Gone West: Retired Boeing Executive Jim Blue | Aero-News Network
Aero-News Network
RSS icon RSS feed
podcast icon MP3 podcast
Subscribe Aero-News e-mail Newsletter Subscribe

Airborne Unlimited -- Recent Daily Episodes

Episode Date

AMA Drone Report

Airborne-Monday

Airborne-Tuesday

Airborne-Wednesday

Airborne-Thursday

Airborne-Friday

Airborne-Unmanned w/AUVSI

Airborne On ANN

AMA 04.27.17

Airborne
04.24.17

Airborne
04.25.17

Airborne
04.26.17

Airborne
04.27.17

Airborne
04.28.17

Airborne-Unmanned 04.25.17

Airborne-YouTube

AMA 04.27.17

Airborne
04.24.17

Airborne
04.25.17

Airborne
04.26.17

Airborne
04.27.17

Airborne
04.28.17

Airborne-Unmanned 04.25.17

Mon, May 28, 2007

Gone West: Retired Boeing Executive Jim Blue

Brought "Lean Manufacturing" To Company

Boeing exec Jim Blue's "lean manufacturing" initiatives transformed Boeing's production methods over the course of two decades.

Blue died Wednesday at 78 from complications related to diabetes, reported the Seattle Times.

He was recognized for driving quality improvements and cost-saving efficiencies at the company's highest levels, including sending top management to Japan to study production philosophies and Toyota assembly lines.

He was also instrumental in bringing the Concorde to Seattle's Museum of Flight.

Alan Mulally, former chief executive of Boeing Commercial Airplanes and now CEO at Ford Motor, called Blue "a mentor and teacher."

"Many of us will always have his customer-focus and working-together and continuous-improvement attitude, his leadership by example, and his positive spirit, with us forever," Mulally said.

Said Bob Bogash, friend and Boeing colleague, "He was a hard-charging, pedal-to-the-metal kind of guy, very much an extrovert."

Boeing engineer Joe Sutter, who led the 747 jumbo-jet program, described Blue as "very, very capable."

"He was irreverent toward all the rules and conditions at Boeing. He irritated the top management at times," Sutter said. "But he was one hell of a Boeing employee."

Born in 1929 in Wichita, KS, Blue's father had worked at Boeing there, in a warehouse job and managing airplane parts. During summers in high school, Blue worked in the Boeing warehouse, unloading boxcars.

Professionally, Blue worked in management on the 747 jumbo-jet program, later managing the organization providing after-sales support to airlines.

In the mid-'80s, when airlines raised issues of airplane-quality to Boeing's president, Blue was appointed head of quality management.

Blue developed seminars in Japan for all Boeing executives, and although the company was slow to adapt to those methods, by the 1990s leadership was committed, fully embracing the quality and efficiency improvements now known as "lean."

The change streamlined Boeing's production, dramatically shrunk its assembly plants, and increased outsourcing of lower-level parts work.

"Whatever steps Boeing has taken [toward Lean methods] ... can be attributed directly to Blue," Bogash said.

Blue retired in 1993. He is survived by his wife of 58 years, three children, eight grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

FMI: www.boeing.com, www.museumofflight.org

Advertisement

More News

AMA Drone Report 04.27.17: Kitty Hawk Flyer, College Drones, DJI VR Goggles

Also: Airborne at XPONENTIAL, AMA On Mil-Airspace, Canadian Drones, AMA Legislative Efforts With an appearance not all that different than many of the multi-copters we’re all>[...]

AUVSI and Aero-News Announce Live Webcast Schedules for XPONENTIAL 2017

The World's Greatest Gathering Of 'All Things Unmanned' Will Get Expert Live Coverage! The Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) and their "Airborne-Unmann>[...]

Airborne-Unmanned 04.25.17: UAS Broadcast, College Drone Racing, XPO17 LIVE!

Also: Aeryon Labs, Northrop Grumman, XTAR Connectivity, Bowling Green Drones The broadcast platforms of tomorrow may well be unmanned... and 360 Designs has just introduced the Fly>[...]

Airborne 04.27.17: HondaJet Records, More UAL Fallout, Avenger Gathering

Also: Peggy Whitson!, AUVSI 2017 Live, Air Medical Group, Canadian Airports, GLO Bankrupt, WestJet, Second T-X A HondaJet has officially secured its first speed records over two re>[...]

Airborne 04.28.17: Perlan Mission II, DJI VR Goggles, Pilot... NOT!

Also: American Airlines, Airborne-NextGen, Biofuel, ATR 72-600, Gogo, Drone Drive, L3 Aviation Airbus Perlan Mission II, an initiative to fly a glider to the edge of space to colle>[...]

blog comments powered by Disqus



Advertisement

Advertisement

Podcasts

Advertisement

© 2007 - 2017 Web Development & Design by Pauli Systems, LC