Error proofing (aka “poka yoke” or mistake proofing) is such a powerful Lean method. Some people, unfortunately, think that Lean is only about speed or efficiency or cost. Going back to Toyota, the two pillars of TPS are Just in Time AND “Jidoka” (as shown in this diagram from the excellent Gemba Panta Rei blog).
Jidoka is a key quality methodology, as described on the Toyota website.
I recently stayed at a hotel where I saw a great example of “poka yoke,” or error proofing, in practice.
Many hotel rooms now have LCD TVs in them. The old heavy tube TVs weren’t likely to be pulled forward and off of a cabinet or table. But the LCDs might be.
The hotel didn’t hang an ugly sign saying “Caution: Don’t pull TV off of table!”. A sign like that, if it existed, would be a great addition to my collection of “Be More Careful” signs.
Here is what the hotel did — it was subtle and I didn’t notice it at first:
See the two little nubs (or whatever you call them) in front of the silver stand? This effectively prevents you from sliding the TV too far forward without having to bolt down the whole TV.
Simple and effective. Like many error proofing devices, it seems so obvious in hindsight.
Have you been able to install any error proofing devices or modifications to your own equipment or workspaces in your job?
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