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 05.18.15

Airborne 05.26.15

Airborne 05.27.15

Airborne 05.28.15

Airborne 05.29.15

Airborne Hi-Def On YouTube

Airborne 05.18.15

Airborne 05.26.15

Airborne 05.27.15

Airborne 05.28.15

Airborne 05.29.15

 

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

Airborne 05.28.15: LA Heli Noise, Another NIMBY Case Defeated, GoodBye VOR/NDB

Also: Gone West: Tuskegee Airman LtC Mosley, Union Warned, E-4B Returns, All-Female UAL Crew, Malaysia Woes, Luke's 56th FW Last week, the FAA released a document stating that sign>[...]

AeroSports Update: BASE Jumpers Want Jumping Rights In National Parks

A Petition Has Been Posted To Remove BASE Jumping From U.S. National Park Aerial Delivery Law BASE jumping certainly falls into the category of extreme sports. Base jumping activis>[...]

AD: Slingsby Aviation Ltd. Airplanes

AD NUMBER: 015-11-01 PRODUCT: Slingsby Aviation Ltd. Models T67M260 and T67M260-T3A airplanes.>[...]

AD: International Aero Engines AG Turbofan Engines

AD NUMBER: 2015-10-04 PRODUCT: All International Aero Engines AG (IAE) V2500-A1, V2525-D5, and V2528-D5 turbofan engines, and certain serial numbers (S/Ns) of IAE V2522-A5, V2524-A>[...]

ANN's Daily Aero-Linx (05.29.15)

The North American Trainer Association (NATA) This is an independent, non-profit corporation dedicated to the restoration and safe flying of North American Trainers such as the AT->[...]

blog comments powered by Disqus



Advertisement

Advertisement

Podcasts

Advertisement

© 2007 - 2015 Web Development & Design by Pauli Systems, LC