Sunday, August 20, 2017

Poka-Yoke - Shigeo Shingo

For Zero defects, Shigeo Shingo came up with an industrial engineering solution. Industrial engineering needs efficiency sense and focus. They have to use engineering knowledge to improve the efficiency of engineering systems and reduce costs. The solution proposed by Shingo for zero defect production is Poka-Yoke. The features built into the machine and associated devices that prevent defects from happening.  The features inform the operator that a mistake has happened and provide him an opportunity to correct the mistake.

Familiar examples of Poka Yoke

1) Warning about missing attachment file you get while composing email using Gmail.

2) Websites showing password strength indicator to show password strength. So weak passwords are avoided.

3) Google search engine feature to auto-suggest spelling corrections for user search query. This helps uses to avoid making inadvertent mistakes during search.



Iris D. Tommelein
Director, Project Production Systems Laboratory,, and Professor,
Engineering and Project Management Program, Civil and Environmental Engineering Department,
215-A McLaughlin Hall, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720-1712,

2008 Paper on Shingo System

Mistake-Proofing for Operators: The ZQC System

Shigeo Shingo, Productivity Press Development Team
Productivity Press, 01-Jan-1997 - Business & Economics - 80 pages

The Zero Quality Control System (ZQC) is a mistake-proofing approach that prevents defects by monitoring processing conditions at the source and correcting errors that cause defects. Since it is human nature to make mistakes, ZQC does not blame people for errors, but instead finds ways to keep errors from becoming defects. In this breakthrough approach, mistake-proofing devices called poka-yoke are used to check and give feedback about each product or operation in the process, not just a sample. This book introduces operators and assembly workers to the basic methodology of ZQC in an easy-to-read format that covers all aspects of this important manufacturing improvement strategy.

Mistake-Proofing for Operators includes the instructional features that are the signature of the Shopfloor Series. In this series Productivity Press has taken the lead in adult education by teaming with instructional designers to develop complete programs for frontline learning. The goal: to place powerful and proven improvement tools such as ZQC and mistake-proofing in the hands of your company's entire workforce.

Winner of the 1990 Shingo Prize for Excellence in Manufacturing, Mistake-Proofing for Operators is based on Zero Quality Control: Source Inspection and the Poka-Yoke System by Shigeo Shingo

Poka-Yoke: Improving Product Quality by Preventing Defects
Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun, Factory Magazine
Productivity Press, 1988 - Business & Economics - 282 pages

If your goal is 100% zero defects, here is the book for you — a completely illustrated guide to poka-yoke (mistake-proofing) for supervisors and shop-floor workers. Many poka-yoke ideas come from line workers and are implemented with the help of engineering staff or tooling or machine specialists. The result is better product quality and greater participation by workers in efforts to improve your processes, your products, and your company as a whole.

The first section of the book uses a simple, illustrated format to summarize many of the concepts and main features of poka-yoke. The second section shows 240 examples of poka-yoke improvements implemented in Japanese plants.

The book:

Organizes examples according to the broad issue or problem they address.
Pinpoints how poka-yoke applies to specific devices, parts and products, categories of improvement methods, and processes.
Provides sample improvement forms for you to sketch out your own ideas.
Use Poka-yoke in study groups as a model for your improvement efforts. It may be your single most important step toward eliminating defects completely. (For an industrial engineering perspective on how source inspection and poka-yoke can work together to reduce defects to zero, see Shigeo Shingo's Zero Quality Control.)

Training Programmes

Shingo Institute of Japanese Management, Bangalore and Hyderabad


Updated   21 August 2017,  25 February 2017,  21 December 2013

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