Special sessions

A number of special sessions have already been planned, and authors are welcome to submit papers to these. Detailed information for each special session is provided below.

Additional proposals for special session topics must be submitted before December 31, 2019 in order to be included in the conference program. Please send a title, a 100-200-word description, and a contact person of the special session to info@carv2020.com or info@mcpc2020.com.


Deep Learning as a mean for Enabling Self-Learning and Self-Optimizing Capabilities in Real-World Industrial Applications

Recent progress in Deep Learning e.g. Deep Reinforcement Learning and Computer Vision can enable self-learning and self-optimizing capabilities in robotic and manufacturing systems. Nowadays in the context of Industry 4.0, manufacturing companies are faced by increasing global competition and challenges, which require them to become more flexible and able to adapt faster to rapid market changes. Advanced robotic and manufacturing systems are enablers for achieving greater flexibility and adaptability, however, integrating such systems also becomes increasingly more complex. Thus, new methods for programming and optimizing the systems to accommodate the natural variation and complexity exhibited in real-world tasks are needed. Deep Learning may provide the means to enable these “self-x” capabilities.

Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • Robot programming through Imitation Learning or Inverse Reinforcement Learning
  • Industrial process optimization with Deep Learning approaches
  • Robot control optimization through Deep Reinforcement Learning
  • Object and defect detection with Deep Learning
  • Smart autonomous vehicles in industry (air, land, sea)
  • Simulation modelling for Deep Learning training and validation
  • Real-world case studies

Session chair

Associate Prof. Simon Bøgh (sb@mp.aau.dk)
Department of Materials and Production
Aalborg University

Transforming Traditional Production Systems into Smart Production Systems

The exponential growth in digital technologies provides manufacturing companies with an increasing number of new possibilities for the development of new products, processes and services – many of these with the potential of being disruptive. The expected benefits related to the implementation of these new digital technologies range from the improvement of operational efficiency to the enabling of new value creation possibilities, catalyzed by new product capabilities as well as by entirely new business models. However, to operationalize the transformation of a production system into an integrated, digital and smart production system remains a challenging task.

Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • How can companies benefit from novel digital technologies?
  • How can companies integrate the novel digital technologies into existing (brown field) and new (green field) production environments?
  • How does the digital transformation impact and change businesses and organizations
  • How is the digital transformation process managed over time and how should staff members be further qualified?

Session chair

Associate Prof. Yang Cheng (cy@mp.aau.dk)
Department of Materials and Production
Aalborg University

Industrial Applications of Circular Economy

Circular Economy (CE) has been promoted as a way of decoupling environmental pressure from economic growth, with analyses pointing towards CE at a global level will generate economic gains exceeding 1000 billion US dollars annually. CE has been approached from a variety of levels, at the macro-level, countries such as China is leading the way in setting up circular systems for cities and countries. At the meso-level, topics such as Industrial Ecology is prominent, focusing, for instance, on how to reduce and reuse waste material across industries. At the micro-level, the focus is on the individual firm, where there is a major potential for sustainability gains. However, companies are slow in adapting CE practices, and it remains unclear how companies should adapt CE business models. Research points towards financial viability as a major barrier for CE adoption at the micro-level. While technological progression and adoption all seek to enable CE, such as Internet-of-Things technologies or Changeable Manufacturing Systems, there remains a gap between practice and promise. This special session will focus on the industrial application of CE, and invite submissions focusing on industry level adoption or methods for adoption of CE.

Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • Changeable manufacturing for circular economy
  • Antecedents for micro-level circular economy implementation
  • Circular economy for customized products
  • Takeback for smart products
  • Internet-of-Things enabled circular economy

Session chair

Postdoc Jesper H. Kristensen (jhk@mp.aau.dk)
Department of Materials and Production
Aalborg University


Variety and Complexity Management in the Era of Industry 4.0

A century ago, Ford managed to invade the US market with any color the customer wants as far as it is black. This strategy does not apply any more to so many markets with overwhelming customer demands. Companies are more and more concerned with offering higher variety with the hope to capture as many customers as possible, in B-to-B or B-to-C markets alike. However, the variety goes hand in hand with increased operations complexity. This special session aims to explore the methods to deal with variety and complexity with a focus on the opportunities offered by the industry 4.0. The session welcomes papers addressing engineering and/or management perspectives of variety and complexity. Papers focusing on the ramp-up phase of the product/service life cycle are much welcomed.

Session chair

Associate Prof. Khaled Medini,
Mines Saint-Etienne, France

Prof. Lars Hvam
Technical University of Denmark, Denmark,

Prof. Stefan Wiesner,
BIBA – Bremer Institut für Produktion und Logistik, Germany

Multimodal Logistics

This special session address sustainable logistics and transport systems involving e.g. crossdocking, collaborative models or use of technologies such as IoT, block chain, big data, or automation for better capacity utilization and/or more sustainable supply chains across transport modes.

Session chair

Prof. Hans-Henrik Hvolby (hhh@mp.aau.dk)
Department of Materials and Production
Aalborg University