The changing manufacturing environment requires more responsive and adaptable manufacturing systems. The theme of the 4th International Conference on Changeable, Agile, Reconfigurable and Virtual production (CARV2011) is Enabling Manufacturing Competitiveness and Economic Sustainability. Leading edge research and best implementation practices and experiences, which address these important issues and challenges, are presented. The proceedings include advances in manufacturing systems design, planning, evaluation, control and evolving paradigms such as mass customization, personalization, changeability, re-configurability and flexibility. New and important concepts such as the dynamic product families and platforms, co-evolution of products and systems, and methods for enhancing manufacturing systems economic sustainability and prolonging their life to produce more than one product generation are treated. Enablers of change in manufacturing systems, production volume and capability scalability and managing the volatility of markets, competition among global enterprises and the increasing complexity of products, manufacturing systems and management strategies are discussed. Industry challenges and future directions for research and development needed to help both practitioners and academicians are presented.