Toughbook 19 Improves Efficiencies during Construction of Tokyo International Airport Runway

From March 2007 until late 2010, Tokyo International Airport was constructing Runway D, the airport’s fourth runway. The eastern end of the runway lies on 500 meters of reclaimed land and pier along a wharf. Penta-Ocean Construction Co., Ltd., Taisei Corporation and Maeda Corporation were responsible for seawall construction and reclamation work for this project. In order to ensure quality control and on-time project completion, the companies relied heavily on technology that was deployed in the construction vehicles used at the site.

A crucial factor in land reclamation is how fast the soil can be firmly compacted. To improve the efficiency and accuracy of this work, the bulldozers, vibratory rollers and survey vehicles were equipped with Panasonic Toughbook 19 convertible tablet PCs.

The bulldozers used the Toughbook 19s, onboard GPS and a set of LED indicator lights to show the operator when the current ground level differed from the planned surface elevation so that uniformed soil thickness could be achieved. Without this technology, the contractors would have had to use surveying equipment to stake out and measure the terrain’s elevation and incline, making it difficult to operate at night.

As part of the quality control criteria, the vibratory roller needed to pass eight times over each piece of land. The Toughbook 19, mounted next to the dashboard in each cab, recorded the number of passes over each spot. The screen displayed a ground plan of the site and portrayed strips of color in relation to the number of passes made. If any patches of the vast area of land reclamation had not received a full eight passes, it was clearly indicated on the screen. Given the size, scope and time constraints of the project, this system was the most efficient and accurate way to monitor the number of roller passes.

Survey vehicles were also equipped with Toughbook 19s to measure the completed work and take accurate assessments of the terrain.

The system used at the Tokyo International Airport project followed the prototype developed by Penta-Ocean Construction Co., Ltd in 2002-2003. The system is adaptable and can be improved according to site conditions and operator needs. However, the only type of computer Penta-Ocean Construction installs in its construction vehicles is the Toughbook 19. The 19 is designed to survive harsh environments like construction sites and can handle high vibrations. Studies have shown that vibratory rollers can experience high G stresses – in some cases up to eight Gs.  An ordinary computer would experience immediate breakdowns under these conditions.

Panasonic’s Toughbook 19 played a significant role in the construction progress of Runway D. Without implementing technology, the quality control checks would have been completed manually, lengthening project completion significantly. Runway D now provides the Tokyo International Airport with greater capabilities to act as a major Asian hub airport.

You can find more information on the Tokyo International Airport deployment on the Toughbook Global Site here.