Lean Definition

Poka Yoke

Poka –Yoke ( Error Proofing) – Jidoka or autonomation is a term used in the Lean process that means automation with a human touch, which applies in the following four principles:

  • Detect the Abnormality
  • Stop
  • Fix or correct the immediate condition
  • Investigate the root cause and install a countermeasure.

Poka- Yoke is designed to stop the movement of the component to the next station by using “fail-safe” techniques to eliminate errors or quality- related production defects as far upstream in the process as possible.

Example: Requiring completed components to pass through a customised opening to ensure that dimensions do not exceed tolerance limits. Also, includes methods to check equipment operating conditions prior to making a part. A major objective is to minimise the need for rework.

A poka-yoke is a mechanism that works with Jidoka to either prevent a mistake or make a mistake obvious at a glance; for example, an operator who creates customized assemblies from small bins in front of him : One approach would be to give the operator a list of parts to assemble by taking them as needed from the bin. This approach can lead to assembly errors since he or she might forget to include one of the parts or add parts not specified. A poya-yoke solution might be to install lights on all bins. When the operator is to create a new assembly, the bins that contain the specified parts for the assembly will be illuminated. The operator then systematically removes one part from each bin in front of him. He does this until one part has been removed from each bin and he knows the assembly is complete when no parts remain in front.

Poka -yoke offers solutions to organisations,  that experience frequent discrepancies in the packaging of their products – e.g.  Someone forgot to include instruction or forgot to include a mounting screw. Poke-yoke ideas or devices can be more effective than simple demands on workers to “be more careful”, Improvement focus should always be given to what can be done to error-proof a process more than on inspecting the quality of the finished product.

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