Plenary Speaker I

Prof. Okyay Kaynak
Bogazici University, Turkey

Title: Digital Twins in Intelligent Manufacturing and Industrial Metaverse
A digital twin (DT) is a dynamic virtual replica of an object, entity, or system that continuously synchronizes with data from its physical counterpart. It is developed and utilized throughout the entire life cycle, spanning from inception to retirement, effectively serving as a digital platform for testing, designing, and modifying real-world objects without direct interaction.
In the presentation, three fundamental capabilities of DTs—mirroring, shadowing, and threading—are examined, and the benefits derived from their synergistic operation are elucidated. It is emphasized that employing DTs in manufacturing systems can substantially enhance efficiency, quality, flexibility, and safety.
The presentation then introduces the concept of the industrial metaverse. Already thriving in gaming as a shared platform where multiple users can engage simultaneously, the metaverse is poised to expand into the industrial domain, where digital twins are increasingly adopted. The industrial metaverse's most compelling aspect lies in its potential to restructure the industrial chain and deliver added value to all stakeholders involved. It can be perceived as the evolution of industrial Cyber-Physical Systems, heralding a new era of interconnectedness and innovation.

Biodata: Okyay Kaynak received the B.Sc. degree with first-class honors and Ph.D. degrees in electronic and electrical engineering from the University of Birmingham, UK, in 1969 and 1972, respectively. From 1972 to 1979, he held various positions within the industry. In 1979, he joined the Department of Electrical and Electronics Engineering, Bogazici University, Istanbul, Turkey, where he is currently a Professor Emeritus. He has held long-term (near to or more than a year) Visiting Professor/Scholar positions at various institutions in Japan, Germany, the U.S., Singapore, and China. His current research interests are in the broad field of intelligent systems. He has authored three books, edited five, and authored or co-authored more than 500 papers that have appeared in various journals and conference proceedings. Dr. Kaynak presently serves as the Founding Editor-in-Chief of IEEE Trans. on Industrial Cyber-Physical Systems. Additionally, he is on the Editorial or Advisory Boards of several scholarly journals. He has received the Chinese Government’s Friendship Award, Humboldt Research Prize, Doctor Honoris Causa, Obuda University, Hungary (2020) and the Academy Prize of the Turkish Academy of Sciences (2020). He is a member of this Academy.

Plenary Speaker II

Prof. Luiz Moutinho
University of Suffolk, UK; The Marketing School, Portugal; University of South Pacific, Fiji

Title: Future Days of Unfolding Technologies
The presentation starts by covering a number of key emerging technologies like big data, data fabric, artificial intelligence, machine learning, deep learning, quantum machine learning, artificial neural networks, generative adversarial networks and pulsed neural networks. The discussion will then move on to the areas of the Chat GPT, DALL.E2 and Robotics. The latter will also include Cognitive Automation, Soft Robotics and Nanorobotics. Sensor technology and Brain-centred AI will also be addressed. Finally, issues related to Industry 5.0, Smart Manufacturing, Hybrid
Manufacturing, MaaS, Sustainable Technology and Technologies that will change the world will be highlighted.

Professor Luiz Moutinho (BA, MA, PhD, MAE, FCIM) is a Visiting Professor of Marketing at Suffolk Business School, Faculty of Arts, Business and Applied Social Science, University of Suffolk, Ipswich, England, UK, and at The Marketing School, Portugal and Adjunct Professor of Marketing, GSB, FBE, University of the South Pacific, Suva, Fiji.
In 2020 he was elected as the member of The Academia Europaea. In 2017 he received a degree of Prof. Honoris Causa from the Univ. of Tourism and Management Skopje, North Macedonia.
During 2015 - 2017 he was professor of BioMarketing and Futures Research at the DCU Business School, Dublin City University, Ireland. This was the first Chair in the world on both domains - BioMarketing and Futures Research. Previously, and for 20 years, he had been appointed as the Foundation Chair of Marketing at the Adam Smith Business School, University of Glasgow, Scotland.
Professor Moutinho completed his PhD at the University of Sheffield in 1982. He has been a Full Professor for 32 years and has held Visiting Professorship positions at numerous universities worldwide. He is the Founding Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Modelling in Management (JM2) and Co-editor-in-Chief of the Innovative Marketing Journal.
His main areas of research interest encompass marketing, management and tourism futurecast, artificial intelligence, biometrics and neuroscience in marketing, evolutionary algorithms, human-computer interaction, the use of artificial neural networks in marketing, modelling processes of consumer behaviour, futures research.
Prof. Moutinho has given keynote speeches, lectures, seminars, talks, etc. in 46 countries worldwide.
Prof. Moutinho has 36 books published, over 157 articles published in refereed academic journals. He has 14,731 academic citations, the h-index of 58 and the i10-index of 151 (Google Scholar, Sept. 5th, 2022).

