Summary and Info
EN Corlett Joint-Chairman - COPED, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK The contributions offered to this Third National Conference demonstrate that research in production is very much alive. The considerable numbers of papers on robotics, automation and flexible manufacturing systems, together with those in production control and quality matters, demonstrate that there is much work going on in our colleges, polytechnics and universities related to modern methods of manufacture. The future of manufacture undoubtedly hinges on better control. Control over the supply and movement of materials is now keenly sought. Control over manufacturing equipment is also a goal, not just to maintain quality but to give flexibility in sequence and quantity. None of these objectives for improved performance is entirely a technical matter, although there is an increasing technical ability to influence all of them. To achieve their potential, they depend on competent people at all levels. Discussion with alert managers soon reveals that this is one of their major concerns. Either the people they have require more training, or they cannot hire the people with the abilities they need. This applies at all levels, and the availability of people with competence in manufacture is particularly low.