Boeing cuts off titanium flow to 787 contractors

Apr 14, 2008 | 03:05 PM | Frank Haflich

Boeing Co. has temporarily put on hold shipments of certain titanium products flowing through to its contractors for the 787 Dreamliner in the wake of a recent delivery stretchout for the new plane, but the Chicago-based company says it won't stop taking near-term deliveries from its main titanium mill suppliers.

Boeing last week confirmed industry expectations of a big downward revision in projected delivery rates for the airliner to 25 planes through next year from an earlier estimate of 109 aircraft (AMM, April 10). The blame has been attributed largely to problems Boeing encountered in meshing its worldwide network of suppliers and contractors.

On the same day, Tacoma, Wash.-based TMX Aerospace Inc., a division of ThyssenKrupp Materials NA Inc.—the "exclusive service provider" for raw materials for Boeing's commercial transports—notified 787 contractors that, at Boeing's direction, it was "temporarily suspending" shipments to these contractors in order to "manage" anticipated raw material needs, according to industry sources. However, orders already shipped by the mill or released to a TMX warehouse for processing would still ship.....

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