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What is Poka Yoke?

Poka Yoke systems are essential in manufacturing businesses where the high production volume means it isn't feasible to completely control everything 100% of the time. Having somewhat automated mistake-proofing systems in place helps ensure defects won't go unnoticed and can be fixed to avoid product recalls.

Poka Yoke, or “error proof” in Japanese, is a mistake-proofing system used to make sure that products have no defects before they’re distributed. Poka Yoke mechanisms guard against manufacturing errors, but they also ensure that finished products last longer, by preventing them from being used incorrectly (such as a washing machine that stops working when the door is opened).

When implementing Poka Yoke, remember your goal is not to blame employees, since occasional mistakes are inevitable. Instead, the goal of a Poka Yoke inspection is to detect and alert workers to mistakes before the mistake damages the final result.

Examples of Poka Yoke inspection criteria include physical characteristics like shape, color, and size, as well as verifying that assembly processes were followed correctly. This Poka Yoke video will teach you:

  • What Poka Yoke is
  • How Poka Yoke systems work
  • The 3 types of Poka Yoke mechanism
What is Poka Yoke? Mistake-proofing explained
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