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Hitachi Construction Machinery: Sustainable Construction for the Future

Headquartered in Tokyo, Hitachi Construction Machinery Co. Ltd. (HCM) has established itself as a leading worldwide manufacturer of construction equipment. As a subsidiary of Hitachi Ltd., the company has plants across the globe including in Asia, Europe, and North and South America. Its global operations employ roughly 25,000 people worldwide and engages in the development, manufacturing, sales, and service operations internationally to provide its customers with reliable construction solutions. HCM actively works to protect the land and the communities in which they operate in, whilst developing its technologies towards a more sustainable future.   

Since the company began, innovation has been at the forefront of HCM’s manufacturing process, and in 1965 it developed the first hydraulic excavator for the company and Japan. It was made of purely domestic technologies but established HCM as a leading innovator in construction equipment. From its flagship product that focused on reliability and superior operability, HCM has developed over the years expanding its product line to encompass a range of mini and large excavators, wheel loaders and crawler cranes. The knowledge and experience developed since its beginning have allowed the company to continue to evolve with the ever-changing needs of its customers. Therefore, HCM’s mission is to actively develop its machinery to provide its customers with technology and services which generate value towards a more prosperous land and society.   

HCM sees the future of construction sites as a place where safety and productivity are paramount and believes it plays a crucial role towards this through the mutual exchange of data about people, machinery, and the construction industry. By looking closely at this data, HCM can ensure that equipment and its sensing systems are top quality to collect real-time data about the site’s location, operational status, worker location, biometric information, and changes to terrain to help its customers constantly assess their project’s construction sites. Therefore, HCM developed ZCORE®, which is an innovative system platform to enable its equipment to recognize, make judgements and then execute its operations. The development of ZCORE® allows for operations to move away from the need for operators on the construction site and focus on operations which are led by data-driven technologies.   

As the world moves ever towards a more sustainable future, the electrification of construction machinery becomes ever more in demand. Whilst it is not a key goal of HCM to electrify the industry per se, the company are seeing it as part of its role to achieve zero emissions and play its part in building a carbon-neutral society. HCM has been developing electrically powered machinery for a long time with their first electric hydraulic excavator being produced in the 1970s. This development has seen a steady increase over the years, with compact battery-operated excavators being produced with built-in lithium-ion batteries. In recent years, HCM released their battery-operated electric excavator model ZE85, which is an 8-ton class lithium-ion operated excavator which can operate for 3.4 hours from a full charge. This was a crucial development as not only does the life of the battery compete with others in the market, but it can be fully recharged in less than an hour improving productivity on site.  

The shift towards zero-emission options was particularly pertinent in Europe following the signing of the Paris Agreement in 2015, as companies across Europe began accelerating their measures towards carbon neutrality by 2050. Initiatives across Europe have been working to implement electric vehicle adoption, including in Oslo where HCM’s ZE85 was first introduced to help shift Norway’s public construction work towards a future of no emissions by 2025. Following this, the country plans to implement this throughout all construction work by 2030. Therefore, the demand for developing machinery that is both efficient in its projects and produces no emissions is the inevitable push toward the future for HCM. Consequently, HCM exhibited at Bauma 2022, an international construction machinery trade fair in Munich, a variety of its new battery-operated excavators including the 2, 5, 8 and 13-ton classes which are promoting this global push towards electrification – the latter two developed in partnership with its subsidiary European dealer Kiesel. HCM also presented its power bank which has a mobile battery designed for rapid charging on construction sites. This power bank provides a solution for construction sites to effectively charge HCM’s equipment on site and consequently extend the production time delivery of its machinery. HCM plans to sell these power banks in a set with its electric construction machinery.  

Overall, HCM is constantly developing its construction machinery towards a future that is safe and sustainable. They have adapted their products over the years to a point where they are leading the way with battery-powered machinery which is meeting the ever-growing demand for sustainable options throughout the construction industry. It is HCM’s innovations and attention to the shifting world which allows them to stay ahead of the curve providing crucial equipment, supported by their own battery power banks, towards the future of construction equipment.