Floor Tape Store

Wednesday, November 15, 2023

Jidoka – Find an Issue, Stop and Fix It

There is no room for compromise in Lean when it comes to quality. We have to learn to build quality into our processes and design Lean processes based on right-first-time principles.

Building quality into our processes means not simply relying on perfectly trained individuals and teams who never make mistakes. Standard Operating Procedures may help people making errors, but it does not stop them.

We have to assume, just like in Murphy’s Law – that anything that can go wrong will go wrong … eventually. And by accepting this fact, the most important aspect of our processes is how well we design them to eliminate any potential errors from ever occurring.

Lean is about stopping and fixing issues when they go wrong: quickly and consistently, every time. It is about creating the proper workplace setup, to ensure that when things go wrong, we can identify them quickly.

Jidoka is an integral part of Lean principles that focuses on optimizing the flow of production processes. It plays a crucial role in helping organizations become more efficient and productive by reducing waste, enhancing quality, and increasing customer satisfaction. Jidoka is based on the idea that any defect should be detected immediately so the process can be stopped until the root cause of the problem is identified and corrected. This helps eliminate wasted time, resources, and energy from running defective parts through a production line.

The implementation of Jidoka relies on a mix of cultural concepts and Lean tools that are summarized below.

Developing a Jidoka mindset. Many people are trained to react to problems and to put in place quick fixes. The concept is to keep things running for as long as possible and work around problems as quickly as possible. A Jidoka mindset is different in that it says that, in the long run, efficiency will come from addressing the root cause of problems and that investing time in solving problems is a valuable investment.

Empowering staff to ‘stop the line’. Do your staff feel that they are empowered to say ‘stop’ when they see an unsafe act or a problem occurring? Many organizational cultures, through the words and actions of managers, disempower staff from stopping a process. Developing a culture where people feel that they are able to raise a real issue – and that far from being penalized they will actually be thanked for raising the issue – is very important in jidoka.

Installing andons. Andons are audible, or more commonly visual, signals that something has happened.  The aim is that andons quickly alert managerial and technical staff to a problem having arisen so that they can get to the source of the problem and begin to investigate it.

Solving the root cause. Quick fixes are typically just that. Jidoka relies on the implementation of an immediate fix to stem the potential damage and on the longer-term fix that comes through root cause analysis.

Utilizing standard work. Having implemented the changes it is vital to document what has been done and to carry out any training required on the new process.

Selective automation. Selective automation is about investing in technology to detect – and more ideally prevent – errors arising wherever there is a business case to do so. This means wherever there is either a high probability that things will repeatedly go wrong, or where a problem arising has significant impact (such as the ability to cause harm), then it means investing in sensors and other systems to enable you to control the process and detect problems as early as possible.

By not fixing the problem as soon as it is identified increases the costs of fixing it later. It potentially allows the problem to get to the customer and kills causing even more damage to the business. And really importantly, in a culture of continuous improvement, we want to learn fast.

If the issue is not addressed immediately, we miss the opportunity to learn (kaizen) and when we finally do get around to fixing the issue, we might find we don’t just have one product that has failed but multiple products.

The sooner the problem is detected, the easier it is to fix and the smaller the impact.  Thus, one of the important parts of Lean is to be able to detect problems, raise them quickly, analyze and fix.

Subscribe to my feed Subscribe via Email LinkedIn Group Facebook Page @TimALeanJourney YouTube Channel SlideShare

No comments:

Post a Comment