What does JIDOKA mean?
In order to produce world-class, quality automobiles at competitive price levels, Toyota developed an integrated approach to production, which manages equipment, materials, and people in the most efficient manner while ensuring a healthy and safe work environment.
The Toyota Production System has been built on two main principles: “Just-In-Time” production and “Jidoka.” Underlying this management philosophy and the entire Toyota production process is the concept that “Good Thinking Means Good Product”.
Jidoka (or Autonomation) is one of the pillars of the Toyota Production system or TPS. Denso’s objectives should be to deliver products of a quality, price, and within a timeframe defined by the customer. Jidoka is the concept of adding an element of human judgement to automated equipment. In doing this, the equipment becomes capable of discriminating against unacceptable quality, and the automated process becomes more reliable.
The Japanese kanji characters for JIDOKA (pronounced gee dough kah) are a kind of pun on another word in Japanese also pronounced the same but written with a different middle character and meaning simply “automation.” The English word Autonomation (or “autonomous operation) was coined to convey the meaning of “automation with a human element,” because the middle kanji for DO in Jidoka includes a character representing a human being.
A good example of Jidoka is the Toyota power loom developed in the early 20th century. A problem existed with shuttlecocks that would stick and create defects in the cloth being produced. Before power looms, a weaver would be able to remedy any such problems before proceeding, but power looms continued mindlessly on, producing unacceptable quality that required the cloth to be unravelled and backed up, boosting costs and making quality suspect. The Toyota loom incorporated a simple stopper that was activated by a sticking shuttlecock, and thus the machine became more “human,” and “knew” when to stop. The end result was a reliable system that was cheaper to operate and produced the expected quality. JIDOKA prevents products with unacceptable quality from continuing in the process.
Examples of Jidoka in common use at Denso are the stamp interlock system on the testing stages. The stamps are inaccessible unless the testing process has been achieved successfully. The stamp must be replaced before the next test can be started. Another example is the go, no go gauges on the pipe bulging process. The operator must check the part in the gauge, which is interlocked to the machine. Only a successful bulge will allow the operator to proceed. A further example is the system of holes located in the side of the condensers. These holes identify to the machine the model and variant of condenser, fool proofing the build.
Summary Jidoka – Intelligent Automation, also called ‘autonomation’ and ‘intelligent automation’ is a pillar of the Toyota Production system. Jidoka focuses on separating human and machine work by automating one element at a time cost effectively. Productivity is improved and the operator’s role is changed to that of a load and unload role. Error proofing and error detection is built into the machine process so that defects are not passed on.
• Improve productivity
• Improve quality
• Improve safety
• Enable multi-process handling
• Achieve low-cost automation