Sponsor - LK Global Manufacturing Systems (UK).
'I have seen the future - and it works,' enthused an awe-struck observer of post-revolution Russia. On visiting this year's Factory of the Year, United Distillers' bottling plant at Leven, Fife, the reaction of the judges was comparable. The Leven factory is a shining example of just what can be achieved by a management and workforce determined to succeed.
In a unionised plant dating from the early 1970s, female operatives undertake maintenance activities and change lines over from one product to another - employing Japanese-style, quick-changeover techniques and line-side automated tool stores to do so. In the maintenance department, a fitter happily points to the success of a 'Values and Standards' programme that rooted out former colleagues whom he openly describes as 'belligerent and obstinate'. Now, he says, 'The people that are left are those that have the right attitude.'