Red Hill 1967: New Giken facility in Japan showcases press-in piling technologies

Japanese manufacturer Giken Ltd has recently opened a new facility called ‘Red Hill 1967’, which showcases its press-in piling technologies. According to the company, it has already attracted a significant number of visitors, including government agencies, contractors, users and shareholders. [Scroll down to watch the video of the facility].

Giken developed Silent Piler, dubbed the world’s first reaction-based hydraulic pile jacking machine, capable of installing piles without noise or vibration. The company has been promoting its press-in technologies globally and they are now used in over 40 countries and regions. 

This new complex, located in Konan-city, Kochi Prefecture, presents a variety of Giken machines, methods and structures. It was opened in May 2023 and consists of four areas, two of which are steel sheet pile-based buildings named ‘Sozokan’ and ‘Research Building’.

1. Demonstration Area 

In this area, various construction sites are reproduced with real machines on an actual scale, such as the Silent Piler, a pile press-in and extraction machine; GRB System for temporary work-free construction; and structures constructed by Implant Method.

For example, visitors can observe the Implant Lock Levee, which is designed to resist all types of levee breakage factors with great strength. They can also learn about the Gyropress Method, a rotary cutting press-in of tubular piles used for the maintenance and reinforcement of ageing infrastructures without the need for the removal of existing concrete structures.

In addition, there are construction models on display that show how the Implant Method can solve challenging conditions such as hard ground, railway adjacency, or headroom restrictions. 

2. Sozokan: The Museum of Piling Machines

The structure of this building adopts sheet piles as the main structural materials and confined ground seismic dampers to create a steel spread foundation over soft ground to reduce ground subsidence in the event of an earthquake.

A total of 50 machines and equipment are exhibited at the museum, comprising the first Silent Piler, which is certified as a mechanical engineering heritage, plus Giken’s most notable inventions and developments such as Silent Piler and Gyro Piler, and other piling machines with different principles. Visitors can look at the history of these innovations through the informative panels and videos.

3. Research Building 

This facility is also constructed with steel sheet piles forming a continuous wall that integrates all the functionality of pile foundations, pillars and walls. As another world’s first trial, a 2-m-diameter tubular pile has been deployed as the elevator shaft through which the elevator moves.

Here, visitors can find a theatre and exhibition hall – where the past, present and future of press-in principle and press-in technologies are explained – as well as an office space for research on various verification tests. 

4. Kochi Factory 3 

Kochi Factory 3 is the largest factory of Giken in Japan and was established as a base for accelerating product development for global expansion in 2019. It is used to develop, prototype and verify large-scale products. The building’s foundation employs 54 tubular piles with 15.0 to 15.8 m in length, installed by the Gyropress Method.

Note: A tour of the facility is available, and bookings can be made through the website.