Boeing and China’s Avic have signed an agreement to set up a joint-training center specifically aimed at improving the quality of products made in China for Boeing aircraft. Avic has also been awarded a contract to build 1,000 Boeing 737 rudders by the U.S. company.
The Avic-Boeing Manufacturing and Innovation Center (MIC) will be based in Xi’an, in the Shaanxi province, and signals a “new phase” in the relationship between the two companies, said Geng Ruguang, Avic executive vice president. The Avic-Boeing MIC will “increase our efficiency and capacity to supply high-quality parts for Boeing airplanes,” he added.
The Center will be opened in early 2012 and will provide classroom and hands-on training for Avic employees. The training is expected to replicate Boeing’s system for achieving sustainable manufacturing quality. Currently, Avic manufactures components for the Boeing 737, 747-8 and 787.
Boeing is the largest foreign customer for China’s aviation industry, having purchased more than $1.5 billion worth of aviation hardware since the 1980s. The recently awarded contract for 737NG rudders “will establish Avic as a center of excellence for rudder manufacture,” said Ray Connor, Boeing v-p and general manager of commercial airplanes supply chain management and operations.