If you’re here to learn What is Jidoka? You’ve come to the right place. Let me explain Jidoka through the video below. Immediately after the video, you can read the video transcript and also links to other Lean Definitions and Concepts.
Jidoka Video and Audio Transcript
All right, welcome back okay everybody. We are still in the technical tools module focusing on some of those technical skills. Again, just as a refresher, kind of, in that technical tools area there’s the two main things we focus on which is tool to measure, tools to improve. The tools to improve is what we are covering and that’s kind of the skills side from the technical perspective of how we want to go about affecting this lean transformation that we’re after. In this, kind of, first subset of tools we’re going to be covering Jidoka today stability, problem solving, and standardized work were covered in the previous sections. In looking at Jidoka one of the kinds of foundational understandings of what we are trying to accomplish with that is this idea of building in quality and as is par for the course in these sections we are going to do some comparing and some contrasting with kind of the typical, traditional way of going about thinking of these concepts versus how we want shift our approach to, kind of, this lean concept, lean thinking ideas.
In the traditional model of building in quality we lay out just a sample production line here, just three basic processes. At the end of that normally we have some level of inspection, some quality control, some quality inspection process at the end catching the product as it comes off the line. The results of that quality check is generally if there is a defect we can rework it, if it’s possible, or if not we scrap it and we have to make another whole unit to begin from the beginning all the way through. Then items that pass inspection are considered good and we can go ahead and ship those. Now there is a couple of major problems with this kind of traditional approach to building and quality and where that really comes from is that when we are only inspecting the finished goods we are not really providing any feedback to the operations that are generating this defects. These people don’t know, those processes don’t know that they are creating a defect because it’s not getting found until way down the line and then maybe that isn’t being communicated back. Also if we are only checking for defects at the end when we find one, now we have a whole production line full of things we have to go back and rework.
Outside of that, this idea of scrap and rework by not catching things early this rework operation, the scrap operation is kind of a hidden factory idea going back to some of the terminology from the measurement module where that’s waste. We may not think about it as waste because in the end a good product still goes out the door, but that’s extra time, extra money that we are spending on each product that we have to rework because we didn’t catch the defect early enough to do something about it before it became a major problem all the way at the end.
What we want to switch to with a lean thinking, a lean approach is we can lay out that exact same three process sample production line but what we want to do is, we want to make sure that each process only ships quality product. Each operator within each process has a firm understanding of what is a good product, what is normal and what is abnormal so when there is a defect they can see it, they know what it is and they can do something about it. What we do with that is these arrows going backwards represent say in process b, there’s the next item coming down the line is received and there is a defect with it. Well we just don’t say, “Okay,” and pass it down, we want to send it back immediately to have it repaired as soon as possible. What the kind of sum result of that is, is that we can be sure then that when things get to end of the line because we are checking for quality we are ensuring good quality we are not moving product through the line unless it is good quality, that by the time it comes off the end and its ready to go, every item that comes off the end of the production line is okay to ship.
The main things that we get out of that is that when we don’t pass those defects, when we fix them in the process, we don’t have to have that extra rework and scrap operation at the end. We can eliminate it completely because we’re making sure that we are building good product the whole way through. The other thing that comes out of it is that now our operators, in each stage, get immediate quality feedback, so if they make a defect they know about that immediately before they have a chance to reproduce that defect on maybe 100 or a 1000 parts before someone says something about it.
The last thing again that kind of ties into that is that now we are finding these defects at the source. When we do have a quality problem we don’t find it in inspection and now have to figure out where it came from. We find it immediately at the source so it’s easy to see what happens so it’s easy to fix that effectively and quickly. That’s the major things that we accomplished with this model.
Then we want to look at, okay now we understand why we want to do it but how do we go about doing that? Kind of how do we do it from a management and a technical system and so the way it’s laid out it’s pretty simple. We can take any given process, and we want to do this for all of our processes, we want to have some mechanism to make abnormalities visible, whether it is standardized work from what we talked before, or some other mechanism that the operators can see when something has happened, something abnormal has happened.
Then we want to provide them with a mechanism, a tool, to be able to call for help to say, “I need some assistance in dealing with this defect because I don’t know what to do with this,” or “I can’t keep up with everything else and try and fix this at the same time”. Now once they call for help, now we have to have a management culture where there is an immediate response. We treat that call for help with some urgency. We don’t just let it sit for a day, or two days or three days, we go and respond immediately.
Then the fourth step there is we want to implement good counter measures. That ties in being able to problem solve effectively and it ties into using some of these skills that we are going to be developing in this next sections in order to develop those effective counter measures to solve these problems as they occur in real time. The end goal with what we are trying to do with this is we want to prevent the defect so when we have something we want to prevent it from getting worse and we want to be able to address it immediately so that we don’t have a recurrence of that same defect. By the same token, now that we have this way to build in quality in each process. We have a way to make sure we are not passing the defect along and letting that snowball roll down the hill. Those are the main things we are after with this.
