A Coffee Mug Error Proofed Against Tipping?


I saw this at an office supply store today (but didn't buy it). For all of the coffee making problems I have, tipping mugs over isn't one of them (knock on wood).

This mug is advertised as having a clever mechanism that allows the mug to be lifted only vertically, preventing it from tipping over and spilling. Has anybody seen this in action? It seems to illustrate the Lean concept of mistake proofing or error proofing, does it not? For me, using a travel mug (or disposable cup) with a lid at least prevents tipping from becoming a mess (since only a small amount of coffee drips out of the drinking hole).



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Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and professional speaker who has worked in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. His latest book is Measures of Success: React Less, Lead Better, Improve More. He is author of the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, as well as The Executive Guide to Healthcare Kaizen. He also published the anthology Practicing Lean that benefits the Louise H. Batz Patient Safety Foundation, where Mark is a board member. Mark is also a Senior Advisor to the technology company KaiNexus.

  1. Riegholt says

    Though I haven’t seen this one in action, I have used mugs like these on boats. These do the trick !

    1. Mark Graban says

      That mug you shared looks like the simpler, more creative, less expensive way to solve the same problem…

      1. Chad Walters says

        I received a similar coffee mug from TEDxColumbiaSC last year, with the wide bottom but made of plastic. It was like this guy right here:


        I thought it was a really cool design that accomplishes exactly what that vertical-only mug does.

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