Removing human error, or mistake proofing, is a key component of creating an efficient manufacturing process. So key, in fact, that it has its own unique term to describe it – Poka-yoke.
To perform such mistake proofing, processes musts be modified to make it far more difficult for human error to lead to significant mistakes. There are a number of steps that can be taken to accomplish this:
- Build repetitive human tasks into the process itself
- Create interlocks to prevent human error from effecting the process
- Implement barriers to prevent workers from performing improper actions
- Create warnings and alerts so that human errors can be responded to, and corrected, quickly
Even more important than these individual steps is shifting the mindset of the organization itself. The organization must be rebuilt from the ground up to see that even small human errors must be prevented. Without such a mind set, small errors will add up over time and lead to significant process and product destroying errors.
To decrease any possible errors, mistake proofing must be implemented at each step of the manufacturing process. By eliminating mistakes at the source, the cost of human errors within the company will reduce.