IMS'97, the fourth in the series of IFAC Workshops on Intelligent Manufacturing Systems, was held in Seoul, Korea, on July 21-23, 1997. It was sponsored by the IFAC Technical Committee on Advanced Manufacturing Technology and organized by the Engineering Research Center for Advance Control and Instrumentation at Seoul National University on behalf of the Institute of Control, Automation and Systems Engineers in Korea. Rapid progress in the area of modern manufacturing is probably most evident through the developments in intelligent manufacturing systems. The same fast advancements have made the objective of achieving a balanced technical program a challenging task. The International Program Committee (IPC) wanted the Workshop to include the most notable and recent results, but still to reflect the versatility of maturing IMS technologies. In the Workshop, the importance of intelligence in modern manufacturing has gained considerable recognition from engineers and researchers due to today's unforeseen manufacturing environment change. This Workshop focused on the issue "intelligent manufacturing," especially, with two intriguing keynote speeches, a special invited session on the worldwide IMS Project and two tutorial programs as well as the 64 papers from 16 countries worldwide. We do hope that this event has provided the excellent opportunity to identify the future trends as well as exchange and learn ideas and experiences in intelligent manufacturing.