Keynote Speaker I

Assoc. Prof. Cristian Mahulea
University of Zaragoza, Spain


Title: Advancing Multiagent Systems: High-Level Path Planning with Discrete Event Systems
Abstract: The field of mobile robotics is rapidly evolving, with significant advancements in path planning methods for multiagent systems, particularly in environments that are both complex and dynamic. This plenary talk explores the forefront of high-level path planning for teams of mobile robots, also known as agents, through the lens of discrete event systems. We delve into a variety of methodologies, including transition systems (TS) and Petri net (PN) models, which are instrumental in guiding agents through diverse environments to achieve overarching objectives. A pivotal aspect of our discussion is the application of Linear Temporal Logic (LTL) specifications in mission planning, a strategy that ensures both collision-free trajectories and the efficient distribution of tasks among agents. One of the paramount challenges in this area is managing the exponential increase in discrete states that accompanies a growing number of robots, a situation often encountered in centralized planning methods. To tackle this, we introduce an innovative approach that combines the scalability of Petri net models with the efficiency of advanced mathematical programming techniques. This approach is designed to explore only a subset of the state space, thereby identifying optimal solutions more effectively. Our strategy capitalizes on the graph-like structure inherent in PN models, resulting in a model that remains consistent regardless of the number of robots involved. A key innovation is the development of the Composed Petri net, which seamlessly integrates the multi-agent system with the global LTL mission. This presentation will highlight our contributions, including the development of robust algorithms that guarantee collision-free trajectories in alignment with the LTL mission, and the scalability of our model for diverse robotic systems. We will discuss the challenges, underlying mathematical principles, and practical applications of our framework, substantiated by numerical simulations and comparative analyses. The talk will conclude with a forward-looking perspective, offering insights into future developments and potential enhancements in the realm of robot motion planning.

Biodata: Cristian Mahulea is an Associate Professor at the University of Zaragoza, Spain, within the Department of Computer Science and Systems Engineering. He has been head of the department since July 2020. Dr. Mahulea's academic journey began at the "Gheorghe Asachi" Technical University of Iasi, Romania, where he earned his Laurea and M.S. degrees in control engineering in 2001 and 2002, respectively. He then went on to receive his Ph.D. degree in systems engineering from the University of Zaragoza in 2007. His international experience includes serving as a visiting professor at the University of Cagliari, Italy, in the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering for five months across 2008 and 2010. Cristian's research interests are diverse and encompass discrete event systems, hybrid systems, automated manufacturing, Petri nets, mobile robotics, and healthcare systems. He has made significant contributions to the field through his publications, including co-authoring "Applications of Petri Nets in Studying Discrete Event Systems" with Mihaela Matcovschi and Octavian Pastravanu in 2002, and "Path Planning of Cooperative Mobile Robots Using Discrete Event Models" with Marius Kloetzer and Ramon Gonzalez, published by Wiley-IEEE Press in January 2020. In addition to his academic pursuits, Cristian has been instrumental in the development of practical tools in his field. He was the main developer of the MATLAB toolbox called Petri Net Toolbox, designed for the simulation, analysis, and synthesis of discrete-event systems modeled with discrete Petri nets. He also contributed to the development of the RMTool, a MATLAB toolbox for path planning and motion control of mobile robots. His expertise and research have taken him around the world as a Visiting Researcher, including prestigious institutions like the University of Sheffield in the U.K., University of Cagliari in Italy, Boston University in the USA, and ENS Paris-Saclay in France. Cristian is also recognized as a Senior Member of IEEE, reflecting his significant contributions and standing in the field of engineering and research.

