I always felt interested in figuring out how things are done. And when I saw these complex heavy machines that can take to the skies, I wondered how do they manage to build such a thing. Well, after a few hours of research, I realized that one company itself is not capable of manufacturing all the necessary parts and build an airplane their own.
One of the most important parts of an aircraft is its engine, and yes Boeing alone does not manufacture its own engines. They have to rely on its suppliers to get the job done when talking about these components. Pratt & Whitney is one of Boeing’s main engines supplier and there are some other important providers within the supply chain like Tool Gauge, who produces some metal parts used in the engine.
But why does not Boeing manufactures its own engines? what is the main reason behind this?
Well, the main reason is because producing an engine is a highly complex and specialized job, therefore you need a lot of experience and high capacity to deliver a high quality product at an affordable cost, and at the right time. It seems that the aerospace supply chain is quite complex, here is an article that explains how this industry is changing due to emerging markets like China and Latin America, and how important its supply chain is to reduce costs and deliver a high quality service, see article.
And if Boeing wanted to start manufacturing its own engines, they would have to invest a lot of money in training its employees, hiring new people, acquiring new machinery, and all of the important tasks related to setting up an aircraft engine factory. In the video below you can see a further explanation on why companies like Boeing and Airbus keep relying on their suppliers.