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Research & Development

Youichi NONAKA, Ph.D. (Eng.)

Our leaders - Technology & Design

Youichi NONAKA, Ph.D. (Eng.)

Corporate Chief Researcher,
Hitachi, Ltd.


Nonaka joined the Production Engineering Research Laboratory of Hitachi, Ltd. in 1992, working in R&D for industrial robot application systems, digital engineering technology, and production control technology. He was a visiting researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2001, assumed his current position as Senior Chief Researcher in the Center for Technology Innovation – Production Engineering in 2015.

In the area of smart manufacturing, Nonaka has been promoting joint research with the Hungarian Academy of Sciences since 2007, and serves as an international expert and Japan representative to convening ISO / IEC international standardization activities since 2014. He is a member of the Germany – Japan IoT collaboration among Japan Robot Revolution Initiative Council (RRI) and the Germany Plattform Industrie4.0 (PI4.0) since 2015, etc.

At the German Academy of Science and Engineering (acatech) in 2019, he promoted a Japanese-German industry-academia expert discussion on the new relationship between humans and machines in a digital society, and published it as a discussion paper from acatech. In 2017, he served as the director of the Manufacturing Systems Division of the Japan Society of Mechanical Engineering (2017), and has been an adjunct professor at the Graduate School of Informatics, Kyoto University since 2018.

Nonaka received his doctoral degree in Engineering from the Tokyo Institute of Technology in 2011. He is a member of the Japan Society of Mechanical Engineering, the Japan Society of Precision Engineering, the Society of Instrument and Control Engineers, CIRP and the Japan Academy of Engineering.

Related links

Research interests

  • Production control
  • Digital engineering
  • Manufacturing systems

Major publications

  1. Trends in the Scientific and Technological Development of Human-Machine Symbiosis for a Post-COVID-19 Society, The Engineering Academy of Japan, 2022.
  2. Revitalizing Human-Machine Interaction for the Advancement of Society – Perspectives from Germany and Japan, acatech, 2019.
  3. Manufacturing Innovation Based on the IoT: Transforming Manufacturing through Data Visualization and Utilization, and the Concept of Symbiosis, COVER STORY: TRENDS, Value Chain Innovation: Smart Industry where Digital Technology Captures Value, Hitachi Review, 2018.
  4. Chapter 13: Engineering Support Systems for Industrial Machines and Plants, Advances in Through-life Engineering Services, Springer, 2017.
  5. A Proposal of Unified Reference Model for Smart Manufacturing, 2017 IEEE International Conference on Automation Science and Engineering (CASE), August 2017.
  6. Product-specific process time estimation from incomplete point of production data for mass customization, CIRP ICME '17, August 2017.
  7. Method for Automatically Recognizing Various Operation Statuses of Legacy Machines, 50th CIRP Conference on Manufacturing Systems, May 2017.
  8. Automatic Route-finding with Non-monotonic-trend Factor for Large-scale Plant Maintenance Task", 48th CIRP Conference on Manufacturing Systems, Procedia CIRP, Volume 41, pp.550-555, 2016.
  9. The S-Model: A digital manufacturing system combined with autonomous statistical analysis and autonomous discrete-event simulation for smart manufacturing, 2015 IEEE International Conference on Automation Science and Engineering (CASE), Gothenburg, pp.1006-1011, 24-28 Aug. 2015.
  10. Recognition of complex engineering objects from large-scale point clouds, CIRP Annals - Manufacturing Technology, Volume 64, Issue 1, pp.165–168, 2015.
  11. Chapter 15 Integrated Maintenance System Trend and a Maintenance Scheduling System Application, Through-life Engineering Services: Motivation, Theory, and Practice, Springer, 2015.
  12. Factory of the future, IEC Market Strategy Board, 2015.
  13. Fast path finding system with GPGPU computing for replacement tasks in plant maintenance, 3rd International Through-life Engineering Services Conference, Cranfield University, UK, 5 November 2014.
  14. Multiple Path Finding System for Replacement Tasks, CIRP ICME '14, August 2014.
  15. Generating alternative process plans for complex parts, CIRP Annals - Manufacturing Technology, Volume 62, Issue 1, pp.453–458, 2013.
  16. Scheduling with alternative routings in CNC workshops", CIRP Annals - Manufacturing Technology, Volume 61, Issue 1, pp.449–454, 2012.
  17. A study on preventive maintenance scheduling using distributed cooperative approach, Proc. of International Symposium on Scheduling 2011 (ISS2011), 2-4 July 2011, Osaka Japan, pp.63-68, 2011.
  18. A study on Proactive Maintenance Scheduling with distributed cooperative approach, Proc. of 8th IEEE International Conference on Industrial Informatics (INDIN2010), 13 - 16 July 2010, Osaka, Japan, pp.845-850, 2010.
  19. Proactive maintenance scheduling in a re-entrant flow shop using Lagrangian decomposition coordination method, CIRP Annals - Manufacturing Technology, Volume 59, Issue 1, pp.453–456, 2010.
  20. Enhanced control of complex production structures by tight coupling of the digital and the physical worlds", CIRP Annals, Volume 59, Issue 1, pp.437-440, 2010.
  21. Correlation Analysis of TSUNAMI Effect and Failure Rate Fluctuation in Manufacturing System, IFAC Proceedings Volumes, Volume 41, Issue 2, pp.13839-13844, 2008.
  22. TSUNAMI Effect Prediction Methodology for Critical Resource Analysis, Manufacturing Systems and Technologies for the New Frontier, pp.337-340, Springer, 2008.
  23. Monitoring Variance in Manufacturing System Performances, 40th CIRP International Seminar on Manufacturing Systems, 2007.
  24. Development of an Impeller Grinding Robot System and a Gyro-moment Compensated Compliance Control", IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, pp.2084-2089, 1995.

Keynote presentations (in English)