There are a couple of tools that we can use to help build end quality. One of them is Andon which really all an Andon is, is kind of like a warning signal. Like we said before we need some mechanism to stop and call for help, that’s what an Andon is. There are two main kinds, there is a human Andon which can be a flag or a light or a pull chain, or a siren or a whistle whatever and then we have machine Andons. Really what the Andon is, is something that kind of developed out of the supervisor’s need to be able to see where problem are cropping up and it’s a tool for visual control because now we can see a problem when it happens in real time. That flag goes up, that light goes on, the siren goes off we know something is happening, we know we need to respond to that now. If we don’t make it visual if we don’t notify of our abnormalities, nine times of 10 in a traditional setting, people just aren’t aware, management isn’t aware of the problems that are happening which makes it impossible for them to do anything about solving them.
The other tool and this is something very simple is called a pokayoke. It’s a funny word but really what it is, is just something that’s practical, inexpensive something really easy to do and in the case of this sample is that simple fixture. What it’s designed to do is to eliminate defects to make it harder for defects to occur. A lot of these come from directly from team member input because they are the experts, they know best, and the only way we really find out if we need these or where we can need it is by being involved at what’s happening kind of on the shop floor where the values being added that go and see mentality. Just kind of as an example, this particular fixture was brought up because the team members were having issues with pipes lining up down the line. The suggestion was, “Well let’s make a simple fixture that costs $2 and then we can save hours and hours and hours of time reworking all these pipes way down the line because we can make sure that they are right up here at the front. That’s the kind of the concept of a pokayoke, small things that have a big impact.
Now, this other concept of Jidoka the first one in terms of building and quality and kind of notifying of abnormalities, kind of, that visual cue to make abnormalities visual. There’s this second kind of pillar of Jidoka, the second aspect of it is this notion of separating man’s work, human’s work from a machine’s work. What we got in this example was in here where you have one individual and one machine when we look at the time line to the right there what that shows is that for the human work there is a couple of steps. They unload the finished part they add the new part and then they wait while the machine runs. That’s a concept of waste, we are not respecting the human capacity by asking them to wait on a machine. What we want to do is we want to separate man’s work from machine’s work and get into this idea of one man, one individual and several machines. When we look at the example the way it’s laid out now and one cycle time, for man’s work they can unload the part and reload the part in the first machine, turret a, turn it on and then we stagger it so that while the first machine turret a is running they can unload and reload the part in turret b. Now, what we’ve done is we have decoupled the human work from the machine work so the human, our team members, can work can work straight through and the machines can run straight through and they are not waiting on each other. We eliminate that waste and we eliminate that down time.
Just to kind of to help bring that home there is a quick little example video that I like to show and this is based off some work that was actually done so talking about the first principle of Jidoka, this idea of separating man’s work from machines’ work. What we’ll see in this video in this particular instance is for quality control validation of these units the team member there actually had to sit and do some time studies on these units and so we were asking this individual to sit, essentially with a stopwatch, and every 15 seconds or maybe an hour, 45 minutes just jot down a number. Not very respectful of his capability of what he could be doing, there’s pretty of other things more valuable that he could be doing than sitting there with the stopwatch writing those numbers down, right. What we wanted to do is we wanted to look at, “Okay how can we separate that work out?” and I think coming up we’ll see kind of what the total waste was and what really kind of brought the focus to this in particular. We can see right there we notice because the individual is working on this project, saw that this was becoming a bottleneck and once they went and looked go and see they were able to find that the total human time here was 47 minutes and 45 minutes of that was sitting there with a stopwatch not being able to do other things. In order to separate the work what they developed was to come up with a computer system. Now the team member can load the machine up, hit start, walk away to go do more valuable work and the computer now can monitor the machine system and do that work.
What we’ll see now is he can come back when the system is complete, double check that everything was okay and then go about the other critical things that he needs to be doing. Trouble shooting other units, doing repairs things like that and what we are able to do there now is the total human work time in that instance went from 47 minutes down to 3 minutes. That 42 minutes per unit can now be spent doing other valued added work, that’s the really key idea of separating the work.
Now here for the second principle stop and notify of the abnormality. In this instance one of these units has just had a critical error that needs to be repaired but can you tell which one it is? The problem was that no one else could either and so when it wasn’t immediately obvious that one of the units had a problem in this case no one found it for seven hours. That’s seven hours of lost production, that’s seven hours that that unit took up space on the floor, that’s seven hours longer the customer had to wait. Which in this case snowballed to maybe a few days or weeks. To correct it and to put something in place to stop and notify of an abnormality immediately, they developed a system here to notify when something happened and we are about to see what it here, and there it goes. When the equipment faults now it triggers that red flashing light, so someone can see what’s going on. In this case the team member was doing something else but knows to kind of keep an eye out for those lights. As soon as it faulted he was able to come right over, fix it get it running back so that everything could continue smoothly.
That’s what we see once to is visible we don’t lose the processing time so we are able to save human work time by separating human work from machine time and we then we are also able to save processing time by being able to see and fix problems when they first happen instead of finding out way after the fact when it is too late to do anything, that’s the real value of Jidoka.
Just kind of in summary to wrap that up, why it really matters is that when we can build in quality and we can kind of maximize our human resources that really helps us drive towards our ultimate goals of highest quality, lowest cost and of course shortest lead time. These two things the concept of Jidoka, the skills that we talked about with this, are really really valuable and can be used in almost any incarnation and should be used in every process to make sure that we are being efficient and effective with our problem solving and our human resource.
That covers this section you know as always any questions please send them through the website and we will see everybody for the next section. Thank you