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

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Airborne On ANN

Airborne 12.05.16

Airborne 12.06.16

Airborne 11.30.16

Airborne 12.01.16

Airborne 12.02.16

Airborne Hi-Def On YouTube

Airborne 12.05.16

Airborne 12.06.16

Airborne 11.30.16

Airborne 12.01.16

Airborne 12.02.16

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

Barnstorming: Saving Santa Monica¬Ö and Enhancing The Future of Aviation

As If We Didn’t Have Enough to Do, Another Critical Challenge Demands Our Full Attention It has been a brutal few weeks… starting with the loss of our dear friend, Bob>[...]

VSS Unity, The New SpaceShipTwo, Free-Flies For The First Time

Two Years After Tragedy, The Program Proves It Still Has The Right Stuff The newest SpaceShipTwo has flown free for the first time. According to the Virgin Galactic crew, "Our new >[...]

AMA Opposes Orlando City Council Drone Ordinance

Proposal Runs Afoul Of Federal Authority Over The Nation’s Airspace... The Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) sent a letter to the Orlando City Council in opposition to a pro>[...]

Aero-News: Quote of the Day (12.05.16)

"This represents culmination of many years of hard work and perseverance by the team here in the USA and back at base in Germany too, we’re literally over the moon.” So>[...]

AeroSports Update: AutoGyro Now Type Certificated In The U.S.

The FAA Has Granted Type Certification To AutoGyro For Its Factory-Built Calidus Aircraft It seems we hear a lot about new FAA type certification of airliners and corporate jets, b>[...]

blog comments powered by Disqus



Advertisement

Advertisement

Podcasts

Advertisement

© 2007 - 2016 Web Development & Design by Pauli Systems, LC