Toppan Printing and Sigma Eye Start Demonstration Experience to Improve Logistics Operations Efficiency with Quantum Computing | Toppan Printing

Toppan Printing Co.,Ltd. (Headquarters: Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo, Chairman: Hideharu Maro, hereinafter Toppan Printing) and Sigma-i Co., Ltd., a startup of Tohoku University (Headquarters: Minato-ku, Tokyo, Representative: Masayuki Ozeki and Masamichi Kanyama, hereafter Sigma-i) are jointly researching quantum annealing (*1), which is one of the quantum computing technologies. In October 2021, we launched a demonstration experiment to improve the efficiency of logistics operations using quantum annealing.
In this demonstration experiment, Toppan Cosmo Co., Ltd. (Headquarters: Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Chairman: Atsushi Hashimoto, hereinafter Toppan Cosmo), which is a Toppan Printing Group company, will use quantum annealing jointly promoted by Toppan Printing and Sigma Eye.) provides an efficiency system commercial and visualization “MITATE” for the logistics industry, etc.®By applying it to (read: Mitte) (*2) and expanding the scheduling function, workload such as vehicle assignment / delivery scheduling can be reduced, speed and accuracy can be improved, the delivery time can be shortened and the environmental burden associated with it can be reduced.
In addition, through the verification of the effects of this demonstration experiment, we have accumulated know-how on the use of quantum annealing, safe and secure operation, and management of baggage information such as weight, size , type and style of packaging, and We aim for a digital transformation of logistics (hereafter referred to as DX) that streamlines and visualizes logistics operations such as delivery planning.

Image of Logistics DX by Quantum Annealing and
Image of Logistics DX by Quantum Annealing and “MITATE®”

Context and objective of this demonstration experiment

Due to the recent increase in demand for electronic commerce (e-commerce), such as online shopping and catalog mail order, the logistics market scale has expanded, and the increase in the accompanying physical distribution and corresponding labor shortage became problems. . . In addition, due to the impact of Corona, the burden on truck drivers, such as luggage delivery and return, is increasing due to the increase in personal deliveries. These trends will continue in After Corona, and logistics will support business activities and daily life, and will become increasingly important as social infrastructure.
In addition to these issues, the logistics industry must also tackle environmental issues such as increased fuel and exhaust emissions from delivery trucks, and social issues such as traffic congestion. optimization of logistics systems, including delivery plans, such as reducing the number of trucks, minimizing delivery distances and selecting routes to avoid traffic jams, is encouraged using artificial intelligence and of IoT. However, there are many requirements such as delivery destination, baggage type, baggage arrival time, and truck load capacity. As the calculation of a delivery plan takes time, it is not possible to react to sudden changes and the accuracy is low. .
On the other hand, as a demonstration experiment of a quantum computer, in recent years, the efficiency of delivery by automated guided vehicles in the factory and the optimization of the movement of employees on the production line production have been carried out, and even at the distribution site, restrictions and complicated situations have been observed. Expectations are rising for quantum computing technology capable of calculating optimal plans.
To solve these problems, Toppan Printing and Sigma Eye have collaborated to provide quantum annealing, which is one of quantum computing technologies, to the logistics industry, etc. by Toppan Cosmo.®We are going to start a demo experience to apply for. In this demo experiment, quantum annealing will be used to extend scheduling function, reduce workload such as vehicle assignment/delivery scheduling, improve speed and accuracy, reduce delivery time, and reduce the environmental burden associated with it. In addition, through this initiative, we have accumulated know-how on the use of quantum annealing and the efficiency and visualization of logistics operations, and by combining the digital technology owned by Toppan Printing with advanced operational know-how , we have a data-centric hybrid DX. We aim to be a logistics DX by providing services to the logistics industry.

Presentation of the system
Introducing the “MITATE®” system, a business efficiency and visualization system supplied by Toppan Cosmo

Specific content of this demo experience

(1) Development of a delivery plan optimization system
MITATE is a business efficiency and visualization system provided by Toppan Cosmo for the logistics industry by applying quantum annealing, which is one of the quantum computing technologies.®We will develop a delivery plan optimization system that extends the above.

(2) Verification of the effect of the delivery plan optimization system
Using the delivery plan optimization system, we calculate the delivery plan and check the effect of reducing the workload in the delivery plan, such as the plan calculation time and the accuracy of the delivery plan.

Roles of the two societies

・Toppan printing
We aim to promote the DX logistics business by verifying the effects of this demonstration experiment and considering commercialization in this initiative using the results of research and development related to the use of quantum computing and knowledge in DX-related activities.

・Sigma Eye
As a Tohoku University startup, we have one of the most advanced quantum computing technologies in the world, and we will develop prototype delivery planning tools that use annealed-type quantum computers and verify their effectiveness.

the next deployment

Our goal is to develop a system that streamlines logistics operations in the logistics flow from collection to arrival, and to start providing DX logistics solutions in 2025.
In addition to logistics, Toppan Printing and Sigma Eye will continue to pursue global optimization solutions that utilize quantum annealing technology.

About “Erhoeht-X™”


“Erhoeht-X™” is a concept that Toppan Printing will support the digital innovation of society and businesses as a whole and promote the digital transformation of our business itself.
“Erhöhen” takes its name from the advanced printing technology “Erhöhen Toppan Method” at the time, which was the origin of our foundation, and the German word “Erhöhen”, which is the etymology, means ” improve”.
Toppan Printing will develop a hybrid DX business centered on the use of data by combining advanced digital technology and advanced operational know-how, as well as an evolution of printing technology cultivated so far and a sustainable future for the society.

* 1 quantum annealer
Quantum computing technology specializing in optimization problems that finds the optimal solution from a large number of combinations

* 2 “MITATE” business efficiency and visualization system®
It is a cloud service that organizes and integrates complex business flows due to individual management, improves management work efficiency, and promotes digital transformation. “MITATE” is a registered trademark of Lamplight Co., Ltd., a business partner of Toppan Cosmo.

* Product and service names mentioned in this press release are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies.
* The content of this press release is current as of the date of the announcement. A change without notice is possible.


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