May 21, 2024
Sumitomo Corporation

Signed Exclusive Distributorship Agreement with Construction Equipment Remote-control Device Developer BuilderX- Aiming to help change the way construction equipment operators work -

Sumitomo Corporation (Head Office: Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo; Representative Director, President and CEO: Shingo Ueno) and BuilderX (Head Office: Beijing, China), a developer of remote-control devices for hydraulic excavators and other construction machinery (hereinafter collectively referred to as “construction machinery”), have concluded an exclusive distributorship agreement for the Japanese market with the aim of providing BuilderX solutions to resolve issues facing construction equipment operators across a wide range of industries that include quarry mining, port loading and unloading, industrial waste processing, and manufacturing.

Product overview

The aging of operators and the shortage of manpower at work sites in Japan have created an urgent need to secure and train human resources. Amid calls for improving harsh working conditions with regard to vibration, noise, and dust as well as for creating greater job opportunities for diverse talent, remote-control technology for construction machinery is garnering attention for its ability to reduce the physical burden on operators and help realize a change in work styles.

BuilderX, a technology company specializing in remote-control devices for construction equipment, was founded with the mission of transforming challenging work sites into safe and comfortable places. It seeks to utilize ICT solutions and AI to achieve practical and easy-to-use remote control and, as a leading industry player in China, BuilderX has already installed more than 100 control consoles at mines, ports, and other sites.

Control screen
Control console

BuilderX's product allows operators to monitor sites in real time from control consoles via multiple cameras mounted around construction equipment. The product is compatible with a wide range of communication bands, including 4G, 5G, and WiFi, and can be operated from any location by setting up a communication environment suitable for the site; it has even been used during demonstration testing to remotely operate construction equipment over a distance of approximately 1,700 kilometers between Japan and China. The product can be retrofitted to hydraulic excavators from all manufacturers, and installed and fine-tuned in about two days. It has been employed in China for construction equipment other than hydraulic excavators, such as wheel loaders and bulldozers, and similar uses are under consideration in Japan.

Operator controlling equipment

Sumitomo Corporation as the exclusive importer and distributor of BuilderX’s product for the Japanese market will be responsible for making this solution available in Japan. It will be teaming up with Obayashi Corporation (Head Office: Minato-ku, Tokyo; Representative Director, President and CEO: Kenji Hasuwa), with which it has been conducting demonstration tests and verifying deployments of this solution in Japan to help customers introduce remote control of construction equipment for the sake of easing work site labor shortages, reducing accidents, improving working environments, and enabling diverse talent to take on more active roles in workplaces.