Boeing has resumed production of the 737 MAX at the company’s Renton, Washington factory.
The restart is at a low rate as the company implements more than a dozen initiatives focused on enhancing workplace safety and product quality.
“We’ve been on a continuous journey to evolve our production system and make it even stronger,” said Walt Odisho, vice president and general manager of the 737 program.
“These initiatives are the next step in creating the optimal build environment for the 737 MAX.”
Boeing said that during the temporary suspension of production that began in January, mechanics and engineers collaborated to refine and standardize work packages in each position of the factory.
“The steps we’ve taken in the factory will help drive our goal of 100 per cent quality for our customers while supporting our ongoing commitment to workplace safety,” said Scott Stocker, vice president of 737 Manufacturing.
The 737 program will gradually ramp up production this year.
At the same time, Boeing told its employees that work continues to safely return the 737 MAX to commercial service.
Currently, the focus is on software validation and technical documentation required for a certification flight.
Boeing has a backlog of 3,800 737 MAXs.
A spokesman for the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace union which represents 17,600 Boeing employees says the company told the union it should expect layoff notices on Friday.
The Puget Sound Business Journal reported Boeing plans to lay off thousands of workers, and a union official confirmed the report that the company had told union leaders to expect cuts of 15-20% of its membership.