Boeing is installing a moving production line for the 777 - the last programme at its Seattle plants to adopt the method, which is designed to speed up the build-process and reduce employee hours. The company aims to shave 10-20% off unit hours by next year when the system will be fully bedded-in.

The 767 and 747 - manufactured alongside the 777 at Everett - the Renton-built 737 and 757 narrowbodies, and the 717 in Long Beach, California, are all built on moving production lines, using just-in-time processes pioneered by the automotive industry.

Boeing's aim for the 747 line is to save 20-30% on labour costs over two years. "Having a moving line gives employees a sense of urgency," says Jack Jones, 747 production director.

Source: Flight International