Research and Development
Pooling engineers’ brainpower to create internationally successful products
Basic technology development and product development
At HIOKI, two departments are responsible for R&D: the Research & Development Department, which oversees development of basic technologies, and the Engineering Department, which oversees product development and design. About 10% of all engineers belong to the Research & Development Department, where they conduct R&D work focusing on sensing technologies, electrochemical measurement technologies, and data analysis technologies that will be needed in order to design the products of the future. Over the years, the department has created a range of proprietary HIOKI technologies, including the world’s first non-metallic contact voltage measurement technology, high-frequency measurement technology, laser light measurement technology, and micron-level probing technology.
Meanwhile, the Engineering Department builds products around the elemental technologies created by the Research & Development Department and commercializes them by designing circuits, hardware, and software. Reflecting their commitment to solving customer issues with measurement technologies, our engineers value communication with customers, and they strive to adopt the customer’s perspective as they create products by going beyond measurement functionality to take into consideration safety, design, and other factors.
New product development through concurrent engineering
- Concurrent Engineering
- HIOKI takes a companywide, cross-cutting organizational approach to new product development and design based on concurrent engineering teams that bring together engineering, manufacturing, sales, and quality assurance coordinators for each product. Anybody can propose a new product, and the team leader is granted a significant amount of decisionmaking authority. By breaking down organizational walls so that employees can work together more effectively, this approach facilitates the development of high-quality products in a short period of time.
Protecting proprietary technologies with patents
HIOKI actively protects its engineers’ inventions by patenting them as service inventions, helping to differentiate itself from competitors and develop one-of-akind products. We have been working to patent more advanced technologies in recent years in an effort to develop an even more exceptional patent portfolio
Improving developers' skills
- HIOKI engineers working to optimize product enclosure design are encouraged to take the Three-dimensional Design Proficiency Examination in order to improve their skills, increase design quality, and speed up the design delivery process. The test, which comprises a comprehensive evaluation of the knowledge needed for three-dimensional design, has played a major role in increasing designers' skills.
As of 2016, 20 of the 35 engineers who achieved exceptional scores on the test in Japan were HIOKI employees.
Concepts realized through design
Measuring instruments that give proper shape to product concepts not only excel in functionality, but also reflect engineers' careful consideration of an extensive array of factors, including user experience and safety as well as beauty of shape. At HIOKI, we emphasize design as it relates to all of these elements, and our designers contribute actively to the development process, starting during the initial product planning stage.
Expressing concepts through design
Measuring instruments that give shape to a painstakingly formulated product concept not only excel in terms of function, but also deliver beauty of form by taking into account all design requirements, up to and including the need to deliver a pleasing user experience and assure safety. Because Hioki emphasizes design as the sum of all these elements, designers participate in the development process from the initial product planning stage by contributing a variety of proposals.
Reflecting the effectiveness of this approach, a total of 75 Hioki products have earned a Good Design Award since 1985. Our goal remains to enrich lifestyles and society by designing measuring instruments that are pleasing to hold and satisfying to use.
Good Design Award Winner 2019
HIOKI Innovation Center
A platform to the future
The HIOKI Innovation Center was created to serve as a platform to a future where people and information gather so that innovation can arise from natural interactions, giving rise to new value for customers.
The Center brings together HIOKI’s engineers, about 300 strong, in a floor plan measuring 108 meters by 36 meters. Underneath this three-story workplace, which is integrated seamlessly into its natural setting,are housed a range of laboratories and development facilities.
* The Center received the FY2016 29th Nikkei New Office Award (New Office Promotion Award [Creative Office Award]).
We use the Center’s clean room to develop and manufacture proprietary Hall elements for use in our high-sensitivity current sensors.
The Center includes a worldclass EMC testing facility in the form of a 3-meter anechoic chamber that complies with international standards. The chamber includes a 3-meter turntable and can be used to test large products weighing up to 3 tons.
Reliability testing center
We also built new standard rooms for JCSS calibration (ISO/IEC 17025) and general calibration use. These five adjoining spaces, which consist of constant-temperature/constant-humidity rooms and standard testing rooms, can also be used to carry out environmental testing at low-humidity conditions of 10% RH at 30°C.
Drop testing system, Vibration testing system
We subject products to vibration testing and drop and impact testing in order to improve their reliability. We ensure a high level of quality by conducting these tests at destructive levels of vibration and drop heights in circumstances that mirror assumed conditions of use.
Before designs reach the prototype stage, HIOKI engineers use various analytical software packages to conduct simulations, including thermo-fluid analysis, electromagnetic field analysis,and structural analysis, in order to validate functionality and performance.
These techniques play a useful role by allowing us to visualize phenomena that ordinarily are invisible so that we can optimize product designs.
HIOKI engineers use several types of 3D printers to study design concepts and validate designs. This technology helps us develop high-quality products more quickly.