2017 The Boeing Company - 777X Team Project


The Challenge:
As Boeing prepared for full rate production, the Composite Wing Center (CWC) needed to strengthen its ability to respond quickly to unexpected delays with a recovery planning process that minimized costs and reduced the risk of missing a delivery.

The Solution:
The Tauber team developed a dynamic recovery planning tool to efficiently assess and display the downstream impact of disruptions and prioritize processes based on the Theory of Constraints. With the Tauber team’s tool, engineers can easily view the current status, resource constraints, and precedence networks of thousands of production processes; monitor shared asset utilization; and quickly generate optimal minute-by-minute recovery plans. To transition the tool to Boeing, the Tauber team trained engineers to develop recovery plans and prioritize shared assets using the tool and modify the tool’s underlying logic as production scales up and processes change. After fully implementing the tool, the CWC will produce more optimal recovery plans 43% faster, resulting in less overtime, improved asset utilization, and reduced risk of missed deliveries.

Read the 2017 The Boeing Company - 777X Team Project Executive Summary in the 2017 SPOTLIGHT! book.

"I had an amazing experience with my Tauber project. It never got old coming to work every day and looking out my office window to a factory floor where 110 foot long airplane wings where being manufactured in a brand-new state-of-the-art facility. My team was given the autonomy to determine what challenge we should be working on and develop the solution we saw fit. I loved my team and everyone around in the Composite Center was incredibly helpful and supportive!" - Lizzy Ettleson

Student Team:
Lizzy Ettleson–EGL (BSE & MSE Industrial & Operations Engineering)
James Holden–Master of Business Administration
Peter Rasmussen–Master of Business Administration

Project Sponsor:
Rafael Sanchez Morales – Manager, Industrial Engineering, 777X Wings

Faculty Advisors:
Richard Hughes –College of Engineering Ned Smith–Kellogg School of Management

About Tauber Team Projects:

The 2017 Tauber Team Projects resulted in $575 million in savings according to sponsoring company calculations, an average of $18.5 million per project over 3 years.

Each two to three person Tauber Team consists of graduate engineering, MBA, and/or MSCM students. Along with receiving high-level corporate support from the sponsoring company, each team is advised by a College of Engineering and a Ross School of Business faculty member and overseen by a Tauber Institute Co-Director. The projects begin on-site in May and continue for 14 weeks.  Students present the results of their projects and compete for over $40,000 in scholarships at the U-M Tauber Institute's annual Spotlight! event, held each September in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  Spotlight! provides outstanding opportunities for students and corporate partners to establish relationships while exploring innovations in operations and manufacturing.
Access Spotlight! book for project details.
2017 The Boeing Company - 777X team
2017 The Boeing Company - 777X team
2017 The Boeing Company - 777X team