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A comparative analysis of the impact of automation and computerisation on the metalworking industry.
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This study of the pursuit of the "automatic factory" focuses on the key industry of metalworking in Britain, Italy, Japan and the United States. It unveils a recurring historical conflict between two logics of factory management and organization: workshop principles and principles of a standardized factory. Case studies of "Flexible Manufacturing Systems" in these four countries and their sociopolitical contexts show national variations and tensions between factory and workshop principles continuing into the age of computerization.
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