SME releases Poka-Yoke: Mistake-Proofing DVD

The Society of Manufacturing Engineers (www.sme.org/store)
SME member Jeff Fuchs, a lean consultant and author of the DVD explains, “Whether it’s your check engine light, a smoke detector, or child-proof caps, poka-yoke is all around us. It can make life safer, easier and can improve your business processes.”

Fuchs explains, “Whether it’s your check engine light, a smoke detector, or child-proof caps, poka-yoke is all around us. It can make life safer, easier and can improve your business processes.”

Fuchs notes that poka-yoke is a must-have element in every competitive business. “Mistake-proofing is one of the cornerstones of lean production. It creates stable, repeatable processes that are high quality and low waste. But whether you are on a lean journey or not, isn’t that the kind of rock-solid foundation you want at the base of all your business processes?”

The 30 minute video introduces viewers to such poka-yoke practitioners as Fuchs, but also effective processes and tools such as andon lights, sensors and counter-measures, which go as far as shutting down production lines when errors occur.

Viewers are given an inside look at companies such as Saline Plastics, ConMed Linvatec, and ESYS Engineered Systems. They will see how they are using mistake-proofing to help reduce costs, increase quality and accelerate customer delivery time. In particular, the DVD reveals how Saline Plastics uses the process to build customized automobile instrument panels for Ford Motor Company.

For ConMed Linvatec, a global leader of minimally invasive medical devices, surgical implants and other products, poka-yoke is more than a helpful process…it’s a requirement.

ConMed’s Continuous Improvement Champion Bill Mazurek said, “About 80 percent of our products go through a sterile environment. As a result, we have to maintain a certain particle level. An opened door, for example, could alter this level where you could end up with fibers or particles inside a sterile package.” Mazurek adds that ConMed is using poka-yoke methods to maintain this clean environment with good results. “Our back orders are down by about 50 percent today. Ninety-eight percent of our product ships within 24 hours. In days past, it was in the low 90 percent range. Our scrap rate is reduced by 20 to 25 percent in some areas as a result of our mistake-proofing activities.”

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