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Today they are everywhere. Production lines controlled by computers and operated by robots. There's no chatter of assembly workers, just the whirr and click of machines. In the mid-1940s, the workerless factory was still the stuff of science fiction. There were no computers to speak of and electronics was primitive. Yet hidden away in the English countryside was a highly automated production line called ECME, which could turn out 1500 radio receivers a day with almost no help from human hands.
(A) John Sargrove, the visionary engineer who developed the technology, was way ahead of his time. For more than a decade, Sargrove had been trying to figure out how to make cheaper radios. Automating the manufacturing process would help. But radios didn't lend themselves to such methods: there were too many parts to fit together and too many wires to solder. Even a simple receiver might have 30 separate components and 80 hand-soldered connections. At every stage, things had to be tested and inspected. Making radios required highly skilled labour—and lots of it.
(B) In 1944, Sargrove came up with the answer. His solution was to dispense with most of the fiddly bits by inventing a primitive chip—a slab of Bakelite with all the receiver's electrical components and connections embedded in it. This was something that could be made by machines, and he designed those too. At the end of the war, Sargrove built an automatic production line, which he called ECME (electronic circuit-making equipment), in a small factory in Effingham, Surrey.
(C) An operator sat at one end of each ECME line, feeding in die plates. She didn't need much skill, only quick hands. From now on, everything was controlled by electronic switches and relays. First stop was the sandblaster, which roughened the surface of the plastic BO that molten metal would stick to it The plates were then cleaned to remove any traces of grit The machine automatically checked that the surface was rough enough before sending the plate to the spraying section. There, eight nozzles rotated into position and sprayed molten zinc over both sides of the plate. Again, the nozzles only began to spray when a plate was in place. The plate whizzed on. The next stop was the milling machine, which ground away the surface layer of metal to leave the circuit and other components in the grooves and recesses. Now the plate was a composite of metal and plastic. It sped on to be lacquered and have its circuits tested. By the time it emerged from the end of the line, robot hands had fitted it with sockets to attach components such as valves and loudspeakers. When ECME was working flat out; the whole process took 20 seconds.
(D) ECME was astonishingly advanced. Electronic eyes, photocells that generated a small current when a panel arrived, triggered each step in the operation, BO avoiding excessive wear and tear on the machinery. The plates were automatically tested at each stage as they moved along the conveyor. And if more than two plates in succession were duds, the machines were automatically adjusted—or if necessary halted In a conventional factory, I workers would test faulty circuits and repair them. But Sargrove's assembly line produced circuits so cheaply they just threw away the faulty ones. Sargrove’s circuit board was even more astonishing for the time. It predated the more familiar printed circuit, with wiring printed on aboard, yet was more sophisticated. Its built-in components made it more like a modem chip.
(E) When Sargrove unveiled his invention at a meeting of the British Institution of Radio Engineers in February 1947, the assembled engineers were impressed. So was the man from The Times. ECME, he reported the following day, "produces almost without human labour, a complete radio receiving set. This new method of production can be equally well applied to television and other forms of electronic apparatus.
(F) The receivers had many advantages over their predecessors, wit components they were more robust. Robots didn't make the sorts of mistakes human assembly workers sometimes did. "Wiring mistakes just cannot happen," wrote Sargrove. No w ừ es also meant the radios were lighter and cheaper to ship abroad. And with no soldered wires to come unstuck, the radios were more reliable. Sargrove pointed out that the drcuit boards didn't have to be flat. They could be curved, opening up the prospect of building the electronics into the cabinet of Bakelite radios.
(G) Sargrove was all for introducing this type of automation to other products. It could be used to make more complex electronic equipment than radios, he argued. And even if only part of a manufacturing process were automated, the savings would be substantial. But while his invention was brilliant, his timing was bad. ECME was too advanced for its own good. It was only competitive on huge production runs because each new job meant retooling the machines. But disruption was frequent. Sophisticated as it was, ECME still depended on oldfashioned electromechanical relays and valves—which failed with monotonous regularity. The state of Britain's economy added to Sargrove's troubles. Production was dogged by power cuts and post-war shortages of materials. Sargrove's financial backers began to get cold feet.
