New Production Facility for Boeing 787 Dreamliner Completed
Mar. 02, 2010
Tokyo, March 2, 2010 — Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd. announced today that it celebrated the completion of a new facility (the South Plant) designed to support increasing production demands for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner currently under joint development with the Boeing Company. The newly opened South Plant facility is the latest addition to Kawasaki’s Nagoya Works 1, one of its aircraft assembly and component production bases.
Kawasaki broke ground for the South Plant on an area adjacent to the Nagoya Works 1 in August 2008. The new facility will play a major role in Kawasaki’s aircraft manufacturing operations. As one of the key partners in the 787 Dreamliner program, Kawasaki is responsible for the design, development and manufacturing of the plane’s forward fuselage, main landing gear wheel well and fixed trailing edges. The South Plant is furnished with the same kind of state-of-the-art equipment that’s used in the North Plant on which an extension was completed in July 2006. The new facility will enable Kawasaki to perform integrated production that includes everything from composite component fabrication to forward fuselage assembly.
The North Plant has been Kawasaki’s main production site for work on the 787-8, the basic model in the 787 Dreamliner family of airplanes. The new South Plant will enable Kawasaki to meet the growing demand for the 787-8 and prepare for the production of its derivative model, the 787-9. Development work on the 787-9, which has a longer fuselage, is now reaching its peak. The South Plant can provide almost the same production functions as the North Plant. Both facilities share some production equipment, such as the autoclaves used for curing the composite fuselage, which are located at the North Plant, and the shipping dock located in the South Plant. A track built to transport the forward fuselage between the two plants facilitates the optimum use of all the shared production equipment and facilities. The number of employees working on the 787 at the Nagoya Works 1 facility is expected to remain at about 200 for now with plans for more to join the production team later on.
The 787 Dreamliner successfully completed its first flight in December 2009. Boeing is continuing to conduct flight tests so it can obtain type certification and then make the first delivery of the new plane to its customers. Kawasaki will leverage its new facility to help boost production of the 787-8 Dreamliner and move development of the 787-9 Dreamliner forward as it fulfills its vital role in the 787 Dreamliner program.
Overview of the New Facility