Jidoka is a term taken from The Toyota Production System and Lean Manufacturing that effectively means “intelligent automation” or “automation with a human touch”.
The purposes of jidoka are:
- To increase OEE by reducing waste
- To reduce the production of quality-inferior products
- To prevent damage to machines by causing automatic stops
- To enable your operators to focus on tasks other than just running machines
In practice Jidoka is a form of automation which prevents the production of defective products through some intelligent automation. Primarily Jidoka is a quality control process that has 4 elements:
- Detect the abnormality
- Fix the machine or issue
- Investigate the root cause and fix
An example of Jidoka in action might be an inline quality detection system checking fill heights/weights:
- You produce a low fill – it is detected and no action is taken
- You produce 10 low fills in a minute – an alarm is sounded but no action is taken
- You produce 15 low fills in a minute – the filler is automatically stopped and an error message raised on your andon system
- With the line stopped your operator investigates the cause of the stoppage and makes a fix
In this process operators traditionally have the ability to make only very minimal tweaks to the production process settings, the majority of control is automated.
In this way applying Jidoka will help improve your OEE by increasing your Quality %.
More sophisticated versions of Jidoka can include production line control on automated continuous flow production lines. On a continuous flow line with good control, each machine will start, stop, and change speed automatically to maximise output without operator intervention. To find out more about production line control read here: http://academy.optimumfx.com/category/operational-excellence-tools/line-balance-optimisation/
Find out more:
Jidoka: On the Toyota website.
This jidoka website makes a great diffentiation between Autonomation and automation:
Automation is focused on labor reduction. Autonomation (Jidoka) is focused on quality improvement, and the independence of the man from the process.
Automation increases technicality, Autonomation reduces technicality. This allows skill levels to be lower in similar processes when comparing East to West. Another cost reducer!