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Stop The Line is the practice of stopping the process (production line or service) to first fix the problem rather than going ahead with the intention of fixing it later (or during audit). It is one of the philosophy followed by Toyota and the concept was introduced by Taiichi Ohno

 

An application-oriented question on the topic along with responses can be seen below. The best answer was provided by Mohamed Asif on 16th January 2020

 

Applause for all the respondents - Mohamed Asif, Manish Gupta, Shashikant Adlakha, Shaily Chhabra, Logesh V, Sudheer Chauhan, Deepak Pardasani, Saravanan S

 

Also review the answer provided by Mr Venugopal R, Benchmark Six Sigma's in-house expert.

Question

Q 227. As per Toyota's philosophy we must build a culture of stopping the operations to fix the problem rather than just going ahead with the intention of fixing it later. However such an approach adversely impacts productivity in the short term.

 

Easier said than done, what are the planning aspects needed in any company to benefit from this stop-the-line philosophy?

 

 

Note for website visitors - Two questions are asked every week on this platform. One on Tuesday and the other on Friday.

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自働化 - Jidoka - Autonomation

Simply means process automatically halts when there are non-conformities/irregularities/abnormalities in the system

 

Andon light system is one of the Vital component in Autonomation. 
In the below reference pic, Andon is used as Visual Management tool to know the status of the production. 

 

2094346883_AndonLights.png.e20d8cc359e206951711e1b9bf279113.png

Legend reference: 
Green - All Good, Normal Operation > Proceed further
Yellow - Warning - Issue Identified, require attention > CAPA required  
Red - Production halted > Issue not identified; Immediate Supervisor inspection and RCA required

 

Some of the planning aspects necessary to benefit from Jidoka is mentioned below.

  • Organizations should combine JIT & Jidoka together, by doing this overproduction will be avoided, poor quality is minimized along with increased productivity. Under Continuous flow, this will avoid bottleneck and idle time    
  • Implement Lean flow before Autonomation
  • Use effective use of systems and technology to make Andon lights interactive. This can improve the communication between operators and engineers 
  • Keep downtime minimal to magnify Quality & Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) 
  • Have Rapid Issue Response (RIR) teams ready to address open and high priority tickets 
  • Integrate Andon Boards, Monitoring system and Alert systems for quick response 
  • Train operators and engineers on Autonomation tools - Andon, Andon cord, Fixed-position stop, Poke-yoke, Sensors and appropriate lean tools
  • Empower the workforce for Pursuit of Excellence
  • Corrective Action is essential, however importance for Preventive Action and Poke-yoke should be given for effective Jidoka benefits 

 

Moving to Jidoka:

Minimize Manual Labor > Mechanize Flow > Implement Lean > Optimize > Automate > Autonomate

 

Quote

"Catching the Defect red-handed is always better than searching for the Defect during QC" :rolleyes:

 

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At the time when Taichi Ohno started Andon Card in Toyota and gave permission to all employees to immediately halt production when they notice any problem. The concept was considered crazy by all.

Initially people ignored it but managers who implemented it where producing more cars with better quality.

Stopping the Line causes

1.      Timeline issues

2.      Lost revenue

3.      Unpredictable supply

Few Benefits are

1.      Process Improvement

2.      Improved Quality

3.      Increased employee engagement

4.      Prevents problem accumulation

In order to minimize the impact

1.      Keep the communication process in place

2.      All Hands on deck system

3.      Place Early warning system

4.      Go to the Gemba “War Room”

5.      Limit downstream impact

6.      Genchi Genbutsu - Means go and see for yourself. Go see the problem.

7.      Pro-active thinking

8.      Fast Implementation process

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The Toyota production system(TPS) is one of the most followed and revered way of continuous improvement. There are 14 principals of TPS , which are clustered into four sections :

 

  • Long-Term Philosophy
  • Implement the  right process to get the right results
  • Value addition to the process/organization
  • Root cause solving to promote organizational learning                  

 

The two most important points to be stressed upon are: a process of continuous improvement and paying equal importance to the people/employees. The continuous improvement principle stresses on- long term vision, solving problems through root cause analysis and learning and innovation. Building a strong culture of mutual respect and teamwork is the step required for giving importance to the workers. 

