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.