Poka yoke is a Japanese term used to describe reliable work methods, tools and processes that eliminates the possibilities of errors being made by production staff that may lead to defects, production downtime and re-work being produced. Poka yoke can also be used to describe a system or tool which allows the conveying of rapid feedback on the performance of a process to the operator of a plant about its performance in time to avoid making errors that lead to defects or production problems.
Examples of poka yoke can include production start-up checklists and process checklists that list plant settings, pre-start checks on plant, availability of the correct raw materials, correct tooling in place and other items which may prevent errors from occurring.
Another example of rapid feedback is color coded pressure gauges on process pipelines which give a rapid indication to users if the pressure displayed is within acceptable limits or at an incorrect setting. Poka yoke doesn't need to be complicated or sophisticated items, sometimes they can be as simple as a color coded ruler/measuring stick to quickly measure parts, detection equipment for all parts in a set of items or in an assembly. Remember the most important part of poka yoke is the feedback provided and the time taken to rectify the problem in the process.
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