integrated Defense & Security
Solutions (IDSS) to the IDS Network &
Space Systems (N&SS) business unit. The
U.S. Department of Homeland Security awarded the technology component of SBInet to
Advanced Systems in September 2006.
Bidding for SBInet took place in a very
short time frame. But even while pulling together a best-of-industry team focused on
providing the best offer for the customer, the
Advanced Systems team also looked at how
the program would run when it ultimately
transferred to N&SS.
Focusing on the immediate requirement for
a successful bid package was not enough for
the proposal team. They had to map out how
the program would move through initial development and become a successful ongoing
program when they handed over the reins to
an IDS business unit. That meant coordination
across all functions as they prepared the offer.
“One of the most critical keys to a smooth
transition is early planning that begins well
ahead of any actual moves,” said Dan Korte,
former SBInet vice president and program
manager (he’s now vice president and general manager, Global Strike Systems). “It was
critical for both the program and the receiving
business unit (N&SS) to develop a joint transition road map.”
As the move drew closer, functions such as
Human Resources and Communications had
to remain flexible and closely involved in the
process. Kitty Bokoles, who led the HR component of the transition for Advanced Systems,
said ensuring that Human Resources received
up-to-date information from the program office was a challenge because of the fastpaced nature of the program.
“I met face-to-face with the gaining HR
team over three days. We listed relevant tasks/
activities that needed to transition and assigned them,” she said. “I remained involved
with the program even after program transition to ensure certain issues were resolved.”
While planning for the transition, it was
also important to keep program teammates
informed. “When employees joined SBInet, either through internal transfer or external hire,
they were informed that the program would
transition at some point in the future,” Bokoles
said. “I believe this helped the transition go
smoother when the change actually occurred.
Employees expected it and were OK with it.”
Also, strong communications kept employees informed on the changes. Along
with direct communications from managers,
Korte conducted a live meeting with employees in Crystal City, Va., the headquarters of the
SBInet program. The meeting was linked by
Virtual TeleConference and WebEx to other
sites across the United States.
All the preparation for the transition paid
off, said Lowell Cook, a lead project engineer
who’s been with SBInet since the proposal’s
start. “It was seamless,” Cook said. “The customer noticed the name change, but in day-today operations there was no impact at all.”
Along with the SBInet transition, Advanced
Systems has successfully transitioned certain
ScanEagle Unmanned Air Vehicle services and
the Tactical Handheld Digital Device to the IDS
business units and regularly moves advanced
technology into existing IDS systems. n
APRIL 2008 35
[email protected]
Integrated Defense Systems BOEING FRONTIERS
Thanks to a new radio frequency identification tag system,
Barbara Bunker, a material processor requirements facilitator,
saves about three minutes’ worth of keypunching—and countless
opportunities for error—per individual piece received. Here she
pulls up the information scanned from the tag and uses it to create a transit label for each piece.
Marian Lockhart photo
for the future
F-22 team drags RFID in
through the front door to
reduce cost and error
By Doug Cantwell
hen a batch of raw metal tubing destined for F-22 hydraulic and fuel systems comes into the Raptor Assembly
Center in Seattle, none of the receiving staff
has to jump up to greet it.
A sensor tower at the door has already detected and read a radio frequency identification (RFID) tag attached to the cart used by
local supplier Future Metals Inc. to transport
the batch. The tag provides all the information
needed to inventory the shipment and pulls up
the entire contents on the receiver’s personal
computer. This enables the receiver to print a
bar-coded transit tag for each piece, which
then follows it through the assembly process.
It may sound like basic, day-in-the-life stuff
for one small group within a massive global
aerospace firm. But since the RFID-based system became the default process three months
ago with the tube shop, the receiving team has
been saving approximately three minutes per
transaction. That adds up to 150 hours during
the fourth quarter of 2007—which, billed at
$75 an hour, totals $11,250 for the quarter, or
$45,000 a year.
This means the team will have recouped its investment in the RFID technology at the end of a single year, which is
exciting news to the F-22 finance people.
Perhaps more significant, however, is the
thousands of keystrokes the team saved,
eliminating a huge potential for human
error. It’s no surprise that Lean practitioners have taken a great interest in RFID’s
36 APRIL 2008
Granted, the RFID-based system might
not make sense for every receiving process
across Boeing, but it fits the F-22 tube shop’s
needs nicely. For one thing, Future Metals is a
major single-source supplier delivering product directly to the point-of-use. The company
precuts the tubing pieces to length in advance,
so that the tube shop doesn’t need to perform
additional cutting. All that stands between
delivery of the product and its final bending/
machining by the mechanics is the receiving
process, making it the only bottleneck in this
particular supply chain.
RFID tags consist of three parts: tag,
antenna and reader. Today’s tags contain a
microchip—about the size of a piece of
glitter—that can store up to 10,000 bits of
information, far more than the 256-bit chips
currently in use as antitheft and inventory devices at retail stores.
