Boeing Salt Lake Completes 787-9 Dreamliner Production Expansion

Pete CodellaBusiness

Boeing [NYSE: BA] today celebrated  completion of its expansion projects in West Jordan and Salt Lake City and its first 787-9 Dreamliner horizontal stabilizer manufactured start-to-finish in Utah.

“This is an exciting time for Boeing and our Salt Lake team,” said Larry Coughlin, Boeing Salt Lake general manager. “Our recent progress sets the stage forBoeing Salt Lake to become a major composites manufacturing center.’’

In less than two years, Boeing transformed its 850,000-square-foot building in West Jordan from a vacant warehouse into a composite fabrication production center with 100 employees.

Components manufactured at the West Jordan site are shipped 22 miles for final assembly of the horizontal stabilizer at Boeing’s Salt Lake City airport facility where a second assembly line has recently been added.

During today’s celebration, government officials, employees and community members were able to view the first 787-9 horizontal stabilizer completed byBoeing Salt Lake. Resembling two smaller fixed wings on the back of an airplane, the horizontal stabilizer helps provide stability in flight.

“This accomplishment took everyone’s hard work and dedication in all areas of our business,” said Coughlin. “Whether you worked directly on the horizontal stabilizer or not, you all had a part in making it happen.’’

As part of Boeing’s strategy to grow its composite hub in the Salt Lake region, the company purchased the West Jordan composite manufacturing building in 2013 and began production at the beginning of this year.

In the past year alone, the Utah Fabrication teams have:

•    Implemented new advanced manufacturing processes designed to help employees work more safely and efficiently.

•    Delivered the first 737 MAX flight deck structure.

•    Expanded Boeing’s presence in the community through STEM and academia outreach.

•    Partnered with Industry and Government Office of Education Development (GOED) to launch the Utah Aerospace Pathways education pilot.

Utah Lieutenant Gov. Spencer Cox commended Boeing for its commitment to business growth and contribution to the state’s aerospace industry.

“Utah’s growing aerospace industry is an important contributor to the state’s economy, and Boeing is a key player,” said Cox. “I am thankful for the strides we have made as a state to make Utah one of the top states in the nation for aerospace manufacturing.”

Also attending the event were Jenette Ramos, vice president and general manager, Boeing Fabrication; Val Hale, executive director, Governors office of Economic Development; Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams and other federal, state and local government officials.

“For 28 years, our highly skilled Salt Lake team has been building parts and assemblies for Boeing and now has added composite manufacturing to its list,’’ said Ramos. “The team’s experience has helped it build fuselages, flight deck structures, and now key composite assemblies for the tail of the 787. This work is all about the future and it positions Boeing Salt Lake well for many years to come.’’

Boeing Salt Lake currently employs more than 760 people in three locations. Employees provide design/build and multisource integration of composite empennage products and flight deck structures, including the 787 vertical fin, the 787-9 horizontal stabilizer, Flight Deck Consoles for all models, assembled components and emergent support. Utah is also home to a Boeing defense team of approximately 250 employees in Ogden and Little Mountain.