Logistics Scheduling and Route Optimization using Digital Annealer

Technology Overview

The technology is a logistics and warehouse optimization engine developed using Ising modelling over a digital annealer (cloud server).

Solving complex mathematical problems using the Ising model allow complex relationships to be specified in a multi-dimensional array. This simplifies the number of transactions between a software application and the computational resource.

The digital annealer uses a digital circuit design inspired by quantum phenomena to solve complex combinatorial optimization problems that classical computers cannot solve in a reasonable amount of time.

In order to understand what a combinatorial optimization problem is, consider the following travelling salesman problem example. A salesman needs to visit several cities. The goal is to find which route offers the shortest total distance, visiting each city only once. In the case of 30 cities, the total number of possible routes is to over 2.65 x 1032. Digital annealer can solve this problem within minutes.

Technology Features & Specifications

Warehouse or logistics employees can leverage digital annealer technology to increase transportation efficiency.

For example, warehouse operations are first given delivery requests for parts from each of the production lines. After the requests are received, a list of the parts (delivery ticket) to be collected from within the warehouse is generated. Workers collect the parts listed on the ticket from the warehouse shelves and deliver to the various destinations.  Workers need not rely on past experience or knowledge of the location of parts to help reduce the time needed. Just following the order in the delivery ticket will provide the optimized route. It is projected that travelling distance can decrease by up to 25%, and further optimization via changing the location of the parts can further lead to a 45% reduction.

The technology provider seeks a field-trial / test bedding partner in the logistics and warehouse industry. Preferably medium to large size logistics and warehouse operators with an innovation or application development team capability. 

Potential Applications

This warehouse logistics solution can apply to many manufacturing facilities, especially those with high mix/low volume operations. The algorithms could also be extended to support similar use cases where route planning optimization is involved. This may apply to fleet management and other logistics applications.

Customer Benefits

A quick logistics warehousing optimisation engine that computes the most efficient storage, picking path, packing order of goods. 

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