Wing panels for Boeing's new 777 airplane are assembled using fastening machines called Wing Fastener Systems (WFS).Compared to the wing riveting machines currently used to squeeze rivets for other airplane models, the 777 WFS provides significantly more features in that it also installs two part fasteners, collects process data for Statistical Process Control analysis, plus other functions.Historically, new operators for wing riveting machines have needed six months of on-the-job training to achieve basic qualification. Because of the increased functionality of the 777 WFS, an eight to nine month O.J.T. requirement was anticipated. Training requirements were further compounded by our need for up to thirty qualified operators in a relatively short time frame and a maintenance staff thoroughly trained in the new control architecture.Boeing's response to this challenge was to use simulation methods similar to those used to train pilots for our customer airlines. It was expected that by doing so we would reduce individual operator training time by as much as six months and furthermore, that technician training on the simulator would increase and help maintain the proficiency of our technical staff thereby minimizing machine repair time.