by Conference Chairman n1 It is my pleasure to introduce this volume of Proceedings for the 33 MATADOR Conference. The Proceedings include 83 refereed papers submitted from 19 countries on 4 continents. 00 The spread of papers in this volume reflects four developments since the 32 MATADOR Conference in 1997: (i) the power of information techlogy to integrate the management and control of manufacturing systems; (ii) international manufacturing enterprises; (iii) the use of computers to integrate different aspects of manufacturing techlogy; and, (iv) new manufacturing techlogies. New developments in the manufacturing systems area are globalisation and the use of the Web to achieve virtual enterprises. In manufacturing techlogy the potential of the following processes is being realised: rapid proto typing, laser processing, high-speed machining, and high-speed machine tool design. And, at the same time in the area of controls and automation, the flexibility and integration ability of open architecture computer controllers are creating a wide range of opportunities for vel solutions. Up-to-date research results in these and other areas are presented in this volume. The Proceedings reflect the truly international nature of this Conference and the way in which original research results are both collected and disseminated. The volume does t, however, record the rich debate and extensive scientific discussion which took place during the Conference. I trust that you will find this volume to be a permanent record of some of the research carried out in the last two years; and.