first incorporated his small start-up company in Seattle as the Pacific Aero Products Co., Boeing celebrated its centenary in 2016 as the world’s largest aerospace
company and America’s biggest exporter of manufactured products.
With revenues of $93 billion last year and 140,000+ employees in over 65
countries working on commercial jetliners, space and defense systems, and financial services, Boeing now has more than 10,000 commercial jetliners in active service around the world and its freighters carry almost 90 per cent of the world’s air cargo.
Determined to make its second century as
successful as its first, Boeing has recently un-dertaken a number of corporate initiatives to
capitalize on its long tradition of innovation and
customer focus by creating new internal organizations, including the Boeing Global Services
division, which consolidates its aftermarket expertise and solutions across engineering, digital
analytics, supply chain, and training; its Hori-zonX group, which is seeking out new business
ventures aimed at unlocking the next generation
of game-changing ideas, products, and markets;
Boeing AnalytX, bringing together 800 analytics experts from across the company to help turn
data into actionable insights and data-driven
customer services; and most recently, Boeing
Additive Manufacturing, which combines the
expertise and capabilities of a number of the
company’s 3D-printing design and production
activities across the organization.
Kim Smith, Vice President and General
Manager of Boeing Commercial Airplanes
Fabrication operations, is now leading the
implementation strategy for Boeing’s additive
manufacturing activities across the company.
In our latest Dialogue with a manufacturing industry thought leader, Smith talks with Executive
Editor Paul Tate about the transformational potential of additive manufacturing, understanding
the difference between data and meaningful information, and the importance of collaboration,
leadership empathy, and enterprise agility along
the journey to Manufacturing 4.0.
Q: What’s the scope of your current
role at Boeing?
A: I’ve been fortunate to have some diverse
experiences during my time with Boeing,
and I’m in an extraordinary assignment
now as Vice President and General Manager
of the Commercial Airplane Fabrication
team, which is the largest supplier to Boeing Commercial Airplanes. Fabrication is a
worldwide organization with operations at
12 major sites in four countries and approximately 15,000 employees. We have a diverse
set of capabilities where we engineer and
manufacture everything from electrical and
interior systems, to engine inlet assemblies,
advanced composite structures, and tooling.
I was also recently appointed to lead Boeing’s effort to integrate, leverage, and accelerate
our 3D printing capability across the company.
Q: What excites you most about your roles?
A: A lot of things excite me about working
here. I’m extremely passionate about serving
our customers and Fabrication gives me a
great opportunity to connect with them, understand the missions they are carrying out,
and find ways to better help their businesses.
I’m also excited by spending time with
the many talented employees in Boeing and
tapping into that talent. It’s hard to find me
happier than when I’m just out and about,
walking throughout any of our operations,