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NEC taps into quantum computing to improve IT maintenance equipment delivery

NEC said based on initial trials, quantum technology can reduce delivery costs by 30%.
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Written by Aimee Chanthadavong, Senior Journalist on
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Image: NEC

NEC announced it has begun trials that involve using quantum computing technology to improve the way maintenance parts are delivered by IT equipment maintenance servicer NEC Fielding. 

According to NEC, the test involves utilising its vector annealing service and applying it to selected on-site maintenance services to help formulate delivery plans for maintenance parts so that it's in line with customer engineer (CE) dispatch plans.

"There are several hundred maintenance operations each day in the Tokyo metropolitan area, and parts are delivered from parts centres in accordance with the dispatch plans prepared based on CE's skills and arrival times, taking into account traffic conditions," NEC said.

"However, in addition to various orders, such as emergency responses, periodic maintenance, and requests for specific times, there is an enormous combination of delivery variables, such as delivery areas, part types and sizes, truck and motorcycle use, and the number of people who can formulate an efficient delivery plan is limited.

"In these quantum computing technology tests … NEC and NEC Fielding aim to reduce costs and CO2 by improving delivery efficiency, and to eliminate the need for personnel to formulate delivery plans."

The Japanese conglomerate claims based on trial calculations compared with past parts delivery data, using quantum technology can reduce delivery costs by 30% as it results in a lower number of delivery vehicles and shortens travel distances. 

NEC said both companies will continue to carry out trials with hopes that it can roll out the application by next fiscal year.

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