Boeing dials up production rate at Renton to 42 planes monthly

Staff writerFebruary 4, 2014 

Boeing  again will speed up production of its popular 737 jetliner beginning Wednesday.

The company said it will begin building the first 737 assembled at the rate of 42 monthly at its Renton plant. That plane is expected to be delivered sometime this spring.

The production rate increase from 38 planes a month is the latest in a series of production accelerations that began years ago.  As recently as a decade ago, Boeing was building just 14 of the jets monthly.

Increased demand, particularly from airlines in Asia, has caused Boeing to bump up its production repeatedly.

All 737 assembly is done in the company's Renton factory.  Boeing's next production rate increase is planned for 2017 when production will reach 47 monthly.

In discussions with reporters Tuesday, Boeing executives said the company is looking at the possibility of speeding up the production line to as many as 52 planes a month.  Theoretically, Boeing could produce as many as 60 737s a month at the Renton plant.

Production rate increases have to be planned carefully because dozens of suppliers are also affected.  They too have to speed up their production of parts that are assembled together to create a plane. If even a single supplier falters, the planes won't be delivered on time.


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