Integrated Defense Systems BOEING FRONTIERS
The aviation industry also is studying passive, reader-activated tags. Since these do not
continuously emit signals, they do not interfere with an airplane’s avionics systems. Even
better, they can be read without having to dismantle bulkheads or panels and, depending
on the frequency, from as far away as 30 feet.
Ideas reused
Where did the tube-shop receiving crew
come up with the idea, and how did they get
it implemented? “We stole the theory shamelessly from the Auburn [Wash.] plant,” said
C.J. Bentley, Lean focal for the Operations
Supply Chain at Seattle’s Developmental
Center. “Then we put our own systems and
processes in place.”
Bentley explained how these things happen at Boeing. “You’re never a Lone Ranger
here,” he said. “Typically, by the time you
come up with an idea, 40,000 or 50,000 other
people have already thought of it.”
However, Bentley added, it’s not the originality of the idea or its magnitude, but what
you do with it. “Instead of thinking in terms of
one huge process improvement that will save
megabucks on a single program, we try to
pass along that small improvement you came
up with to a thousand other programs across
Boeing. The overall effect is still huge.”
Bentley and his team aren’t done yet. He
explained the Lean+ principle of continuous improvement: You don’t just introduce a
new process and leave it at that. You spend
time evaluating its effectiveness, debugging it,
streamlining it, polishing it.
“Any time you think you’re done, you’ve
failed,” said Bentley. “Continuous improvement is forever.”
How AIT came to Boeing
Jeff Geear, St. Louis-based program manager for Automatic Identification Technologies
within IDS, explained how the interest in
AIT arose at Boeing. Michael Wynne, currently Secretary of the Air Force but then
Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition,
Technology and Logistics, was frustrated at
the Department of Defense’s inability to accurately identify the capital equipment it owned,
where it was currently located, under which
contract it had been acquired, and so on.
“Secretary Wynne’s argument was that
data has to have integrity if it’s going to be actionable,” said Geear. More recently, LeAntha
Sumpter, Deputy Director of Program
Development and Implementation for
Defense Procurement and Acquisition
Policy, has observed that the Pentagon traditionally has done a poor job of making warranty claims, even though most equipment it
acquires comes with some sort of warranty.
The call went out for an inexpensive DoDwide identification system that would attach
instantly readable acquisition data to capital
equipment and not take years to implement.
In the course of devising a unique identification (UID) system for DoD, Boeing employees naturally considered possible applications inside the company. In so doing,
they faced a perennial challenge: Individual
programs tend to drive technology at Boeing,
which tends to “stovepipe” its application. “If
a program manager sees a cost-savings advantage to using RFID on a particular project,” said Geear, “he or she will likely think in
terms of ordering a single $2,000 scanner—
or maybe even a half-dozen of them—and
saying ‘OK, I’m on my way.’”
So it fell to Geear’s AIT group to begin
working across the company, finding ways
to get programs to collaborate, standardize
their needs, and leverage Boeing’s purchasing power on UID and RFID applications. They
realized that in order to make this work at the
enterprisewide level they’d need to write standards and start building an inclusive standards
library. Once they’d pulled this body of work
together, they achieved major cost avoidance
by specifying standard scanners and RFIDenabled printers and buying them in quantity.
Geear’s AIT organization has hosted several enterprisewide conferences to update
various Boeing sites on the current state of
AIT technology and its possible applications.
Most importantly, Geear added, attendees listen as implementation leaders, such as the
Developmental Center’s Bentley, describe their
lessons learned. “It’s not so much the presentations we put together as the networking opportunities these events provide that make the
difference,” Geear said.
To date, Geear has 45 potential use cases
for AIT on file. As of today, 15 of these have
proven themselves cost-effective. Of the remaining 30, a few have been dismissed but
most are still being evaluated. There has to be
a solid business case, Geear stressed, before
he’ll pursue a new application, but he invites
anyone who’d like to explore the possible
application of AIT to a Boeing process to
contact him. n
[email protected]
A Center of
Excellence for RFID
Ken Porad, Boeing associate technical fellow who heads the RFID Center of Excellence, uses a scanner to read passive RFID
tags affixed to parts in the landing-gear
wheel well of a Next-Generation 737-800.
Boeing photo
Ken Porad, associate technical fellow for Commercial Airplanes in Seattle who also heads
the new radio frequency identification Center
of Excellence, has been immersed in promoting and developing new applications of RFID
since Boeing began exploring the technology
a decade ago. He spends his time looking for
programs and processes—internal as well as
at customers and suppliers—for which RFID
could reduce cycle time or unit cost or defects.
While his optimism borders on the fanatical,
Porad is quick to qualify it. “We’re not looking
to insert RFID because it’s cool,” he said. “We
always start with a business problem to be
solved.” That can include a process inside the
company, a customer need, or a way to streamline the supply chain.
