Hiroaki Matsukawamatsukawa Lab.

ProfessorHiroaki Matsukawa

Overview of Research

My primary research interests include the production and inventory control and supply chain management (SCM). I have dedicated my effort in clarifying the management principles of research topics such as scheduling, manufacturing strategy, project management, and other topics related to production and logistics. I have frequently applied quantitative methods to solve management problems. Closed-loop SCM and future logistics system connecting home networks and e-shops are also very interesting research topics.

Major Taught Courses

Production Management, Operations Management, Project Management

Research Contents

Production line design is an important research topic for smart factories. Considerable research has been conducted concerning smart factories; however, the majority of this research is related to automation, Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI), and other new technologies that increase the efficiency of existing manufacturing line; this research direction is based on the so-called philosophy of “status-quo improvement.” In our research, we focus on the design of a new production line, considering investment cost, operation cost, and synchronization penalty. We emphasize synchronization and flexibility as new key performance indices to evaluate the smartness of a smart factory in which multiple pieces of equipment in two production process can provide the appropriate number of combinations satisfying external demands. Based on the case of a major dairy product processing company in Japan, we focus on two core production processes in a processed cheese manufacturing line: the melting and filling processes. We design the processes with appropriate investment in multiple machines with different capacities, minimizing total cost, including investment, operating, synchronization, and flexibility. Two types of decision variables are introduced representing investment and operation. Through numerical experiments and case studies, we show that the right amount of equipment and capacity could be obtained by applying the proposed model. The proposed model can also be applied to the companies that are considering further investment on factory or production line.

Recent Research Theme

  • Advanced scheduling models considering capacity balancing
  • Safety stock calculation model for two stage synchronized supply chains
  • Procurement contract problem considering supply chain disruptions
  • Pricing supply chain option contracts: A bilevel programming approach

Educational Policies

Industrial engineering is the foundation of management science and engineering. It covers most research topics in business administration utilizing scientific methodologies. Therefore, basic knowledge regarding scientific methodologies, such as operations research, statistics, simulations, experiment design, filed work, and management information system are very important to conduct research in this filed. English is another important skill that is required to access research material and perform original research. Computer programing and/or the capacity required to handle the software necessary to solve problems is indispensable for those studying for bachelor, master, and PhD degrees.