05/12/2020 Working Hand-in-Hand with Boeing

In 2007, the Liebherr-Aerospace office in Seattle, Washington (USA) started out with a core team of three people to support the 747-8 Environmental Control System developed and manufactured by Liebherr for the Boeing 747-8. Today the team counts 11 highly specialized and motivated team members. In 2020, they celebrated the first flight of Boeing’s latest aircraft, the Boeing 777X.

The 777X – Boeing’s latest aircraft - © Boeing

The 777X – Boeing’s latest aircraft - © Boeing

The 777X – Boeing’s latest aircraft - © Boeing

Despite the fact that the office is called “Liebherr Seattle office”, the location is de facto in Everett, WA. Since 2009, the team is led by General Manager Dietmar Klauber. “Our liaison office functions as an interface between Boeing and Liebherr-Aerospace OEM sites in Lindenberg and Toulouse”, explains Klauber the mission and vision of this office. “We are thus ensuring a high proximity between both companies during on-going as well as possible future aircraft programs. We are able to provide Boeing with a high level of support and reactivity, meeting the requirements of all present programs.”

Today, the office hosts a team of 11 employees, who interact daily with Boeing engineers. Bernhard Bauer works for Liebherr since 1999 and in Seattle since 2009. He is one of the liaison engineers and leading the engineering team in the Liebherr office. “Not only do we need to have the necessary technical and product knowledge, we also need to master soft skills – such as understanding cultural differences, effective problem solving, ability to prioritize tasks, and interact with all levels of stakeholders”, states Bauer. With each product having its own dedicated liaison engineer, this office structure yields vast product knowledge and expertise. For example, there is a dedicated engineer to the 747-8 air conditioning and Environmental Control Systems (ECS), there is another engineer dedicated to the 777X folding wing tip, and the list goes on. With each engineer responsible for specific systems, accountability, problem resolution and communications between Boeing’s staff and Liebherr-Aerospace’s OEM facilities staff become very effective and streamlined.

While having the future in mind, the team is preparing to master the latest quality methodologies, such as APQP (Advanced Product Quality Planning) and MBSE (Model Based Systems Engineering). “Our aim is to constantly strive to even better support our customer and meet their expectations”, comments Dietmar Klauber. “Expanding our business from the civil aviation sector into the military arena could be a possibility.”

Timeline of Boeing contracts awarded to Liebherr-Aerospace:

1979 Contract Boeing 767 main landing gear truck positioner
2003 Contract Boeing 777-300 fuel tank pressure regulating valves
2007 Contract Boeing 747-8 air conditioning system and engine bleed air system
2007 Opening of Liebherr-Aerospace’s Liaison Office in Everett
2012 Contract KC-46 fuel tank pressure regulating valves
2014 Contract Boeing 777X wing tip actuation
2015 Contract Boeing 777X actuators, hydraulic motor and power drive unit for the high lift leading edge (actuators built to spec) and actuators for the high lift trailing edge (built to print)
2018 Contract Boeing 787 nose wheel steering remote electronic units and contract Boeing 777/777X main gear steering control unit and power control actuator with steering position transducer