Porad believes the global application of RFID
is “set to explode,” with Boeing leading the
“We have all the standards in place,” Porad said.
His group has gained U.S. Federal Aviation Administration approval, which benchmarks RFID
as mature for commercial aviation use. They’ve
established to the U.S. Department of Defense’s
satisfaction that the technology is mature and
service-ready. Last but certainly not least,
they’re close to demonstrating that the Boeing
production system can accommodate RFID.
Next on the slate is an enterprisewide RFID
shipping label, which Porad’s team will unveil
this year. “Consider that in Puget Sound alone,
Boeing receives 50,000 parcels a day from 300
different carriers,” he said. “Add to that the
20,000 spare parts we ship each week from
the Seattle spares distribution center, and you
begin to get a sense of the magnitude” of the
— Doug Cantwell
APRIL 2008 37
Integrated Defense Systems BOEING FRONTIERS
An F/A-18F forward fuselage (in green) is moved from one station in the
Forward Fuselage Structure line to the next station. The aircraft are “pulsed,”
or moved, every six days at the current build rate of 42 aircraft a year.
Their specialized craft ensures tactical aircraft get built right
By K athy Cook
hey don’t build aircraft or create state-of-the-art weapons systems. Most people wouldn’t recognize the products they design.
They work primarily behind the scenes. But without them, the jet
fighters Boeing provides for its defense customers wouldn’t exist.
This St. Louis-based team of 95 engineers designs tools—not your
everyday variety that can be purchased off the shelf, but one-of-a-kind
and sometimes highly sophisticated tools used to build some of the fastest, most agile and aerodynamic vehicles in the world.
“Most people don’t realize the role tooling plays in almost all areas
of manufacturing, from the cars we drive to the clothes we wear to the
toys our kids play with,” said Gary Yenzer, a product integration engineering manager who oversees much of installation-tool engineering
for Boeing products such as the T-45 jet trainer and the F/A-18 and
F-15 jet fighters.
As one of his former supervisors used to say: “At Boeing, if it doesn’t
fly, it’s probably a tool.” In fact, in the factory where Yenzer works everything that’s not an airplane part is a tool. That includes not only drills,
screwdrivers, pliers and hammers, but also things like jigs—the frames
that hold parts in place as an aircraft is assembled.
Tool design, Yenzer said, is never static. “There’s always a need for
new or modified tooling,” he said. “Because of configuration changes
38 APRIL 2008
to the aircraft, efficiency improvements, ergonomics requirements, or
other human factors, we’re always working on something new. For instance, when the design for the F/A-18E/F forward fuselage changed,
we had to change with it. As the aircraft evolve, so must the tooling.”
Tool engineers are always looking for safer, easier and more-efficient
ways to build aircraft. Prior to the 1990s, the F/A-18E/F fuselage was
moved via crane across the factory floor from one tool station to another.
At the time, this was the best way—but it was a process that was cumbersome, time-consuming and inefficient, and it presented safety risks.
So in the ’90s the St. Louis team developed a “wagon wheel” jig that
could hold as many forward fuselages as there were “spokes” on the jig.
Then, instead of moving the fuselage to individual tool stations, workers
could bring their tool sets to the fuselage.
Tool engineers, incorporating Lean principles, later improved on
the wagon wheel when they designed a “pulse” production line. Highcompression air is used to lift air pads located under the fuselage and
frame it sits on—weighing as much as 7.5 tons—just a fraction of an
inch off the floor, enabling it to literally be “floated” across the factory
floor to the next work station when the production line pulses forward.
That means no more moving tools to the fuselage. Work now is underway to replicate a similar line for the F-15E Strike Eagle fighter.
One of the team’s more significant innovations was the replacement
of an existing, purchased F/A-18 splice tool—a fixture where the for-
Integrated Defense Systems BOEING FRONTIERS
ward and aft fuselage sections of the aircraft
are joined—with one the tool engineers designed themselves. The new tool is smaller,
freeing up 15,000 square feet (about 1,400
square meters) of space for other assembly
work. The tool also is now mobile, which allows splicing work to be performed anywhere
in the factory. As a result, other work can be
done simultaneously, such as attaching landing gear. The new splicing tool also reduced
from seven days to four days the time it takes
to perform the splice.
They have ‘structure’
in their lives
“Most people don’t realize the role tooling plays in
almost all areas of manufacturing, from the cars we drive
to the clothes we wear to the
toys our kids play with.”
“I’ve always been a hands-on person.
My dad was a mechanic and taught
me everything he knew. So being a
tool engineer is a good fit for me. Tool
engineering is engineering, but it’s a
lot more hands-on, a lot like tinkering,
which I love to do. You definitely have
to have keen mechanical abilities to do
this job. The design engineers tell us
how they want an airplane designed and we figure out how to build to that
design. We have the challenge of integrating everything—working with design
and manufacturing engineers, the people on the floor, everyone.”