 

Toyota production system strongly encourages that quality should be given topmost priority(Jidoka) and any issue necessitates to stop the production instantly, fix the issue and then go ahead, rather than continuing with the production and resolving the issue later on. All the employees of TPS  are empowered to halt the production process, as the quality issue emanates.

 

Autonomation is the method to effect the principle of Jidoka in TPS. Automation signifies intelligent automation, in which the machine automatically stops in case of any quality issue and worker stops the production line.  It encompasses the following steps:

1.         Diagnose  the abnormality

2.         Stop the production line completely

3.         Resolve

4.         Root cause analysis and corrective measures implemented

 

The initial example of this at Toyota was the loom of Sakichi Toyoda that got activated automatically and immediately put the loom to rest if any vertical or lateral thread came out.

 

Andon is a similar kind of manufacturing system to send signals to management and other co-workers of a quality issue. The signaling can be done either manually or automatically by the machine itself. This system may have a  way of stopping, such as some kind of displays, text, audio alarms, etc.

 

Stopping the line is the easiest thing to do for any kind of defect, but has definitely financial and other constraints like technical piling up of the work , which can block the organization to move forward. Failing to resolve issues as they occur, only results in an insurmountable pile of technical debt, which seriously retards organisational growth.

 

Pros and cons. of  Stop the line concept:

 Stop the line concept is very essential for the quality purpose, as the continued work done by some team members, can interfere in efforts in the resolution of the issue since work done by other team members and also create accumulated/ downstream work for the workers, engaged in fixation issue.

 

But there is a significant risk of downstream issues if the stop the line concept is implemented, like lots of work is queued while waiting for the resolution by team members.  There is a significant  financial cost involved with that. We have to check and make sure that the cost of stopping the production/work and resultant under construction should be minimized and not overweight the benefits gained from this phenomenon.


Ways  To benefit from Stop the line Concept: 

Continuous Improvement:

  • After the resolution of the issue, all the team members and management to be communicated immediately.
  • Retrospective analysis of the issue, including the 5 why analysis to be carried out. Possible improvement measures in product and process development, timeliness of these actions to be carried out.


Judicious use of data and metrics:-

 Stop the line incidents to be evaluated, recorded and in-depth analysis done. Most important parameters being the timelines of these events, the various measures are taken to resolve the issue, the outcome of each measure evaluated separately, a combination of measures and their yields, the time taken to resolve the issues, number of times getting stuck up during resolution and what are the important application domains of these issues.


These data need to be evaluated periodically by the quality department, product development department to see, where are the scopes for improvement, so that the number of stops the line events can be minimized to the maximum. But this should not lead to discouraging the workers to stop the line when it is quite essential.

 

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Stopping the line or Jidoka is a philosophy taken from lean manufacturing in which the assembly line would halt production to resolve the issue even at the smallest of error. This practice holds everyone at the assembly line accountable for consistently delivering a high quality product. Stop the line forces every person in the organization to swarm to resolve the issue and take the following steps:-

 

  • Detect and Stop the abnormality 
  • Understand the root cause
  • Create a countermeasure
  • Prioritize the actions that need to be taken.

 

In order for the above to be successful organizations should plan the following:-
 

 1) Setting up clear guidelines on when to stop or not stop the line so that every person feels comfortable in escalating the issue immediately.
 

 2) Empowering employees to raise the flag, ask the question at the right time without the fear of not being heard or action taken upon.
 

3) Organizations should not be scared to dedicate some of the most talented people to do the systematic root cause analysis. They will be able to identify and fix the problem faster and more effectively since they have the skills, experience and they are empowered to do so

 

4) Technique of Continuous Integration allows the assembly line to run as it was build  to run, just like a continuous running assembly line, fresh codes go in one end and after a series of assembly steps a build that's  ready for human to test comes out the other. Thus by adding Continuous Integration process with Stop the line, things can be taken to the next level.
 

5) Use the metrics wisely of these significant incidents which should be seen as opportunities for improvement. Its imperative that we use these metrics carefully because the last thing anyone wants is to discourage employees from stopping the line when its necessary

 

Its everyone responsibility to create the environment where employees feel safe to Stop the Line.

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Benchmark Six Sigma Expert View by Venugopal R

 

“Stop-The-Line” is a tough situation. On one side any organization wants to ensure that Product Quality is not compromised. On the other side, there are delivery targets for the day, for which the Operations become answerable. Again, if the line is stopped, it causes idleness for the workers who get an unexpected respite from their routine and the supervisors have to manage the work force who may get scattered once the line stops. Getting them back and  regaining the rhythm is another concern. Altogether, it is certainly not an enviable situation for anyone.

