04 October 2017 Practical tips for avoiding mistakes during the assembly process. Poka Yoke systems
How many inconveniences are the result of inadvertent errors during production processes in your company? What impact do they have on your productivity? On Japan’s assembly lines, these mistakes are known as “poka” and are the most common cause of rejects. “Yoke” instead comes from the verb Yokeru and means to avoid. Poka Yoke systems help the operator perform their job properly.
Let’s take a look at some practical tips for avoiding inadvertent errors with the aid of Fiam solutions. Poka Yoke devices are tools designed to identify and correct inadvertent errors as they occur. These tools are useful, for instance, on assembly lines to avoid incorrect positioning or to detect parts that might be missing from the items being produced.
Minimizing rejects with Lean Manufacturing
The basic principle lies in identifying and stopping a defect before it turns into an unusable reject. This preventive approach to tackling reject issues is at the basis of the so-called Lean Manufacturing process, the brainchild of engineer Shigeo Shingo, who studied the famous Toyota Production System.
The purpose of Poka Yoke systems, therefore, is to reduce manufacturing defects to zero, making it impossible to make mistakes during the production process and creating systems that are capable of identifying and correcting anomalies automatically.
What are the five principles of Lean Manufacturing?
- Identify Value for the Customer
- Map the Value Stream and work on eliminating activities that do not generate value
- Make Value-creating activities Flow so that they follow on from each other smoothly
- Make sure the Value Stream is pulled by the Customer
- Pursue perfection through continuous improvement
Lean Manufacturing and Poka Yoke Systems: Fiam’s answer
Based on Lean Manufacturing principles, Fiam has come up with various devices in line with the Poka Yoke concepts.
Let’s find out more about their main advantages:
- They put the production line on hold to stop the reject reaching the end and hence generating the unnecessary expense of manufacturing rejects
- They allow the mistake to be corrected and solved without delay
- They relieve operators of the need to continuously attend the machine while it is operating, meaning they are free to monitor the process as a whole, which has huge benefits in terms of end product quality
- They eliminate post-process control costs as mistakes are prevented and detected in-process