Exclusive: Boeing, grappling with uneven 737 supply chain, targets…

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Boeing Co has told suppliers it will resume production of its best-selling 737 jets at a rate of 52 aircraft per month in February 2020, then stepping up to a record 57 jets monthly in June, three people familiar with the matter told Reuters.

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SEATTLE (Reuters) – Boeing Co (BA.N

FILE PHOTO: Grounded Boeing 737 MAX aircraft are seen parked in an aerial photo at Boeing Field in Seattle, Washington, U.S. July 1, 2019. REUTERS/Lindsey Wasson

The current production plan represents a new delay as Boeing wrestles with the logistics of aligning a sprawling global supply chain with its high-volume assembly line in Renton, Washington.

Rate changes by major manufacturers are usually incremental and communicated months or even years in advance, but the unprecedented challenge to the 737 program has forced Boeing to scramble, one of the people said. Boeing is eager to increase production because the higher rate means it can deliver more planes and get more cash. A higher rate also means Boeing pays less for parts.

Boeing organized at least one Web meeting on July 30 to inform suppliers that the original rate ramp plan – which Boeing decided in April would begin in August – was being delayed by three months, according to electronic materials described to Reuters by a person who attended. Different suppliers were shipping at different “rate profiles” and Boeing wanted to try to “harmonize the supply chain,” the person added.

Reporting by Eric M. Johnson in Seattle, additional reporting by Tracy Rucinski in Chicago; Editing by Nick Zieminski


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Boeing Co has told suppliers it will resume production of its best-selling 737 jets at a rate of 52 aircraft per month in February 2020, then stepping up to a record 57 jets monthly in June, three people familiar with the matter told Reuters.

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