– Gary Yenzer, product integration engineering
A recent tooling improvement on the
F/A-18 came from a High Performance Work
Organization (the Closure Rib Drilling Station)
in the wing structure area of the F/A-18 factory. (An HPWO is a group of coworkers who are
responsible for a common function or product,
share common goals and exercise self-determination in continuously improving the quality of their output and the efficiency of their
processes.) The result: a machine that drills
134 holes on the plane’s wing in the same
time it previously took two operators to handdrill the holes. The machine not only frees
up operators but also eliminates the need to
climb ladders while carrying drills weighing
20 pounds (9 kilograms)—a definite safety
and ergonomic benefit.
Besides provide tooling for Boeing’s tactical aircraft, the St. Louis team also works
on other Boeing platforms, including the
Italian and Japanese tankers in Wichita,
Kan., and parts of the 787 in Portland, Ore.
And the benefits of tool engineering go beyond Boeing. The engineers also design tooling for suppliers that make parts for Boeing
aircraft. “We either provide the specification
drawings to build the tooling, or we actually
design and build a master from which suppliers build their tools,” Yenzer said. n
[email protected]
Meet two teammates of the tool engineering team in St. Louis.
Chris Virgin
Experience: 1 year
Dave Brinkman
Experience: More than 40 years
“Prior to tool design I had a
boring job and was ready to quit.
That job was nearly 40 years
ago. Since then I’ve worked
in tool design and never been
bored again. The job has excitement, it’s stimulating and offers
unusual challenges. The comRON BOOKOUT PHOTO
pany’s come a long way in designing and building tools. We used to design tools using a drafting board and
mylar (a type of plastic paper), using two-dimensional line drawings. Today,
we use computers and deal in three-dimensional solid modeling. It used to be
that we were defined by the type of work we did, such as composite tooling,
assembly tooling, etc. Now, with Integrated Product Teams,
we’re defined by a type of airplane. It’s a whole different culture
but still as interesting as ever.”
APRIL 2008 39
Integrated Defense Systems BOEING FRONTIERS
Looking good
2 Puget Sound
IDS facilities to get
interior makeover
By Bill Seil
The 9-90 building at the Boeing Developmental Center in Seattle includes several videoconferencing centers. They are used by programs such as Future Combat Systems to
work virtually with colleagues across the U.S. and throughout the world.
40 APRIL 2008
hrough a $132 million refurbishment program, Boeing is modernizing the interiors
of Integrated Defense Systems facilities in
Kent, Wash., and at the Developmental Center
in Seattle. The idea is to create collaborative,
user-friendly work areas—in response to employee survey results—and support the company’s strategy for better asset utilization.
Kyle Duncan, IDS Puget Sound site director, said the new interior architecture gives the
office areas a feeling of openness, while work
space density is typical of other offices.
“It’s a more enticing environment with
better amenities,” Duncan said. “The goal is to
increase both comfort and productivity.”
Doyle Harmon, Future Combat Systems integrated scheduling specialist, considers the
new offices a big improvement. His cubicle,
located near large windows, is well-lit, with
adjustable furnishings and ample work space.
“Even in the winter when it’s a little gloomy
outside, the light coming in through the windows makes it a lot brighter than you’d get
from the overhead lighting,” Harmon said. “It’s
just great.”
The new design allows for quick restructuring to meet the needs of new tenants.
“We’re trying to get away from the idea that
when one program moves out, you have to go
in and redo the building for another group,”
said Tom Leonard, refurbishment program
manager for IDS facilities in Puget Sound.
“We want a design that is quickly adaptable to
changing needs and variations in the number
of occupants.”
This is done, in part, by placing small, medium and large rooms at strategic locations
around the floor. These rooms can be used as
conference rooms, enclosed offices, privacy
Integrated Defense Systems BOEING FRONTIERS
rooms, “huddle” rooms and storage areas.
Furniture is standardized so it can be used
wherever it is needed. Buildings also are being
designed with walled-in sections that can be
quickly sealed to create secure work areas.
In planning the refurbishment, project leaders solicited input from employees.
“We got teams together with the designers
and said, ‘OK, we’re going to take a little time
so you can tell us what you’d like to see in the
building,’” Leonard said. “‘You may not get everything you want, but you’ve got a chance to
give us input.’”
Some buildings at the Developmental
Center now are complete and in use, and special accommodations were added in response
to employee requests. For example, the 9-90
building now features showers and bicycle
racks for employees who bicycle to work. The
entire second-floor office area of the Developmental Center’s 9-101 building will be upgraded by 2013.
Over the next few years, three major office
buildings in Kent—buildings 18-05, 18-26 and
18-28—will be refurbished. Some older buildings are scheduled for demolition beginning
in 2010.
