Omron and IBM clean up transport

14 April 2009

Omron has joined forces with IBM to develop ‘green’ transportation solutions by creating ‘smart’ solutions that lower energy use, reduce carbon dioxide emissions and increase efficiency. The Japanese sensor and control manufacturer hopes that by collaborating with IBM it can help clients decide which types of shipping and transportation to use for a reduction in cost and CO2 emissions.

The companies will combine Omron’s sensor capabilities and experience in traffic control, vehicle weight measurement, and transportation distance and loading ratios systems with the advanced mathematics calculation technologies of IBM's Virtual Routing Planner and Modal-Shift Transportation Planner offerings.

Working together, the two companies will assist clients in addressing anticipated regulatory restrictions and penalties for CO2 emissions. This can provide greater understanding that allows better decision making, leading to increased efficiency, improved performance, lower costs and reduced environmental impact.

IBM and Omron will provide these solutions initially for Japanese clients, primarily in the manufacturing and transportation industries-globally, those industries account for more than half of all energy use and corresponding CO2 emissions. The solutions could later be expanded for additional countries and industries.

IBM's Modal-Shift Transportation Planner analyses timetables of various shipping services, such as ship, air, train and truck, taking delivery date of goods into consideration, to choose the best shipping method for reducing costs and CO2 emissions.

Virtual Routing Planner plans the best routes for trucks to use to minimise CO2 emissions, based on digitalised road map information and accounting for various conditions such as delivery, collection, time frame and vehicle type.

Both solutions use high-performance optimisation algorithms developed by IBM's Tokyo Research Laboratory.

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