Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd. will establish a production line to manufacture cargo doors for Boeing’s 777X airplane at Kawasaki Motors Manufacturing Corp., U.S.A., a Kawasaki subsidiary located in Lincoln, Nebraska.
According to company officials, “steady growth in demand for new aircraft is anticipated to continue in the worldwide commercial airplane market. Taking this opportunity to establish an assembly line for the Boeing 777X’s cargo doors, Kawasaki designates the Lincoln factory as its aerostructure manufacturing base in the U.S. and will actively pursue the expansion of its commercial aircraft business as well as the growth of KMM.”
Kawasaki develops and manufactures forward and mid fuselage panels, main landing gear wells, pressure bulkheads and cargo doors for the 777X. For the production work of the cargo door at the Lincoln factory, Kawasaki will use an automated riveting machine and an in-house developed painting robot to enhance the automation and speed of production and ensure high quality, thereby increasing the efficiency in production.
Nebraska Department of Economic Development officials said this is the first time for Kawasaki to establish an aerostructures production line in the United States. The production equipment is scheduled for installation in a work area of about 30,100 square feet in the existing factory prior to March 2017. Production operations will start in May 2017.
“Nebraska has benefited greatly from Kawasaki’s presence in the state,” said Governor Pete Ricketts. “Kawasaki’s decision to expand operations in Nebraska demonstrates our competitive position in the global economy. These added jobs and investment will help grow the Nebraska economy and increase employment opportunities in our state.”
The Lincoln factory began producing motorcycles in 1974, as a factory of Kawasaki Motors Corp., U.S.A., and was later independently incorporated as KMM in 1981. The factory also currently produces, among others: all-terrain vehicles, the Jet Ski personal watercraft, and railway vehicles.
The factory has introduced the Kawasaki Production Systems, Kawasaki’s original production system developed through mass-production activities over many years. It will extend these systems to the production of aerostructures as well.