HIVIX – manufacturer of
high-frequency welded and
heat-welded plastic products





At Hivix, to solve the customer’s concerns about their products and capitalize on our advantages, we use the power of air and work together with the customer to generate proposals and develop products for market.
ometimes as we are involved at the planning stage, or when researching original materials, a ground-breaking idea may spring forth.

Development Adviser / Toshimichi Hioki

Product Tollgate barrier arm for exclusive use at electronic toll collection (ETC) points on expressways in Japan.
To develop an ETC barrier arm that reduces complaints of damage to vehicles resulting from collisions and also reduces the frequency of replacement of the arms.

Development began when we were approached for consultation by a former employee of the Japan Highway Public Corporation.
ETC barrier arms often suffer collisions with vehicles and at that time the arms were all made of plastic, and were prone to breaking after even one collision. The rate of replacement was high as were costs, and while the arms were being replaced, cars were unable to pass through that lane, but the biggest problem was the number of complaints from drivers regarding scratches or damage to their vehicles. The number of complaints was so large that there were even staff suffering from neurosis due to the stress.
When I heard this story, I too felt that this was a problem and I decided to develop an ETC barrier arm using air.

First we needed a base material. At first we considered using PVC or similar materials but we changed to a urethane base as that best addressed the problem of strength. It has a more flexible strength than PVC.
Finding a material with such a good fit to the intended use is a process of trial and error. This time we tried 7 or 8 different base materials, going back and negotiating with the materials manufacturer each time, testing prototypes, until finally we arrived at urethane.
We were also very particular about construction of the base material and how materials were combined. The ETC barrier arm has a 3-layer structure. First there is an air tube, then a layer to maintain rigidity and finally a surface layer designed to minimize scratching or damage to vehicles. This time, as strength was the main consideration, we used a special, rarely seen structure.
We also placed the emphasis on strength when considering welding methods. Depending in the welding method chosen, strength can change completely. For this product we layered two sheets, interposed another sheet in between them, and welded them together. This made a weld strongly resistant to pulling forces.

Development took a full 6 months. Rather than creating actual collisions, and studying the scratching and damage that occur, we ran numerous simulation tests until finally; the “ETC barrier arm made from air” was finished.
The product was first introduced 6 or 7 years ago and has now spread to a large extent on expressways throughout the Tokai region, where we hear that it has contributed to a lowering of the replacement rate for barrier arms as well as a reduction in costs. We are also extremely happy that the number of incidents of trouble with road users is reported to have fallen and this has lightened the burden on the expressway company staff.
Hivix research and development begins not from “What to make?” but “How to solve the problem?” We consider how to take advantage of our skills in order to solve the concerns or worries our customers bring to us. We feel that this ETC barrier arm is a demonstration of this Hivix policy in action.

Photo courtesy of 156 Bussan Co., Ltd.


Gifu prefecture,Japan