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Apr 8, 2010

What is Jidoka ?

Jidoka is a Japanese term used for automation and being widely used in Toyota Production System (TPS), Lean Manufacturing and Total Productive Maintenance (TPM). Concept is to authorize the machine owner (operator) and in any case if a problem occurs on flow line, operator can stop the flow line. Ultimately defective pieces will not move to the next station. This concept minimizes the defects, over production and minimizes wastes. Also its focus is to understand the causes of problems and then taking preventive action to reduce them.

History of Jidoka is back in early 1900’s, when first loom was stopped due to breakage of thread. This loom was developed by Toyota, and it stops working immediately, if any thread broken. Taiichi Ohno is considered to be the inventor of this idea and he describes this tool as one pillar of TPS. Shigeo Shingo called it as pre-automation.

The concept of automated line is being used to relieve workers and minimize human related errors. If machine detects any defect or problem, it should stop immediately. The common causes of defect are:
1- Inappropriate operating procedures
2- Excessive variation in operations
3- Defective raw material
4- Human or Machine error
Jidoka concept was developed due to many reasons,
the common reasons are the 7 type of waste

The purpose of Jidoka implementation is to diagnose the defect immediately and correct it accordingly. Now, human related judgment of component quality is minimized and worker will be only attentive, when machine will be stopped. This concept also helps in sequential inspection of components and ultimately good quality products are produced and also not much burden of final inspection is put on the shoulders of worker. Inspection is carried out by machine and when machine stops working, designated person or skilled person rush towards machine and try to resolve the problem. Jidoka focuses to investigate the root cause of that problem and make necessary arrangements so that this defect may not occur again. Defect prevention can be achieved by using Poka Yoke technique.

Jidoka is being effectively used in TPM, Lean Manufacturing and providing substantial benefits to the organizations. Common benefits obtained by its implementation are:

1- Helps in detection of problem at earlier stages
2- It helps in becoming world class organization
3- Human intelligence is integrated into automated machinery
4- Defect free products are produced
5- Enhances substantial improvement in productivity of the organization

When utilizing Jidoka philosophy, Taiichi Ohno had some specific goals of this tool in mind. But with the advancement in its scope, following goals are being achieved through its application:
1- Effective utilization of manpower
2- Product produced will be of top quality
3- Shorter delivery time of products
4- Reduction in equipment failure rate
5- Improve level of customer satisfaction
6- Increase quality of final product
7- Lower costs (Internal, External, and Appraisal cost etc.)

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