Boeing is highly dependent on the availability of essential materials, parts and subassemblies from suppliers and subcontractors.
The most important raw materials required for the company's aerospace products are aluminum (sheet, plate, forgings and extrusions),
titanium (sheet, plate, forgings and extrusions) and composite materials (including carbon and boron fibers).
Although alternative sources generally exist for these raw materials, qualification of the sources could take one year or more.
Many major components and product equipment items are procured or subcontracted on a sole-source basis with a number of companies.
Also, Boeing depends on the availability of energy sources, such as electricity, at affordable prices.
Key Boeing suppliers include Spirit AeroSystems (aerostructures), Precision Castparts Corp. (aerostructures), Triumph Group (aerostructures), Pratt & Whitney (aircraft engines), UTC Aerospace Systems (components & parts), Honeywell (components & parts), Rockwell Collins (components & parts), General Electric Co. (aircraft engines), and Rolls-Royce (aircraft engines). In October 2013, Boeing extended and expanded its long-term titanium products supply agreement with Allegheny Technologies.
The number of parts used on Boeing's commercial airplanes are:
According to Boeing, potential suppliers are evaluated based on a range of criteria, including commercial offerings, ability, capacity, integrity, financial health, geographic location, performance, reliability, quality, on-time delivery, and customer-supplier relations. A key factor in the evaluation is a proven ability to manage subtier supply chains. Overall, suppliers must meet or exceed established performance measures for quality, capability and compliance. Suppliers must adhere to Boeing's standards and practices and certify that their production systems meet the requirements of Boeing's Quality Management System. These systems must be approved by Boeing, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) + an independent third party. The FAA also has a dedicated compliance unit overseeing Boeing's management of its suppliers.
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