The “Winning Ways ’99” conference, organised by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, was aimed at “exploring the issues that surround manufacturing industry as it prepares to enter the new millennium”. In the plenary sessions, a number of case studies were presented from companies that had made major changes to improve performance. The article describes one of these, from TRW Aeronautics (formerly Lucas Varity Aerospace). The method of “one piece at a time material flow” is outlined and the benefits and results achieved by TRW are listed. In the following conference workshops a variety of techniques for advancement were discussed. Two of these are selected for attention, “Lean and agile manufacturing” and “Totally integrated automation – from shopfloor to boardroom”.
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