Leaders are studying ways for the Kent upgrades to be certified under the Leadership in
Energy and Environmental Design program,
sponsored by the U.S. Green Business Council.
A number of environmentally-friendly features
are being studied, including limited use of solar
energy and wind power.
The refurbishment program runs through
2013. n
Sites helped open
‘space age’
The lunar roving vehicle that U.S. astronauts
drove on the moon was designed, built and
test-driven at the Boeing Space Center in Kent,
Around the same time, Boeing was designing
a Supersonic Transport at its Developmental
Center in Seattle, where a full-scale mock-up of
the airplane was on display. While this competitor to the Concorde was never built, the project
made headlines around the world.
Both locations—whose office facilities are
undergoing a major upgrade—have played
an important role in aerospace research and
development over the past four decades. They
were built in the late 1950s and early 1960s
when Boeing was preparing to participate in
several major programs, including the exploration of space.
“It was a period in the company’s history, and
throughout the industry as a whole, when
there was a tremendous focus on research and
development,” said Mike Lombardi, Boeing corporate historian. “It was a wonderfully exciting
time, which was best symbolized by the Apollo
landings on the moon.”
The Boeing Developmental Center was dedicated in March 1959 to the late William E.
Boeing, founder of the company. The center included multiple laboratories and test
facilities supporting such programs as the
Dyna-Soar space vehicle for the U.S. Air Force
and Minuteman, the United States’ first intercontinental ballistic missile. While Minuteman
became one of the company’s longest military
[email protected]
This photo, taken around 1970 at the Boeing
Space Center in Kent, Wash., shows a Boeing
team working on the Lunar Roving Vehicle for
the Apollo program.
Boeing Archives photo
contracts, Dyna-Soar was canceled in 1963,
before its first orbital flight.
Lombardi said the Developmental Center has
long maintained its character as a place where
new ideas come to life. Not only did teams
there design new products, they also built
The Boeing Space Center in Kent was dedicated
in October 1965 with NASA Administrator
James Webb as the featured speaker. In addition to creating advanced hardware, such as
the Lunar Roving Vehicle, teams there developed science and technology to support space
exploration. The site featured space-flight
simulators to develop rendezvous and docking
techniques astronauts would use.
Today, the Space Center and Developmental
Center play important roles in advanced programs such as Future Combat Systems.
Dig the new
—Bill Seil
Here are some features of the upgraded Developmental Center and Kent Space Center facilities.
• Cafes, lounges and informal discussion areas
• Wireless access and improved cell-phone reception
• Digital conference rooms with plasma screens and videoconference rooms
• Cubicles placed near windows; enclosed offices and common facilities located toward center
of building
• Copy machines, plotters and other equipment in enclosed areas to reduce noise
• Adjustable, ergonomic furnishings
• Clear or frosted cubicle screens, which allow light propagation while reducing noise
• Soothing colors and rounded features, to produce a relaxing, creative work environment
APRIL 2008 41
Martha Ries’ goal:
Create a competitive
edge for Boeing by
protecting, leveraging
its intellectual property
William Cole
he management of Boeing’s ocean of intellectual property might appear to be a
serious, often lawyerly, responsibility.
So it is, said Martha Ries, an attorney. But it
can also be exciting—and fun.
“One of my true joys lies in meeting Boeing
inventors,” said Ries, vice president of Boeing’s
Intellectual Property Management organization,
referring to the company’s employees who are
creating much of Boeing’s intellectual capital.
“It’s like meeting the brains and soul of Boeing.
You can see their enthusiasm. You can see their
As the head of Boeing’s Intellectual Property
Management organization, Martha Ries’ goal
is to “shape Boeing’s destiny through intellectual property leadership.”
Bob Ferguson photo
42 APRIL 2008
Martha Ries at a glance
Current position: Vice president of Intellectual Property Management
History: Ries joined Boeing in 1997 as litigation counsel, focusing on
commercial litigation and investigations. Three years later, she became
chief counsel of Commercial Aviation Services within Boeing Commercial
Airplanes. In 2003, she was appointed to lead the attorneys representing
the Army Systems group within Integrated Defense Systems in
eyes shining. They are our inspiration because
they are creating technologies that change the
way we live and work.”
Taking a leaf from the book of the inventors, Ries applies persistence, ingenuity and
an energetic optimism to reaching toward a
vision of “shaping Boeing’s destiny through
intellectual-property leadership.”
The mission of her small team is to deliver
to the business units functional expertise that
allows IPM to identify, protect and leverage
intellectual property to achieve a competitive
advantage. And a competitive advantage, Ries
said, will result in strategic and economic benefits to Boeing.
Finding solutions
Finding strategic solutions and making difficult licensing decisions can test the skills
even of a counsel as seasoned as Ries, who
has experience in government and industry
and a background in business ethics.
She gives much of the credit to her team,
which she joined last October. “Their knowledge and sophistication has had significant
impact on my understanding of intellectual
property,” she said.
