Mistake proofing, also known as Poka-Yoke, is a quality control technique used in manufacturing to prevent errors and minimize defects. The goal of mistake-proofing is to make it impossible for operators to make mistakes, reducing the need for rework, inspection, and scrap.
Poka-Yoke is a Japanese term that means “mistake-proofing” or “error-proofing.” It is a simple but effective way to eliminate mistakes by making them impossible for them to occur in the first place. The idea behind Poka-Yoke is to design products and processes so that it is impossible for operators to make a mistake.
An example of Poka-Yoke is the use of jigs and fixtures in manufacturing. These tools are designed to ensure that components are assembled correctly and in the correct sequence. For example, a jig may be used to guide the insertion of a screw into a component, ensuring that it is inserted at the correct depth and angle. Another example is using colour coding to distinguish between different components or materials.
Another example of Poka-Yoke is using sensors in assembly lines to detect when a part is incorrectly positioned. If an error is detected, the machine will stop automatically, alerting the operator to the problem and preventing the defect from entering the supply chain.
Mistake proofing is an effective way to reduce errors and improve quality in manufacturing processes. By designing processes and products to prevent mistakes, operators are less likely to make errors, leading to fewer defects and reduced costs for rework and scrap. It is a simple but powerful tool for improving quality and reducing costs, making it an essential component of any successful quality control program.