(H) There was another problem Sargrove hadn't foreseen. One of ECME's biggest advantages—the savings on the cost of labour—also accelerated its downfall. Sargrove's factory had two ECME production lines to produce the two c ữ cuits needed for each radio. Between them these did what a thousand assembly workers would otherwise have done. Human hands were needed only to feed the raw material in at one end and plug the valves into then sockets and fit the loudspeakers at the other. After that, the only job left was to fit the pair of Bakelite panels into a radio cabinet and check that it worked.
(I) Sargrove saw automation as the way to solve post-war labour shortages. With somewhat Utopian idealism, he imagined his new technology would free people from boring, repetitive jobs on the production line and allow them to do more interesting work. "Don't get the idea that we are out to rob people of then jobs," he told the Daily Mnror. "Our task is to liberate men and women from being slaves of machines."
(J) The workers saw things differently. They viewed automation in the same light as the everlasting light bulb or the suit that never wears out—as a threat to people's livelihoods. If automation spread, they wouldn't be released to do more exciting jobs. They'd be released to join the dole queue. Financial backing for ECME fizzled out. The money dried up. And Britain lost its lead in a technology that would transform industry just a few years later.
Questions 1-7: Summary
The following diagram explains the process of ECME:
Complete the following chart of the paragraphs of Reading Passage, using no more than two words from the Reading Passage for each answer. Write your answers in boxes 1-7 on your answer sheet
Diagram for ECME line on Bakelite
Questions 8-11: Complete the following summary of the paragraphs of Reading Passage. using TO more than two words from the Reading Passage for each answer. Writs your answers inboxes 8-11 on your answer sheet
Sargrove had been dedicated to create a_____8_____radio by automation of manufacture. The old version of radio had a large number of independent_____9_____ After this innovation made, wireless-style radios became_____10_____and inexpensive to export oversea. As the Saigrove saw it, the real benefit of ECME’s radio was that it reduced_____11_____of manual work; which can be easily copied to other industries of manufacturing electronic devices.
Questions 12-13: Choose the correct letter A, B, c or D.
Write your answers inboxes 12-13 on your answer sheet
Q.12. What were workers attitude towards ECME Model initialy
Q.13. What is the main idea of this passage?
(a) approach to reduce the price of radio
(b) a new generation of fully popular products and successful business
(c) in application of die automation in the early stage
(d) ECME technology can be applied in many product fields
(E) Most people aren't as busy as they think they are, which is why we can usually tolerate interruptions from our inconsiderate electronic paraphernalia. James Fogarty and Scott Hudson of Carnegie Mellon University recently teamed up with Jennifer Lai of IBM Research to study 10 managers, researchers and interns at work. They videotaped the subjects and periodically had them rate then “interruptibility.” The amount of time the workers spent in leave-me-alone mode varied from person to person and day to day, ranging from 10 to 51 percent. On average, the subjects wanted to work without interruption about one third of the time. In studies of Microsoft employees, Horvitz has similarly found that they typically spend more than 65 percent of theft day in a state of low attention.
(F) Today’s phones and computers, winch naively assume that die user is never too busy to take a call, read an email, or click “OK” on an alert box, thus are probably correct about two thirds of time. To be useful, then, considerate systems will have to be more than 65 percent accurate in sensing when their users are near theft cognitive limits.
(G) Bestcom/Enhanced Telephony, a Microsoft prototype based on Horvitz’s weak, digs a little deeper into each user’s computer to find clues about what they are up to. Microsoft launched an internal beta test of the system in mid-2003. By last October, Horvitz says, about 3,800 people were using the system to field their incoming phone calls.
(H) Horvitz himself is one of those testers, and while we talk in his office in Redmond, Wash, Bestcom silently handles one call after another. First it checks whether the caller is listed in his address book, the company directory, or its log of people he has called recently. Triangulating these sources, it tries to deduce their relationship. Family members, supervisors and people he called earlier today ring through Others see a message on their computer that he is in a meeting and won’t be available until 3 RM. The system scans Horvitz’s and the caller’s calendar and offers to reschedule the call at a time that is open for both Some callers choose that option; others leave voice mail. E-mail messages get a similar screening. When Horvitz is out of the office, Bestcom automatically offers to forward selected callers to his cellphone— unless his calendar and other evidence suggest that he is in a meeting.
