April 18, 2012 Spirit Aerosystems
A week or so ago a tornado ripped through the central United States and Kansas. Your question is well why do I care? Spirit AeroSystems a major supplier has it main facility in Kansas and their plant was damaged in the tornado. Thankfully everyone is safe, however, their ability to supply parts was impacted. They supply the fuselages for the 737 and are a major 787 supplier as well.
The tornado’s effect on the 787 line should be minimal, Boeing already has a huge number of planes being readied in Seattle. However, the potential effect on the 737 line is much higher. Boeing’s 737 line is more like a car assembly line where the line moves continually and Boeing user “Total Resource Management” and “Just In Time” manufacturing techniques to insure they only get parts from suppliers when they need them. Any delay in that supply line could have severe short term and medium term effects.