Presented here are 73 refereed papers given at the 34th MATADOR Conference held at UMIST in July 2004. The MATADOR series of conferences covers the topics of Manufacturing Automation and Systems Technology, Applications, Design, Organisation and Management, and Research. The 34th proceedings contains original papers contributed by researchers from many countries on different continents. The papers cover both the technological aspect of manufacturing processes; and the systems, business and management features of manufacturing enterprise.
The papers in this volume reflect:
- the importance of manufacturing to international wealth creation;
- the necessity of responsiveness and agility of manufacturing companies to meet market-led requirements and international change;
- the role of information technology and electronic communications in the growth of global manufacturing enterprises;
- the impact of new technologies, new materials and processes, on the ability to produce goods of higher quality, more quickly, to meet markets needs at a lower cost.
Some of the major generic developments which have taken place in these areas since the 33rd MATADOR conference was held in 2000 are reported in this volume.
The changing nature of manufacturing with increased automation and the continuing integration of intelligent systems, together with cut-throat competition on economic grounds means that every advance possible will be in demand from industry itself and from academic institutions doing research in the are and funded by industry.