Keeping Tokyo flowing with the PowerCUTTER 200

Jun 03, 2024

In Tokyo, Japan, with millions of pipes in constant need of repair and replacement, complications are common. One such incident involved the failed installation by a contractor of a cured-in-place pipe (CIPP) liner in a specific section of the system. Using Trelleborg’s state-of-the-art robotic cutter, PowerCUTTER 200, a solution was found.

The CIPP liner was steam-cured and made of reinforced glass fibre, specifically manufactured to be corrosion-resistant for an aggressive wastewater environment. Big Valley Service (BVS) was then contracted to provide a quick, effective solution to remove the defective liner, and prevent extended disruption to the network. Adding to the challenge, the Japanese municipalities enforce strict rules and standards regarding liner dimensions with additional earthquake design requirements, making the country’s liners among the thickest in the world.

BVS used a combination of milling and high-pressure water-jetting to remove the failed liner. Importantly, the liner needed to be cut into separate pieces to be lifted above ground via existing manholes.

The exact length of each section being cut depended on the size of the manhole. In total, the project team needed to account for five different manhole dimensions, with diameters ranging between DN 900 and DN 1,200. Cutting was performed using Trelleborg’s state-of-the-art robotic cutter, PowerCUTTER 200, controlled by an operator above ground via a console, and monitored via CCTV.

The robotic cutting work was performed by a single operator supported by three workers for approximately six days. After robotic cutting of the defective liner from the pipe, the BVS team removed it from the manhole over a further four days in smaller 50cm pieces. The entire process of removing the failed liner was successfully completed in less than 10 days.

Manufactured by Trelleborg, the PowerCUTTER 200 is a multifunctional robot designed to remove difficult obstacles, such as concrete, intruding pipes, deposits, roots and steel in water and wastewater pipes, in order to restore water flow.

The PowerCUTTER 200 is fitted with an accessory that uses high-pressure water-jetting technology – a non-invasive, cost-effective method of quickly removing major sewage deposits (including defective liners) that minimises damage to the remaining infrastructure. Importantly in this case, the tool offered the versatility to work with various cutting technologies in a wide range of diameters (from DN 200 to DN 600).

The cutter incorporates the benefits of forward and back cameras, zoom features, LED lighting, an assortment of packer and bladder add-ons for pipe repair various pipe repair systems, and the option of a high-pressure water-jetting nozzle, fixed to the cutter as an add-on. This functionality was critical to the complex nature of the project, and the need for a swift, effective, non-invasive solution.


Trelleborg Group

Johan Kocksgatan 10

231 22 Trelleborg


+46 410 670 00


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