Boeing Co and Japan's Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd (MHI) announced reaching an agreement on steps to cut the cost of producing the wings of the 787 Dreamliner.
MHI, which is the sole supplier of the 787 composite wings manufactures them at its factory in Nagoya. According to commentators, the deal with MHI fits with Boeing's cost structure cutting drive.
The new agreement announced in a joint statement today, allows MHI to push ahead with securing increased efficiency in its production system and supply-chain through lean production methods, automation and other activities.
The two companies would also study advanced aerostructure technologies for future generation commercial aircraft.
MHI said last year Boeing was looking to lower prices and changes in payment terms as the US manufacturer pushed to conserve cash.
Delays in the 787 development and delivery, due partly to difficulties of managing a global supply chain, had led Boeing to produce more of the upcoming 777X widebody, including the wings, at home despite MHI's attempts to keep the work in Japan.
The Japanese component in the production of 777X parts was expected fall to 21 per cent from 35 per cent for the 787. MHI would however produce fuselage sections for the 777X programme.
Meanwhile, Boeing said in a statement, that the agreement will also see the two companies conduct joint studies into aerostructures technologies for future aircraft.
"We are delighted to be enhancing the competitiveness of our commercial aircraft business with this agreement," says Shunichi Miyanaga, president and chief executive of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, flightglobal.com reported.
"We have built our partnership with Boeing over more than 40 years, collaborating on various aircraft programs including the 737, 747, 767, 777, 787 Dreamliner and state-of-the-art 777X and look forward to cooperating to explore future opportunities.
Boeing added that it obtained about $5 billion in goods and services from Japan annually.