(I) Most large companies already use computerized phone systems and standard calendar and contact management software, so tapping into those “sensors" should be straightforward. Not all employees will like the idea of having a microphone on all the time in them office, however, nor will everyone want to expose them datebook to some program they do not ultimately control. Moreover, some managers might be tempted to equate a “state of low attention” with “goofing off” and punish those who seem insufficiently busy.
Questions 14-19: Do the following statements agree with the information given in Reading Passage 2? In boxes 14-19 on your answer sheet, write
Q.14. According to Ted Selker, human productivity has been disturbed by office competitors frequently.
Q.15. If people are interrupted by calls or E-mails, they usually put up with it instead of taking uncooperative action
Q.16. Microsoft is now investigating a software which is compatible with ordinary office units
Q.17. People usually have misperception about whether they are busy or not.
Q.18. Researches conducted showed concentration-time span in office takes up only average a bit over than 65%.
Q.19. Advanced phone and computer system will install a shortcut key for people receive information immediately.
Question 20-26: Answer the questions in the diagram below.
Choose ONLY ONE WORDS AND/OR A NUMBER from like passage for each answer.
(A) In the early 1990s, the California Air Resources Board (CARB), the government of California's "clean air agency", began a push for more fuel-efficient, loweremissions vehicles, with the ultimate goal being a move to zero-emissions vehicles such as electric vehicles. In response, automakers developed electric models, including the Chrysler TEVan, Ford Ranger EV pickup truck, GM EV1 and S10 EV pickup, Honda EV Plus hatchback, Nissan lithium-battery Altra EV miniwagon and Toyota RAV4 EV. Ford Fusion is manufactured at Ford's Hermosillo Stamping & Assembly plant, located in Sonora Mexico. I thought going green was supposed to provide the u.s. with more jobs.
(B) The automakers were accused of pandering to the wishes of CARB in order to continue to be allowed to sell cars in the lucrative Californian market, while failing to adequately promote their electric vehicles in order to create the impression that the consumers were not interested in the cars, all the while joining oil industry lobbyists in vigorously protesting CARB's mandate. GM's program came under particular scrutiny; in an unusual move, consumers were not allowed to purchase EVls, but were instead asked to sign closed-end leases, meaning that the cars had to be returned to GM at the end of the lease period, with no option to purchase, despite lesser interest in continuing to own the cars. Chrysler, Toyota, and a group of GM dealers sued CARB in Federal court, leading to the eventual neutering of CARB's ZEV Mandate.
(C) After public protests by EV drivers' groups upset by the repossession of then cars, Toyota offered the last 328 RAV4-EVS for sale to the general public during six months, up until November 22, 2002. Almost all other production electric cars were withdrawn from the market and were in some cases seen to have been destroyed by the manufacturers. Toyota continues to support the several hundred Toyota RAV4-EV in the hands of the general public and in fleet usage. GM famously de-activated the few EVls that were donated to engineering schools and museums.
(D) Throughout the 1990s, appeal of fuel-efficient or environmentally friendly cars declined among Americans, who instead favored sport utility vehicles, which were affordable to operate despite their poor fuel efficiency thanks to lower gasoline prices. American automakers chose to focus their product lines around the truck-based vehicles, which enjoyed larger profit margins than the smaller cars which were preferred in places like Europe or Japan. In 1999, the Honda Insight hybrid car became the first hybrid to be sold in North America since the little-known Woods hybrid of 1917.
(E) In 1995, Toyota debuted a hybrid concept car at the Tokyo Motor Show, with testing following a year later. The first Prius, model NHW10, went on sale on December 10,1997. It was available only in Japan, though it has been imported privately to at least the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand. The first generation Prius, at its launch, became the world's first mass-produced gasolineelectric hybrid car. The NHW10 Prius styling originated from California designers, who were selected over competing designs from other Toyota design studios.
(F) In the United States, the NHW11 was the first Prius to be sold. The Prius was marketed between the smaller Corolla and the larger Camry. The published retail price of the car was US$19,995. The NHWU Prius became more powerful partly to satisfy the higher speeds and longer distances that Americans drive. Air conditioning and electric power steering were standard equipment. The vehicle was the second mass-produced hybrid on the American market, after the twoseat Honda Insight While the larger Prius could seat five, its battery pack restricted cargo space.
