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Poka Yoke

Vishwadeep Khatri


Q 67. Give some examples of Mistake-Proofing where implementation did not meet the intended objective. What can be done to avoid such cases? 


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There are hundreds of example of Poka Yoke in our daily life which are helping us like- 

1. Seat belt of car - before people are used to avoid using seat belts but now a days there are continuous light/sound warning to remind using seat belts.

2. Safety locks/child locks of car

3. Collision detection and automated braking system in automatic high end driverless car.

4. Door opened signal while car is running.

4. Neutral light on bike to prevent starting engine while the bike still in gear. 

5. Computer cables are designed in such a way now a days so that even a layman can configure/install it - these are specific to its port and can not be inserted on another port.

6. In plane defrosting ice, autopilot option, oil jettisoning are the example to keep passengers safe.

7. Electric equipments are load proofed and fuse/ circuit breaker are there if overloaded.

8. washing machine spinner/microwave will not start until door is closed.

9.  Pressure cooker are having safety valve to avoid brust.

10. Mobiles are now a days waterproofed/spill proof to avoid damages.   


Examples are almost endless, but today I will talk about mistake proofing in plane and how it failed - we all know about MH370 of Malaysia. Despite of having hundreds of mistake proofing in a single plane only, still its[fate/location/wreckage] missing till date. Now what mistake proofing are there to trace a plane? Well we have 1. Engine data 2. black box 3. ATC  4. Radars  & 5. installed GPS in plane, etc


1. Engine data: It was a Boeing plane so engine data goes to Boeing[Manufacturer/Insurer] automatically to check if there is any issue with the engine, how much time its "on" status etc. So from these data we can check how far the plane travelled in certain altitude and from that we can point out certain area to check. But it didn't helped us here.


2. black box:  Its a box which continuously records crew conversations/events in plane while flying. It has frequency emitter which emits frequency after crash landing so that we can trace that box and can find out the conversations/events till the last moment and we can analyze that. It has a certain battery life too! And again we failed to locate it.   


3. ATC: Air Traffic Controller helps us to route and handling the traffic at certain area with altitude, distance from another plane, speed etc like Traffic Police in road. But It also failed here to give a location as the communication was disrupted.


4. RADAR: Its also help us by tracing any flying object within it's range but a object flying very low can avoid a radar unless special type of radars are installed and covering that place and here we don't have any proper data from any country to locate the plane. 


5. Installed GPS: a GPS system is installed in almost every plane and it was there in MH370 too but it was manual and it was NOT "ON", hence we have no data.


So, from above all example we failed to reach our goal[save lives/locate it] but we could have avoid it if we have GPS system which is automatic NOT manual, which can NOT be shut down like black box, and like engine data it should come to corresponding ATC or can be stored somewhere in a certain place for certain region for specific time period. And also few other monitors which will generate data and will store in the same place if something wrong happens, say defrosting failed or a engine failed, So in that case a new record will create with defrosting failure/Engine failure with GPS location and the corresponding event. So even if we didn't find out the black box we have exact location till it crash landed somewhere with exact reason.


Even it could throw some alarm to corresponding ATC to take action. We could have save hundred lives for MH370 case by rescuing them.


Even there could have some vacuum in the black box so that it does not sink in sea/water it should float - that also might have helpful for us.


In last few years we have several such cases... including army plane/helicopters and we failed to locate in some cases or located after several days which decreases the chance every minute to save a life.


Hope Govt/Plane manufacturer will take such action soon to save lives. 

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