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Author: alstroemeria Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Recommended Fools Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 60181  
Subject: Re: This week... Date: 1/25/2013 10:49 AM
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heh. Many weeks of mine are "untarnished" by activities other than errands and chores--and some weeks even have very few of those! But we're happiest when we have a couple interesting things to do during the week. Don't need to be big-deal things like the Boeing tour--which was great BTW. It was a beautiful day, and we walked briskly around the campus, which is closed to the public. Turns out there are no public tours other than school groups and rare specialty groups with connections (ours was through a prof at The Citadel). Our guide addressed the battery issue before being asked. To him it's just another problem to solve, like so many others he's seen over the years.

Boeing is into many aspects of modern manufacturing...global supply chain, environmental sensitivity, even worker creativity and team autonomy. Many of our guide's sentences were peppered with unfamiliar terms(!). Aircraft design and manufacture is incredibly complex and still labor-intensive (it differs there from, say, auto manufacturing). They make their own composite (carbon-fiber) body material here in Charleston, and he says they have the world's largest autoclave for baking it (I thought autoclaves were just for sterilizing hospital equipment, but they're also used in materials manufacturing nowadays).

The biggest building here, the million square foot final assembly bldg, is covered with solar panels. They don't use that energy directly, but feed it into the grid, where it comprises 20% of current energy needs (if I understood that correctly). This is also a near-zero-waste facility, they recycling everything.

Teams were gathered in groups here & there over the factory floors as we saw change of shift. Computers involved, especially in the final assembly building where our viewing balcony overlooked a cubicle farm. Lasers show how wiring and other assemblies should look right at the spot. They seem to treat mechanics like hospitals treat surgeons, making sure the people/supplies/gear they need--all the infrastructure around them--is conducive to efficient and high quality results. They were starting to retool for the 787-9, a kind of "stretch limo" version of the 787-8.
....

I'm thinking of weaseling out of today's gallery opening because I only got 6 1/2 hrs of sleep and feel kinda blah, although free food and a gallery talk does sound rather low-key. I need to do some housework first...

Linda, your active life in Panama reminds me of my life in New York City when I was babysitting for my grandson. When I wasn't too fagged out to leave my apartment on Wednesdays (day off) and weekends(!), I would pick some place to go and walk/take transit there and meander around, starting or ending up at a particular destination like a museum, park, shop, restaurant. I miss that aspect of city living.
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