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The manufacturing sector has been facing major challenges as it undergoes revolutionary changes fuelled by new and sophisticated demands from customers, global competition, distribution of manufacturing and marketing activities, and technological advances. In order to address these challenges, manufacturing enterprises need to change the way they do business and adopt innovative technologies and solutions to increase their responsiveness and production efficiency. Information technology plays an essential role in this process. Current manufacturing systems are collections of complex systems or subsystems operating in distributed collaborative environments involving software, hardware, humans, and organizations. It is crucial to keep a balance between the technical aspects of automation and the human and social facets when applying information technology in industrial applications, particularly with the rapid advancements in information and communication technologies and the wide deployment of automated manufacturing systems. However, in order to create appropriate frameworks for exploring the best synergies between humans and automated systems, there are still numerous issues in terms of processes characterization, modeling, and development of adequate support tools. BASYS conferences have been developed and organized to promote the development of balanced automation systems in an attempt to address these issues. The first BASYS conference was successfully launched in Victoria, Brazil (1995), and then the following conferences were held in Lisbon, Portugal (1996), Prague, Czech Republic (1998), Berlin, Germany (2000), Cancun, Mexico (2002), and Vienna, Austria (2004).
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