Now the Star Wars Factory

Suddenly computer technology explodes across the shop floor

At United Technologies' main Pratt & Whitney jet engine plant in East Hartford, Conn., dozens of huge, computerized lathes turn out some of the 3,000 finely machined parts that go into the company's latest jet engine, PW2037, destined for use in Boeing's economy airliner, the 757. Six hundred miles away, at the plant of a Pratt & Whitney subcontractor in Walled Lake, Mich., other machines perform equally complex functions, instructed by electronic signals sent over an ordinary telephone line from a computer back in East Hartford....

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