In Boeing Co’s factory of the future, immersive 3-D engineering designs will be twinned with robots that speak to each other, while mechanics around the world will be linked by HoloLens headsets made by Microsoft.
It is a snapshot of an ambitious new Boeing strategy to unify sprawling design, production and airline services operations under a single digital ecosystem – in as little as two years.
Critics say Boeing has repeatedly made similar bold pledges on a digital revolution, with mixed results. But insiders say the overarching goals of improving quality and safety have taken on greater urgency and significance as the company tackles multiple threats.
The planemaker is entering 2022 fighting to reassert its engineering dominance after the 737 MAX crisis, while laying the foundation for a future aircraft program over the next decade – a $15 billion gamble. It also aims to prevent future manufacturing problems like the structural flaws that have waylaid its 787 Dreamliner over the past year.
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