Boeing starts building first 737 wings at monthly rate of 35

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Boeing has begun building its first set of 737 wings at a rate of 35 per month, the first of three major rate breaks the company has planned as it accelerates to 42 per month in 2014.

The company says employees loaded wing chords and webs made at Boeing's fabrication division into its ninth and newest automated spar assembly tool, which it calls "the first visible step in the final assembly of the airplane" joined with 1,700 fasteners to make a wing spar.

With a three-fold plan for increasing narrowbody output, Boeing said it is aiming to make the production process more efficient by "working with employee process teams", increasing capacity with capital investments with a new wing systems installation line, and by "moving some production areas, expanding others and decommissioning outdated equipment".

Boeing will increase production to 35 aircraft per month from 31.5 by early 2012, followed by increases to 38 in the second quarter of 2013 and finally to 42 per month in the first half of 2014.