(G) Hybrids, which featured a combined gasoline and electric powertrain, were seen as a balance, offering an environmentally friendly image and improved fuel economy, without being hindered by the low range of electric vehicles, albeit at an increased price over comparable gasoline cars. Sales were poor, the lack of interest attributed to the car's small size and the lack of necessity for a fuelefficient car at the time. The 2000s energy crisis brought renewed interest in hybrid and electric cars. In America, sales of the Toyota Prius jumped, and a variety of automakers followed suit, releasing hybrid models of the ữ own. Several began to produce new electric car prototypes, as consumers called for cars that would free them from the fluctuations of oil prices.
(H) In 2000, Hybrid Technologies, later renamed Li-ion Motors, started manufacturing electric cars in Mooresville, North Carolina. There has been increasing controversy with Li-ion Motors though due to the ongoing 'Lemon issues' regarding their product. And their attempt to cover it up. California electric car maker Tesla Motors began development in 2004 on the Tesla Roadster, which was first delivered to customers in 2008. The Roadster remained the only highway-capable EV in serial production and available for sale until 2010. Senior leaders at several large automakers, including Nissan and General Motors, have stated that the Roadster was a catalyst which demonstrated that there is pent-up consumer demand for more efficient vehicles. GM Vice Chairman Bob Lutz said in 2007 that the Tesla Roadster inspired him to push GM to develop the Chevrolet Volt, a plug-in hybrid sedan prototype that aims to reverse years of dwindling market share and massive financial losses for America's largest automaker. In an August 2009 edition of The New Yorker, Lutz was quoted as saying, "All the geniuses here at General Motors kept saying lithium-ion technology is 10 years away, and Toyota agreed with US -- and boom, along comes Tesla. So I said, 'How come some tiny little California startup, run by guys who know nothing about the car business, can do this, and we can't?' That was the crowbar that helped break up the logjam."
Question 27-30: Choose the correct letter, A, B, c or D.
Q.27. What does the author think of the factory in Sonora in Mexico where the ford fusion is manufactured?
(a) The factory should be helpful in the US soil business!
(b) Employment of US will be created as consumers change their awareness;
(c) More competitive cars will be introduced into the market!
(d) this issue is hard to give a predict
Q.28. In 1990s, what dropped in America for the environmentally friendly vehicles?
Q.29. What did GM notably send to engineering schools and museums?
(a) EV 1
(d) MINI E
Q.30. Nissan and GM high level leaders declared the real reason for the popularity of Roadster is its
(a) legendary concept
(b) huge population in market
(c) bursting demand
(d) artistic design
Questions 31-35: Do the following statements agree with the information given in Reading Passage In boxes 31-35 on your answer sheet, write
Q.31. Some automakers mislead and suppressed the real demand for electric cars of keeping profit in certain market by luring the want of CARB.
Q.32. Toyota started to sell 328 RAV4-EVS for taking up the market share.
Q.33. In some countries, American automakers would like grab opportunity to earn money in vehicle of bigger litre engine cars rather than smaller ones
Q.34. Hybrids cars are superior vehicles that combine impression of a environmentally friendly electric power engine and a lower price in unit sale.
Q.35. an inspiration to make effort to produce hybrid cars is to coping with economic difficulties result from an declining market for General Motors.
Questions 36-40 Complete the summary using the of words, A-L below.
Write the correct letter, A-L in boxes 36-40 on your answer sheet.
A _____36_____ was firstly introduced by Car maker Toyota in 1995. Then it started for sale in 1997 with a new first generation model. Not only in Japan, but included other countries such as _____37_____and Oceania in which the Prius was imported to. The first generation Prius was the first car in mass production which is powered by_____38_____The model NHW10 was designed by a winning Californian designer The innovated NHW 11 Prius has considerably higher running velocity and_____39_____than American counterparts. Still, the load capacity of current Prius version was limited in its_____40_____.
(a) electric car
(b) United Kingdom
(d) concept car
(e) longer distances
(k) cargo space
Section - A
Section - B
Section - C