Her legal background has come in handy
as she moves out on two major priorities in
2008. One is to revise Policy 1—the overall
Boeing policy that sets out the functional and
business-unit reponsibilities. The main objective, Ries said, is to allow IPM a greater role
in providing the business units with policy
guidance, tools and processes for the protection and release of the company’s intellectual property. “This will provide us with greater
functional responsibilities and oversight in
the overall management of our IP,” she said.
The second priority “is to make sure that
we are even more deeply aligned with the
business units and the Enterprise Technology
Philadelphia. Before assuming her current position in October 2007, Ries
was Vice President of Boeing Ethics and Business Conduct, Office of
Internal Governance. Ries began her law career as a judicial clerk at the
Missouri Supreme Court, later serving as a trial attorney in the
Commercial Litigation Branch, Civil Division, U.S. Department of Justice,
Washington, D.C. She was in private practice in a large Seattle law firm in
1990 and became a partner in 1994.
Education: Bachelor’s degree in French and psychology from Boston
College; law degree from St. Louis University.
Domains, so we can give our guidance as early as possible in the process to ensure proper protection of our intellectual property,” she
said. In fact, the management of Intellectual
Property is considered so important that Ries
has a seat on the Enterprise Technology Board.
But the proof is in the results, and Ries
derives satisfaction from watching her team
generate real business for Boeing by leveraging IP. “We have helped generate new
markets through strategic partnerships and
the licensing of our IP,” Ries said.
The IPM organization faces tasks ranging
from building IP awareness in the workplace to
dealing with unauthorized distribution of Boeing
information and products on the Internet.
The organization devotes a lot of energy
to educating Boeing employees about the information that surrounds them at work. Identifying IP is not always straightforward, she
said. Inventions and business and technical
information are just part of a vast range of
intellectual property that comes under IPM’s
jurisdiction. Ideas, know-how, images, tools
and plans, all of which deserve protection,
are less easily pinned down.
When in doubt, ask somebody, Ries advised. “We have many employees within IPM
who provide advice and training to inventors,
to the business units and the technology domains. They can all answer questions about
what constitutes IP. If nothing else, ask your
manager for assistance.”
It’s important, she said, because big companies often are tripped up by the smallest of
things. “An idea—no matter how simple—for,
say, an improvement in the way we do things,
could be valuable information for a competitor,” Ries said. “All of us have to stop and evaluate information before we pass it along.”
What is intellectual property?
The Internet remains one of the biggest
challenges for the team, she said, because
of the multiple ways people can rapidly share
information. Before the Internet, acquiring or
distributing proprietary information was harder, she said. The Web, however, can work in
Boeing’s favor, Ries added: “Certain search
tools have made work easier for Boeing enforcement employees who can better track
down the source of unauthorized materials.”
Spreading the word
Building awareness among employees
through education is the most effective way
to change the prevailing culture, just as it was
when Ries was in charge of Ethics at Boeing.
And training remains one of the most effective
ways to create a lasting effect, she said. Now
there are courses that deal with IP for engineers and for supplier management employees, for example. A half-hour class at Boeing
Commercial Airplanes, designed to give people a general understanding of what constitutes IP, has been a hit. Some 47,000 employees have signed up to take this online course.
For all of its complexities, IPM is an organization well-suited to Ries.
“I wanted to be more on the front end of issues. I wanted to be guiding people and helping them to make better decisions while they
were in process of working a problem early
on, not after the fact when it had become a
legal issue,” Ries said. “Boeing has an enormous breadth of products, technologies—and
opportunities. An exciting part of this journey
is learning how to do things and to continuously improve. And best of all, each of us can
make a difference. That’s what makes this a
great company.” n
[email protected]
Intellectual property is defined as a product of the intellect that has commercial value, including copyrighted property such as literary or artistic
works, and ideational property, such as patents, appellations of origin,
business methods and industrial processes.
APRIL 2008 43
Philly to Boeing Rome:
Boeing Italy teammates lauded for their support
By K athrine K. Beck
hen in Rome, do as the Romans do.
It’s advice that’s almost 2,000 years
old, and it’s still true today, said Marco
Di Gabriele, senior manager for International
Business Development in Rotorcraft Systems.
Di Gabriele, based in Philadelphia, is leading a
campaign to sell Chinook CH-47F helicopters
to the Italian military, and visits Italy about six
times a year.
When he does, he gets full support from
the Boeing Rome office, and in gratitude for
their efforts on his behalf he’s honored them
with an award from [email protected], an employee recognition program.
The award thanked the entire Rome team
of 10 Boeing employees from Shared Services
Group, Engineering, Operations & Technology,
Boeing International and International Corporate
Communications for “the special support
you provide each and every time we travel
to Rome. Your positive attitude and determination are an example to all. Throughout the
Italian Chinook campaign, you have provided
outstanding support, leading to customer satisfaction. Thank you for a job well done!”
