#Plant construction

#Labor reduction and streamlining


Development of new construction robots for plant construction sites

85%※1 reduction of time necessary for equipment installation! Contribution to the improvement of the efficiency of and the reduction of the labor necessary in plant construction

JFE Engineering, Okaya & Co., Ltd., and AKTIO Corporation have jointly developed three models of construction robot for use on plant construction sites. 

The construction of plants, such as incineration plants, involves a large number of pipe-fitting and equipment-installation processes in small spaces. These work processes, including preparations, require a lot of time and many workers. In addition, many of those work processes are dangerous and involve the risk of workplace accidents. They also require specialized skills and people who have mastered these skills, so securing workers is also an issue. To solve this issue, the three companies developed the first construction robots in the industry for the transportation of equipment and materials and the installation of equipment and fitting pipes, and succeeded in streamlining work and improving safety. 

The newly developed ECoCa equipment installation robot was used on an incineration plant construction site. In this project, the robot enabled heavy equipment, which would normally take five workers around five hours to install, to be installed by two workers in 45 minutes, successfully reducing the labor and time necessary. Additionally, the work can be done without touching the objects to be transported or installed or touching the robot, which ensures safety. Efforts will be continued to achieve application in a wide range of construction tasks and to achieve greater automation. The final goal is to halve the number of workers involved in plant construction site work processes that the robots are able to assist.

The three companies will proactively introducing these robots and continue their development efforts. They will promote the utilization of AI and IoT technologies to help promote safe, accident-free construction work and improve productivity.

Types and features of the construction robots

  • Name
  • ECoCa※2
  • Outline
  • A transportation robot that extends and contracts freely in the X, Y, and Z axes in accordance with the size of the equipment to be transported and the conditions of the pathways at the site
  • Features
    • ・A single unit that can be used to transport and install equipment
    • ・Max. load: 3 t
    • ・Extends and contracts automatically in the X, Y, and Z axes according to the equipment and work site conditions
       X:(1.4〜1.8, 1.8〜2.4m)
         Two types are available
    • ・Three travel functions: Four wheel steering, turning
  • Benefits
  • Approx. 60% reduction of workers necessary for the installation of an air compressor (approx. 2 t)
    80% to 90% reduction of the time necessary for the task
  • Name
  • Carryf※2
  • Outline
  • A robot that can transport heavy equipment or materials in small spaces with uneven surfaces
  • Features
    • ・Max. load: 5 t
    • ・Three travel functions: Four wheel steering, turning anywhere, and sideways movement
    • ・Max. tolerable step height: 200 mm
  • Benefits
  • Approx. 50% reduction of workers necessary for the transportation of materials in a plant

Machinery parts being transported by the robot (at a JFE Engineering plant)

  • Name
  • Dexhand※2
  • Outline
  • A lifting robot for use in small spaces where a crane cannot be used. It features a gripper, which permits pipes with a wide range of diameters to be handled.
  • Features
    • ・A single unit that can lift and install pipes
    • ・Precise positioning enabled by a lightweight grip section and the use of a seven-axis drive
       Crane section: Upward/downward movement, turning, extension/contraction
       Tip section: Grabbing, rotation, and lateral movement (vertical and horizontal)
    • ・Replaceable tip section that permits use of multiple functions
  • Benefits
  • 30% reduction of time necessary for fitting pipes and installing ducts in a plant

Demonstration test (at an AKTIO plant)

※1 The results of a construction project by JFE Engineering. The necessary time varies according to the type of work.
※2 ECoCa and Dexhand are patented. Caryyf is patent pending. The names of all three are being registered as trademarks.

Affiliated company

JFE Engineering Corporation


AKTIO Corporation

Other cases