Keynote Speaker II

Assoc. Prof. Maurizio Faccio
University of Padua, Italy


Title: Assembly Systems in the Human-Centric Industry 5.0 Paradigm: an Integrated Design Procedure from Logistics to Workstation
Abstract: Assembly is a production process wherein parts are sequentially added until the final assembly is completed. The growing diversity of products and the adoption of the assembly-to-order paradigm have led to the design of assembly systems capable of producing a wide array of variants for the same base product using a mixed-model approach. This has resulted in a significant increase in complexity, involving the management of thousands of parts in logistics activities to supply the assembly systems. Moreover, each workstation encompasses numerous tasks that require handling a multitude of tools and parts. This flexibility requirement has led to a substantial reliance on manual assembly. The human-centric approach imposes to design such systems considering both productivity and operators well-being, including in the design the consideration of operator’s fatigue, energy expenditure, mental workload, ergonomics, safety, and other human factors, with finally a workspace design with a multi-objective approach. The implications of this approach encompass various aspects, ranging from the logistic processes of parts feeding to the pick-and-place activities within the workstation, to the final fixing, which may involve tools. This paper aims to outline an integrated design procedure for assembly systems within the human-centric Industry 5.0 paradigm, considering all these critical aspects simultaneously. Initiating from the physical and logical attributes of the workspace derived from the consideration of human factors, the procedure progresses to designing the appropriate workbench, positioning tools and parts within the workstation, and determining the proper parts feeding policy to be adopted. The paper also presents a case study involving the manufacturing of drying machines. Thanks to the use of the Human Factor Analyzer (HFA) developed by the author et al., employing Motion Capture (MOCAP) technology to capture worker movements and postures during work cycles, the proposed integrated procedure for human-centric assembly systems design is validated. By comparing various case study’s assembly system designs, quantitative data on human factors and productivity are analyzed, as well as the comparison of the final workspace shape and dimension. Results demonstrate significant enhancements in optimizing human factors and simultaneously improving productivity. These findings underscore the profound practical implications of this research.

Biodata: Maurizio Faccio is currently an Associate Professor of Industrial Systems and Logistics at the School of Engineering at the University of Padua (Italy). He graduated in Engineering Management from the University of Padua with a score of 110/110 cum laude and earned his Ph.D. in Industrial Systems from the University with a thesis titled 'Assembly in the Modern Industrial Production’. He teaches and conducts research in industrial plant design and management, the development of advanced manufacturing technologies, assembly system design, plant logistics, industrial logistics, warehouses design and management, and operations management. He has published approximately 180 papers, with over 140 indexed in Scopus, in international journals and conference proceedings. Additionally, he serves as an Associate Editor of the Journal of Intelligent Manufacturing (Springer) with an Impact Factor of 8.33 in 2022, ranked 15th in the SJR (Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering). He is also a member of the Editorial Boards of various international journals, including Assembly Automation (Emerald), Applied Science (MDPI), Universal Journal of Mechanical Engineering (Horizon Research Publishing), among others. He has received several awards for his research results, such as the Best Paper Award in 2008 at the International Conference on Global Business Innovation and Development for the paper 'A Single Vendor Multiple Buyer Inventory Model for Evaluating Consignment Stock Policy.' He also received the Highly Commended Paper Award in 2013 from the international journal 'Assembly Automation' (Emerald) for the paper 'Fully Flexible Assembly System (F-FAS): a New Concept in Flexible Automation.' Furthermore, he received the Best Commended Paper Award at the international conference IFAC MIMS 2022 Conference for the paper 'Influence of Task Time Variations in Adopting Walking Worker Assembly Systems: a Design Approach.' Top cited 2023 paper, Journal of Intelligent Manufacturing, with the paper, Human factors in cobot era: a review of modern production systems features. He was also awarded the Best Funded Research Project for the project 'COLOG' (Collaborative Logistics) - 'Methods and Tools for the Integration of Human Resources and Collaborative Robotic Systems in Manufacturing Production Management' by the Veneto Region. He is member of the International Technical Committee TC 5.1. Manufacturing Plant Control (IFAC) and Scientific Vice-chair "Plant Operations Management" thematic chair. He has conducted research activities in national and international research programs and is involved in the European Project MAIA, under the call: H2020-MSCA-RISE, Models and Methods for an Active Ageing Workforce: an International Academy ( Additionally, he leads and is involved in many research collaborations with Italian and European companies in the field of industrial systems and logistics.