“We have a great in-country team,” said
Boeing Italy President Rinaldo Petrignani. “I’m
particularly proud of this award, which recognizes not only the professional excellence of
Rome’s Boeing personnel but also their personal dedication and passion for Boeing.”
Rome business manager Luisa Focacci
said her SSG staff at the Rome office near the
Via Veneto provides visitors from all business
units doing business in Italy with support such
as renting cars, making internal travel arrangements, setting up appointments and providing
meeting space. When Boeing employees are
transferred to Italy, her staff supports them in
many ways, such as helping them rent houses
and find bilingual schools for their children.
“We have been maturing at the international level—in all our offices around the world—
in offering the complete suite of services that
SSG provides,” Focacci said. “Our mission is
to be the point of contact for SSG service delivery—whether we offer services ourselves
here in this office or in partnership with other
service groups. Our office has undergone a lot
Members of the Boeing office
in Rome recently received
a [email protected] award for supp
orting a campaign to sell
Chinook CH-47F helicopters to
the Italian military.
of growth recently and winning this award is a
big accomplishment that let us know our work
is appreciated.”
Di Gabriele said, “If I don’t have to think
about making travel arrangements and all the
administrative things, I am much more efficient and effective in doing my specific customer work.”
But he added there’s another kind of support that’s less tangible. Di Gabriele is from
an Italian family, speaks Italian, and lived and
went to school there as a child 20 years ago.
But he places high value on the cultural savvy
of the Boeing Rome staff members. He relies
on them to provide advice and counsel based
on their knowledge of the Italian language, political sensitivities, cultural attitudes and military and business customs and etiquette.
“What are appropriate business courtesies
or gifts? What is the language that ought to be
incorporated in a card or letter or invitation? It
can’t just be something we translated in the
United States,” he said.
To help the Philadelphia team tell the Boeing
story in Italy, Boeing Rome’s Antonio De Palmas,
International Corporate Communications,
produced a high-quality, culturally sensitive
44 APRIL 2008
brochure—describing benefits the CH-47F
will have for the Italian Army and national
industry—directed at Italian government officials, members of parliament, top military officers and staff.
During a recent change of command with
his military customer, De Palmas also helped
Di Gabriele pick out a gift for a departing colonel. They avoided aggressive warfighter imagery and instead chose a replica of an American
Civil War statue called “Moment of Mercy,” showing a combatant giving water to a
wounded enemy soldier.
This was in keeping with the Italian military’s pride in its role as peacekeeper and in
international humanitarian missions. “They are
focused on peacekeeping, and Antonio was
able to provide that insight and help me make
an appropriate choice,” said Di Gabriele.
De Palmas said the [email protected] award
made him “very happy. The Chinook campaign is a major campaign and a strong focus
for us. Our major responsibility is to make sure
the program people find the best situation in
which to maximize their opportunities.” n
[email protected]
Boeing stock, ShareValue
Trust performance
The chart below shows the stock price of Boeing compared to other aerospace companies, the S&P 500
index and the S&P 500 Aerospace and Defense index. Prices/values are plotted as an index number. The
base date for these prices/values is March 25, 2005, which generates three years of data. The prices/
values on that date equalBoeing
100. In other
an index ofcompetitors
120 represents a 20 percent improvement
over the price/value on the base date. Each data point represents the end of a trading week.
ShareValue Trust is an employee incentive plan
that allows eligible employees to share in the
results of their efforts to increase shareholder
value over the long term.
The program—which runs for 14 years and
ends in 2010—features seven overlapping
investment periods. The program is currently
in Periods 6 and 7.
Boeing vs.
Period 6
Ending June 30, 2008
General Dynamics
Lockheed Martin
Northrop Grumman
Index Value
as of 03/20/08
Period 7
Ending June 30, 2010
S&P 500
S&P Aerospace index
Index value
as of 03/20/08
4-week, 52-week
The above graphs show an estimate of what a
“full 4-year participant” ShareValue Trust distribution (pretax) would be for Periods 6 and 7 if
the end-of-period average share prices were the
same as the recent price shown.
For more information on the ShareValue Trust,
The share price shown is the average of the
day’s high and low New York Stock Exchange
prices. Updates to participant/employment data
will be made periodically.
Boeing vs.
stock indexes
Boeing vs. stock indexes and international competitors
Index Value
General Dynamics
Lockheed Martin
Northrop Grumman
S&P 500
S&P 500 Aerospace
and Defense Index
as of 3/21/08
Four-week comparison
as of 2/22/08 change
* Price in Euros
52-week comparison
as of 3/23/07
APRIL 2008 45
Around Boeing
Phantom Works opens
Australian branch
Phantom Works last month formally opened
its new Australian branch, employing
about 30 senior engineers, scientists and
researchers in Melbourne and Brisbane.The
branch will better support Boeing’s businesses in Australia and partner with researchers there on the development of mutually beneficial technologies.
