Phil Condit, Boeing President

From:         Tobias Henry Lutterodt <luterodt@phoenix.Princeton.EDU>
Date:         10 Mar 94 02:40:03 PST
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It's amazing, it's incredible, yes, I actually met Phil Condit!!!

He came to our campus last Thursday to give a talk and for some other
reasons and students got a chance to chat with him in a small group
for an hour and a half.  After this and after his speech to a general
campus audience, there was a chance to talk to him at a small reception.
I'll try to sum up some of the main points he made:

-  After I asked him about Boeing's drive to improve flowtimes, he said
   that he had started an initiative to cut the time it took to make an
   aircraft in half in the next three years.  Making better use of
   existing human resources and moving to just-in-time inventories
   can reduce the flowtime for critical parts by a factor of ten.  One
   of his examples was the wording on lavatories which must be done
   in the language of the customer and which was the longest lead-time
   part on lavatories for some reason!

-  He said that by 1995 customers will be able to take delivery of a
   new aircraft built to their specifications within six months, much
   sooner than in the past.

-  He said that though Boeing has no current interest in the regional
   aircraft market, if the kinds of cost improvements that he expects
   from his reduced flow-time initiative come to pass, Boeing will
   be so much more competitive than even subsidized producers that
   the market may become appealing.  He reiterate that the experience
   with de Havilland Canada has not been forgotten in Seattle, though.

-  Concerning the VLCT, he said that he was not at all convinced that
   the plane was needed or would even be built.

-  He said that future modifications of existing aircraft would try as
   much as possible to digitize their designs but that this was very
   difficult because the 737-67s currently being produced are very
   different from their drawings.  Tools have been modified over the
   production run which make this so.  For instance, he said that on
   one aircraft (767, I believe), the aircraft is asymmetrical in
   cross-section by as much as an inch!  A digital redefinition of
   the plane would have to account for all such changes.

These were the main points as I found relevant to sci.aeronautics.airliners.
As you can imagine, the experience (seeing and getting to talk to him) was