OKI and OKI Data (the OKI Group printer company) today announced that they have applied a quantum computer provided by D-Wave to calculate optimal layouts for semiconductor manufacturing machines at OKI Data’s LED Management Factory, successfully obtaining results indicating that the distances traveled by workers can be reduced by an average of 28 %.
At this factory, multiple products are manufactured with different manufacturing processes using tens, or even hundreds, of different semiconductor manufacturing machines, with workers constantly moving between machines. Improving productivity here requires optimizing machine layouts to minimize distances traveled by workers (“flow lines”). However, as the numbers of machines and different types increase, the number of possible combinations increases exponentially. Due to the need to account as well for complex constraints, including machine installation locations and methods of selecting duplicate machines, it was unfeasible to determine optimal machine layouts by calculating all of these parameters—even using a super computer or other high-performance conventional computer. OKI and OKI Data used a quantum annealer provided by D-Wave to tackle this layout optimization. (D-Wave)