Elements of Built-in Quality


By definition, Jidoka is a Lean manufacturing method that protects your company from delivering products of low quality or defects to customers while trying to keep up with takt time. It relies on 4 simple principles:

  • Discover an abnormality
  • Stop the process
  • Fix the immediate problem
  • Investigate and solve the root cause


Andon is a Japanese word for “paper lantern” and it is used also for “light” or “lamp.

The Andon principle refers to a method used by frontline workers to quickly communicate to leaders about problems within the work, that need to initiate the escalation process for rapid solving.

Andon in Lean manufacturing is a system designed to alert about problems in real-time so that corrective measures can be applied immediately. It’s part of the Built-in Quality concept within the Toyota Production System, which empowers frontline people to stop work when they find an abnormality.

Poka Yoke

Poka-yoke, a Japanese term that means “mistake-proofing,” is an action or device that prevents someone from performing an action in the wrong way. Poka-yoke is used to avoid waste by eliminating mistakes with quality which leads to rework and scrap as well as safety issues.

Man Machine Separation

People should not be standing by and watching machines, or pulling levers; they are much more intelligent than that. Give them jobs that use their intelligence and allow them to sever ties with machines. If you apply this premise- the idea of workers being more than just a machine- it shows great respect for people, one of the central tenets of continuous improvement. The separation between man and machine applies to routine tasks which can be automated easily.


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