The Toyota Production System is focused completely around maximum efficiency and fault-free processes. That’s the idea behind Poka-Yoke.
Poka-Yoke (English: mistake-proofing): Fail safe devices in the production process that automatically stop the line in case of an error.
A Poka-Yoke is any part of a manufacturing process that helps a Toyota member avoid (yokeru) mistakes (poka).
Its purpose is to eliminate defects by preventing, correcting, or highlighting errors as they occur – for example, a jig that holds parts for processing might be modified to only allow them to be held in the correct arrangement. In a wider sense, the term can refer to any behaviour-shaping constraint designed into a process to prevent incorrect operation by the user.
Mistake-proofing is a part of the continuous improvement philosophy, or Kaizen. Read our explanation here.
See our complete Toyota Production System glossary here.