Poka Yoke in Lean Manufacturing

The literal definition means “mistake proofing”.

A poka-yoke is any mechanism in any process that helps an equipment operator limit mistakes. The purpose is to eliminate product defects by identifying, learning from, preventing and correcting human errors as they occur.

A quick list of common household items in a Poka Yoke state.

·       3 prong outlets

·       Elevator doors

·       Seatbelts

·       Spell check

·       Overflows in sinks

·       Door ajar alarms in your car

·       Washing machines

These all exist because, at some point, mistakes were made by people in using these items which led to negative repercussions. Those events were studied and solutions provided to ensure the mistake would not be repeated. Poka Yoke is a result of a mistake that cannot, and will not, happen again. This is also used in manufacturing as a “lock out, tag out” which will prevent someone from running machine if it is not ready for use.

Believe us, it has happened….

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