Reliability through methodical error minimization

No chance for faults

A strong commitment to reliability causes customer satisfaction. This assumes competence in the minimization of fault sources in the production process. However, it is easier said than done. No person and no system are totally free of errors in the manufacturing chain. The man who drew pioneering and innovative consequences from this fact is called Shigheo Shingo. His mark can also be found in the Flow Control assembly process.

The principle developed by the Japanese engineer Shigeo Shingo, bears the impressively sounding name Poka Yoke. Anyone attempting a translation comes pretty close to the meaning with "fail-safeness" or "mistake-proofing". An even better common denominator would be "do it right from the very start": Do not allow errors to occur or discover and eliminate them at such an early stage, before they can develop into a costly problem.

HORA follows this strategy in the context of a general approach for an assembly-friendly product design (MTM). Points exist along the entire manufacturing chain, at which every component and assembly must prove its reliability and flawlessness. The next step in the manufacturing chain only commences when this is guaranteed. Flawed components cannot remain undiscovered.

Methods from the Poka Yoke principle also contribute. They can be found in different forms at different stations along the production chain. Everything is designed to facilitate the individual manufacturing stages, so that flaws cannot result due to typical human behaviour such as confusion, forgetfulness or omission. This includes, for example, form fitting of components. This ensures that a component can only be installed in a defined orientation: Accidental errors are avoided. This also applies for the manufacturing processes. They are accompanied by fixed testing stages. If one of these stages is left out, the transfer of the component is blocked. Flaws cannot be passed onto the next phase. And a visit to a multiple-assembly workstation for different valve types demonstrates how HORA utilizes Poka Yoke to combat incorrect orientation of installed components: Simple blocking gadgets prevent the implementation of components into the series that do not belong there.

What we do above and beyond Poka Yoke for the reliability of our products and the quality of our processes can be found here. | more |