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Error Proofing (Poka-yoke)

A process improvement that reduces defects and eliminates the causes of errors

Error Proofing (Poka-yoke)

Error Proofing – A process improvement that reduces defects and eliminates the causes of errors.

One of the tools in the Business Improvement tool-kit that will help us reach the goal of being defect free.

  • Safety – Prevents personal injury.
  • Quality – Prevents faulty products.
  • Cost – Reduces non-value added activities.
  • Confidence – Improves confidence in process capability.

Error Proofing is often to referred to by the Japanese term “Poka-yoke”, this quite simply means to design a process, product or behaviour in such a way that it cannot go together incorrectly.

One of the greatest examples of this is the standard 3 pin-plug, as hard as you may try, it is impossible to insert a 3 pin-plug into a 3 pin-socket incorrectly without breaking it.

Business Benefits of Error Proofing

  • Zero Defects – Consistent high quality output.
  • Zero Waste – Lower costs.
  • Zero Delays – On Time Delivery.
  • Zero Injuries – Designed for safety.
  • Zero Complaints – High levels of customer confidence and trust.


Downloads are available on this web site to support you with 5’C Workplace Organisation

VIew Downloads

What does Error Proofing Do?

Error proofing:

  • Stops the defect occurring !
  • Makes incorrect actions impossible to carry out.
  • Makes it possible to distinguish between errors and defective materials.
  • Ultimately makes inspection redundant.

Types of Error Proofing

Quality does not come from inspection, but from the inputs and of the process – be it man, method, or machine. Anywhere in that chain where there is an opportunity for error to occur must be addressed.

So instead of looking for errors in work that has already been completed, all efforts should go into fixing the process as soon as possible so no further errors can occur. Be this through the introduction of physical barriers or to going back to the design process and designing out the ability to make wrong.

Don’t be fooled. Error proofing may just appear to be a basic improvement tool, but when fully understood and applied correctly, the results will be significant. 

Want to know more? Then the team from Smartworxs will help you with the development and implementation of your Error Proofing, please get in touch.

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