The Japanese Quality Guru Shigeo Shingo devised a system of fool proofing, and latterly mistake proofing, devices that when employed by manufacturing industry were claimed to enable systems to operate with zero defects. Shingo called these devices poka yokes. The thinking behind them has been widely adopted to stop mistakes being made or to detect them before they become defects.
Many highly capable manufacturing processes, when equipped with poke yokes, are capable of achieving levels of quality and service which would have been considered impossible only a decade ago.
Industry is increasingly finding that with these sophisticated processes the big gains in reducing lead times are likely to come from the “administrative” processes that support production such as information handling, design, purchasing etc.
You are required to identify and describe a significant mistake (or error) that can or does occur in a system of which you have experience as an employee, customer or user.
You must make an attempt to estimate the likely cost of the mistake to the organisation in which the mistake takes place.
You must then apply Poke yoke thinking to come up with a solution to stop the mistake occurring or to detect the error and stop it from becoming a defect.
You must estimate the cost of implementing your proposed solution.
Your investigation must be presented as a fully referenced report covering the above points and a recommendation of your poke yoke solution to the management of the organisation.
(While there are very few books written specifically on the work of Shingo there are a great number of references in the literature if you look hard enough)
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One of the most important reasons behind the use of quality management systems has been to reduce the costs associated with operations through waste elimination. Production of defects is regarded as waste since these are of little use and extra resources are needed to put them to use. Poka Yoke is one such Japanese concept that focuses on zero defect through testing the process for mistakes and elimination of the same. In this report, these principles of quality management have been applied to my employer RNLI that is focused on saving lives of people along the coast.
Process analysis and scope identification for mistakes
RNLI is a non-profit organization that works towards life protection of individuals and it hires lifeguards to achieve its goal. Quadbikes represent a very important equipment for helping employees save lives of people. On the beaches, the organization has a range of equipment such as truck, 2 quadbikes and an inshore boat. Regular maintenance of every equipment is very important as if they do not function properly when used, the life of a person can also be put at risk. Of all these equipment, the most important life-saving equipment is quadbike. A corner check is done every 30 minutes. A 400 cc 4 stroke Honda is also used to do the same. If there is any incident at the corner, it is not possible to merely walk to that corner since that would take time and the person may also die waiting for help. A quadbike is needed in such a situation in which the employee reaches the place with an emergency response bag (grab bag). When there is a tide, quadbikes serve as the fastest medium to reach the spot and offer help to the individual stuck.
The biggest problem with operations is that sand is washed from the top of the beach after a spring high tide along with large surf. This creates problem in operating quadbikes which are parked inside the garages...