“We seek the best of the best, and that’s why
we’re establishing a branch of Phantom Works
here in Australia,” said John Tracy, Boeing
chief technology officer and senior vice president of Engineering, Operations & Technology,
at a ceremony commemorating the opening.
Ongoing and new technology work areas will
include composite resin infusion, light robotics for manufacturing and precision coatings,
aging aircraft maintenance, applications of
advanced unmanned air vehicles, networkcentric operations and aerospace environmental applications.
Australia, Canada take
deliveries of C-17s
Let there be light
Natural light now illuminates the factory
floor at the Everett, Wash., site through six
skylights installed as part of the multiyear
Future Factory project. A total of 35 skylights will be added to the factory roof over
the next two years. Natural light was recommended by workshop participants when
the Future Factory team was defining its
vision and strategy. To see more skylight
photos and learn more about Future Factory,
visit its site on the Boeing intranet at http://
Australia and Canada last month took deliveries of their latest C-17 Globemaster III military
The Royal Australian Air Force’s fourth C-17
arrived March 11 at the RAAF Amberley air
base. “Australia’s four C-17s have been delivered on time and on budget,” Chief of Air
Force, Air Marshal Geoff Shepherd told attendees at a ceremony for the aircraft’s arrival.
Meanwhile, the Canadian Air Force took delivery of its third C-17 at a ceremony at Boeing’s
Long Beach, Calif., C-17 final assembly facility. “In the very short time that we’ve had with
the two C-17s, it’s been an unstoppable string
of results, and we thank you for that,” said
Canadian Air Force Col. Chris Coates during
the event. Canada is scheduled to receive its
fourth and final C-17 from an existing contract
early this month.
Modifications begin
on fourth Dreamlifter
The fourth 747-400 passenger airplane being modified into a Dreamlifter—the primary
means of transporting major assemblies of the
787 Dreamliner to the final assembly site in
Everett, Wash.—was moved last month into
the hangar at Evergreen Aviation Technologies
Corp. in Taiwan.
For the next few months, the team will perform required structural repairs and maintenance and prepare and stabilize the airplane
for the modification’s structural removals.
This airplane is scheduled to begin transporting parts for the 787 Dreamliner in 2009. Two
Dreamlifters currently are in service and modifications on a third are nearly complete.
Boeing among Canada’s
best diversity employers
For its efforts to support an inclusive and
diverse work force—such as providing
BlackBerrys to many deaf employees to enhance communications among co-workers,
encouraging ongoing education, and helping
foreign-trained workers complete educational equivalency programs—Boeing Winnipeg
recently was named one of Canada’s Best
Diversity Employers.
The annual award, given by national newspaper consortium Mediacorp Canada Inc.,
recognizes corporate initiatives to include
and engage women, minorities, people with
disabilities, and other employee groups.
The Boeing Commercial Airplanes division
in Winnipeg designs and fabricates complex
composite components for all models of
7-series aircraft including shear ties, pylons
and landing-gear doors for the 787.
Gail Hanusa photo
APRIL 2008 49
Boeing Fire Department:
Vehicle purchases
ow do we on the Boeing Fire Department—the United States’
largest private fire department—use our size and presence
to create performance standards and save money when purchasing vehicles?
Between mergers, acquisitions and expanded responsibilities, we realized
that we weren’t being smart about our largest purchases, fire vehicles.
Every site with a Fire Department presence was buying its own vehicles,
which last seven to15 years. They used different vehicle standards, condition coding, placement decisions, procedures and processes. This process
wasn’t maximizing the size or scope of the Boeing Fire Department.
A team made up of Security and Fire Personnel from the enterprise and
every site with a fire protection presence, Finance, Supplier Management
and Fleet Management from Site Services developed standard vehicle processes based on needs. We worked with each site to lay out a long-range
acquisition/allocation plan. Based on those needs, we submitted a capital
request to SSG Finance (which purchases all vehicles for the enterprise).
We then worked to maximize the enterprise buying benefit by negotiating
prices based on the full enterprise need, rather than each site negotiating
for individual vehicles.
This new process saves Boeing 15 percent to 20 percent annually. Just
as important, though, is the companywide standardization of performance
and training and engineering specification creation and the enhanced
ability to support remote flight-test operations, ease of vehicle sharing for
mutual aid requests, and the ability to transfer and “borrow” employees
without further training. n
In the photo above:
Among the many Boeing firefighters around the enterprise are these teammates from the Puget Sound area. Kneeling, from left: D.J. Segobia,
Capt. John Langer; standing, from left: Phil Vandercook, Frank Russell, Alan Abrahamson, Beau Longwell, Lt. Mike Noyes.
Jim Anderson photo
50 APRIL 2008