Jidoka is the often ignored pillar of the Toyota Production system and lean manufacturing yet it is one of the most important principles of lean. Jidoka is about quality at source, no company can survive without quality products and/or services. Through the principles of Jidoka quality is built into a product or service.
Jidoka is a Japanese principle under which either an operator or the machine itself stops the operation when a defect or error occur, preventing it from passing on. This helps identify problems and creates and drives the need to fix problems as soon as possible to prevent problem re-occurrence and improve quality.
Jidoka is a Japanese principle and it has two meanings:
Manual line – it allows the operator to stop the line if something goes wrong.
Automated line – it stops the line automatically when the machine detects a defect.
In this case it’s called autonomation or “automation with human intelligence”.
According to the this principles, an operator is empowered and required to take control and stop the production line if he/she determines that something is wrong. It can be anything:
- a quality problem or alert
- equipment issue
- health and safety concern
- lack or overload of parts
The Jidoka principle uses four steps:
- Detect the abnormality
- Stop the machine /operation / line
- Correct / fix the current condition
- Seek permanent solution by examining the root cause