Many real-world manufacturing problems are too complex to be modelled analytically. For these problems, simulation can be a powerful tool for system analysis and optimisation. While traditional optimisation methods have been unable to cope with the complexities of many problems approached by simulation, evolutionary algorithms have proven to be highly useful. This paper describes how simulation and evolutionary algorithms have been combined to improve a manufacturing cell at Volvo Aero in Sweden. This cell produces high-technology engine components for civilian and military airplanes, and also for space rockets. Results from the study show that by using simulation and evolutionary algorithms, it is possible to increase the overall utilisation of the cell and at the same time decrease the number of overdue components.