YKK AP Inc. has signed an agreement with Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) to conduct joint research on advanced technology to install doors, windows and other products in buildings. The agreement was finalized in May 2019 and activities are now underway.

In response to increasing global demand to counter the shortage of labor at construction sites and shorten the construction period, the purpose of the joint research is to develop new technology for fenestration products installation at job sites by using robots and information technology (IT) to improve construction productivity and quality. YKK AP and CMU will investigate virtual reality, augmented reality, mixed reality technologies and research new methods of installation to bring enhanced innovation to the construction industry, according to the company.

CMU in Pittsburgh specializes in applied research utilizing robots and IT, and its academic culture emphasizes industry-academia collaboration. YKK AP determined a long-term research and development and technology development partnership would be mutually beneficial for the industry.

“YKK AP is seeing future constraints on field labor not only in the U.S. but across the globe. Increasingly tight schedules, rapid building close-ins and constraints on skilled field labor are demanding the development of advanced technologies,” says Oliver Stepe, president of YKK AP America Inc. “By partnering with Carnegie-Mellon University’s leading research team, the YKK AP Inc.’s goal is to bring new and advanced construction technologies to market, creating efficiencies for the global construction industry.”

YKK AP researchers are working with CMU’s Computational Engineering and Robotics Laboratory (CERLAB), led by professor Kenji Shimada, on the real-world application of IT, engineering and robotics.

The five-year partnership runs through April 2024; an extension will be considered at the conclusion of the partnership period.


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