Green Design Challenge


Jidoka is a Japanese term which means intelligent or humanized automation. It is widely used in Lean Manufacturing and Toyota Production System.

Practically it means that an automated system process is fully aware of itself and it will know when to stop. This concept is used to minimize waste, defects and over production.
Automation is used to reduce defects that are neglected by human eye and to relieve the workers. These defects can be product related defects or process related defects.

- Product related defects: Sometimes even after packaging, product can break. This can’t be noticed by human eye but by applying an automation system one can find out and reduce these wastes.

- Process related defects: Any defect in the process can increase time of realizing, sorting and fixing the problem by a worker. Automation helps to reduce this time as the machine itself will realize any fault in the process and automatically stop it. Therefore, all the worker has to do is to fix the problem and the machine will start working again.



Workers may be able to detect many defects but it is impossible for them to detect all of them. It can be very time consuming and resource wasting. Ensuring that every process is free of defects can be very exhausting for the workers and this can affect the company badly as it can stop daily activities. Therefore it is a requirement for the companies to have a system that can work on its own self and detect defects without any manual help.

Jidoka is very useful for implementing in any company. Some of its advantages are:
- Helps in problem detection at any stage.

- Helps in production of defect free products.

- Provides effective utilization of resources and manpower.

- Helps in lowering costs

- Increases product quality

- Provides shorter product delivery time.

Aug 31
Jidoka - The Humanized Automation


Hoshin Kanri is practically a planning process that was initially developed in Japan. It uses the basic techniques of management by objectives. Hoshin Kanri involves a system-approach and it is a successful technique that helps an organization focus its efforts on only the vital few initiatives to achieve the desired results. The organization needs to follow a strategic planning process for achieving the success by concentrating on the critical factors to get Hoshin Kanri benefits.

In simplest terms, Hoshin Kanri (Hoshin) defines a system that encourages the employees to critically analyze situations, make improvement plans, carry out performance checks and take timely corrective action. Hoshin helps align the thought process and efforts of each employee in an organization towards a single significant direction for the progress of the company considerably faster than others. It is a systematic approach that links daily management with strategic actions. It includes planning, implementation and a control process for management. Hoshin Kanri has yielded fantastic results in many companies throughout the world.

The total creative effort put together generates more benefits and gives the organization an edge over its competitors as compared with the sum of total separate benefits from individual efforts.

The main Hoshin Kanri Benefits can be summed up as:

  • Hoshin Kanri creates an orientation towards revolutionary objectives. It makes the entire organization to focus on the vital few goals, rather than putting efforts on so many insignificant objectives.
  • It brings forth organizational integration and boosts cross-functional cooperation to achieve the desired goals.
  • There is a careful and continuous monitoring of progress. The process results are regularly reviewed and the plans are revised or corrected.
  • Hoshin Kanri is a participative approach. It creates organizational alignment and involvement of everyone towards targeted breakthrough objectives. Each person in the organization is valued as an expert in his field and encouraged as his contribution is recognized.

Hoshin Kanri may require some initial effort and orientation of the individuals in the organization for their total involvement and commitment to get its incredible benefits.

Aug 18
Hoshin Kanri Benefits

"If a nation values anything more than freedom, it will lose its freedom; and the irony of it is that if it is comfort or money it values more, it will lose that, too." — W. Somerset Maugham 

"The value of marriage is not that adults produce children, but that children produce adults." — Peter De Vries 

Lack of skill dictates economy of style. - Joey Ramone 

"It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts." — John Wooden 

People think my friend George is weird because he wears sideburns…behind his ears. I think he’s weird because he wears false teeth…with braces on them. — Steven Wright

Jul 30