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IBM Helps Keep Beer Deliveries on Track in Norway, Trains on Time in China, Holland

Ringnes, Norway's largest brewer, the Guangzhou Metro Corporation with two million-plus passengers daily and the Netherlands Railways, one of the busier national train networks in Europe, have all tapped IBM to help keep track of their inventory and get where it needs to be.

The three projects were announced today and yesterday beginning with the work for Ringnes in Oslo.

Ringnes, a subsidiary of the Carlsberg Group, delivers almost half a billion liters of beer, soft drinks and bottled water throughout Norway each year. It enlisted IBM to help modernize its inventory tracking and management across the delivery cycle from the time that container trucks are loaded and leave the plant to their return with the empties.

The brewer generally has 200 trucks on the road and had tracked them manually connected only by sight or by phone. The firm now uses IBM sensor technology -- radio-frequency identification technology -- to tag and track every container, its contents and its progress along its route.

In China today, IBM announced that GZ Metro wants the tech firm to make the rapid transit system smart, environmentally friendly and digital. GZ Metro, which uses multiple software applications, wants IBM to deliver an IT platform to manage all the railway systems' software, services and physical assets -- tracks, carriages, advertising spots and train station shops.

The system's assets are currently worth about $2.9 billion, and the platform will be key in GZ Metro's plan to expand the system, an estimated $1.76 billion project. That expansion would bring the current four lines to nine and double the daily passenger capacity, bringing it to 4 million.

In Europe, the Netherlands Railways and IBM announced that use of IBM technology enabled the nationalized system to improve operating efficiency by as much as 6 percent, which produced a cost savings of more than EUR 20 million annually. The railway company also improved in on-time performance.

Netherlands Railways manages more than 4,800 trains daily through a network of 2,100 kilometers that include 279 stations. 

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