Quantum computing is an emerging field that has potential to revolutionise various industries, including manufacturing. While quantum computing is still in its early stages of development, researchers and companies are exploring its applications in manufacturing to solve complex optimisation problems, enhance simulations and perhaps most crucially, improve supply chain management.
The potential of quantum computing
Supply Chain Optimisation
Quantum computing can optimise complex supply chain networks, considering various factors like inventory levels, transportation routes and demand fluctuations. By using this data, manufacturers can find new ways to minimise costs, reduce delivery times and improve efficiency overall.
Quantum computing can assist in simulating the behaviour of molecules and chemical reactions. This can lead to more precise predictions and simulations, enabling better decision-making in the manufacturing process.
Machine Learning and AI
Quantum computing has the potential to enhance machine learning algorithms. This can be particularly useful in manufacturing for tasks like predictive maintenance, quality control and anomaly detection.
Google’s new quantum computer
Google has built a quantum computer which can perform a calculation instantly, while it would take a supercomputer 47 years. Google’s Sycamore quantum processor holds 70 qubits (also known as ‘quantum-bit’), making it 241mn times more powerful than its previous make.
“Quantum computers hold the promise of executing tasks beyond the capability of classical computers,” the Google team said. “We estimate the computational cost against improved classical methods and demonstrate that our experiment is beyond the capabilities of existing classical supercomputers.”
Deloitte and the World Economic Forum have built a Quantum Readiness Toolkit
Despite the huge potential of quantum computing, it also has the potential for systemic cybersecurity risk, whether through increased breaches of sensitive health and financial personal data, compromised private communications, or forged digital versions of information, identities and sensitive data.
The Quantum Readiness Toolkit provides specific guidance in line with the overall framework presented in last year's flagship report, "Transitioning to a Quantum-Secure Economy."
"The Forum has developed specific messaging for executive leaders to help mitigate quantum risk," says Colin Soutar, Managing Director and Deloitte co-lead for WEF Quantum Security support, Deloitte US. “This is important as many discussions on this topic get bogged down about when a quantum computer will be available to mount these types of attacks.
“The dialogue should be much more about preparing today while you still have time so that quantum risk can be methodically mitigated and businesses can continue to thrive without fear of disruption.”