By Matt Tomsic
Published Oct. 15, 2012
Boeing South Carolina is upgrading labs used for flammability and other testing at its North Charleston final assembly facility.
The work started in August and will include a revamp of 30,000 square feet, though the labs will cover about 16,000 square feet, said Candy Eslinger, a spokeswoman with the Boeing Co.
“To us, it’s really a small project,” Eslinger said. “We already have these labs here. It’s really just a revamping of that area for the (Boeing Research and Technology) lab.”
Eslinger couldn’t provide much detail about the work done by the lab, but said it performs flammability, chemical and composite testing. The 787 Dreamliners assembled in North Charleston are the first commercial jets to be built mostly from composites.
Eslinger said the labs also prototype assemblies and test other types of production.
The upgrade will not create more jobs beyond those that Boeing had planned, and its hiring website lists a handful of positions assigned to Boeing Research and Technology. The listing includes analysts for manufacturing technology and engineers for materials, process and physics composites, and ergonomics technology.
The project is the second begun by Boeing since August. In September, the company announced plans to expand its aft-body footprint to increase efficiencies for its production of two Dreamliner sections in North Charleston. At the time, Eslinger said the expansion isn’t expected to add more jobs to the roughly 6,100 employees working at Boeing South Carolina.
“This expansion is purely about gaining efficiencies in the production flow,” Eslinger said in September. “We don’t anticipate adding additional positions in connection with this expansion project outside the ones that are open now.”