 

Even when Taiichi Ohno brought in the system for ‘stop-the-line’ in Toyota, he had many opponents within the organization. The ‘Andon cord’ was a popular system where any worker at any level had the right to pull the ‘cord’ which will result in stoppage of production. Then the concerned staff and the workers will discuss on resolving the issue as quickly as possible and restore the production line.

 

Many organizations do claim that they will practice the system and even empower certain employees to stop the production based on the observing an issue. However there is bound to be many questions that the person who stops the line has to face. Some of them are:

  • We could have continued the production and fixed it without stopping.
  • This problem doesn’t appear serious enough to have stopped the production.
  • Why did you wait till this problem reached the production line and not discover it earlier?
  • Who approved the process? Why are you not questioning him / her instead of stopping the line?
  • You will be held responsible for the loss of production, because you stopped the line.
  • Since you stopped the line, you are responsible to fix it and start the line.
  • We could have completed today’s ‘numbers’ and then fixed the issue as retro-fitment in the finished product warehouse.
  • This is how we have been producing all along. Why are you waking up today and stopping the line?

As seen, it is one of the common causes for the shop floor ‘disputes’ between Quality and Operations. I will share some approaches below, that have helped to help take rational decisions on line stoppages.

  • Firstly, there has to be clear unified commitment from the leadership team, in the event of such situations, which are bound to happen some time or other
  • A very good QMS is important to ensure that adequate systems and controls exist on supplied parts, first part approvals, equipment calibrations, change management, design controls for product and processes and so on. We do not want to empower line-stoppage and keep facing it every day! It should only occur as a rare situation.
  • Well documented procedure explaining the circumstances when a ‘stop-the-line’ decision may be taken
  • Procedure will cover who could take such as decision. Care needs to be taken to ensure that the coverage is reasonably adequate to prevent dependency on just one or few individuals who may not be available during such an emergency situation.
  • The procedure should also include the reaction and restoration plans. Sometimes, it would involve pulling back finished goods and retesting / reworking them
  • “Shooting the messenger” attitude should be discouraged, and focus should be on quick and effective restoration.
  • While every effort needs to be taken to prevent ‘false-alarms’, a rare incident of false-alarm needs to be taken in the right spirit. It is better to be safe than sorry!
  • The management should be relieved that someone has been able to point out the defect. Though it resulted in ‘line-stoppage’, it is a situation better than a ‘Product recall’.
  • Every ‘line-stoppage’ situation has to be taken as an incident of hard learning and should be included into the directory for preventive actions.

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Stop-the-line philosophy

 

Production/ Assembly Line Personnel Responsibility & Authority:

> Production/ Assembly - [Actual Work Competence]

> Line Inspection/ Defect detection - [Additional competence]

> Defect correction/Rework - Just In Time (JIT) - [Additional Competence]

 

In a continuous Production/ Assembly line Process:

1. Start

2. Assembly/Production - Activity

3. Inspection/ Self Conforming to the requirement

4. If any defect identified on the course?

                A.) Yes: Is it possible to rework?

                                a.) Yes: Rework Carried Out (JIT - Just In Time)

                                b.) No: Mark defective, rework not possible & move out of the production/assembly line.

                B.) No: Continue/ Go to Step 2

5.....

 

Pros:

1. Single personnel performing multiple activity at a time.

i.e.) Assemble/Production, Inspection, Fixing Defects

2. Authorized to taking decision on the defective - Move out of the line, which can't be reworked.

2. Time saving

3. No separate personnel required for Inspection/ Defect Fixing

4. Cost effective

 

Planning for Stop-the-line philosophy

1. Training - To impart competence of Assembly/Production, Inspection, Fixing Defects to a single personnel in production/Assembly line

2. Provide Authority to take decisions

3. Enforce JIT for correction/ rework of parts/ products

4. Trail Run

5. Evaluate the effectiveness, post trail

6. Measure the competence

7. Identify the gaps in competence & bridge the gaps.

8. Recognize & reward the employee.

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Stop The line Philosophy: -

Toyota motor corporation’s vehicle production system discovered the thing which are referred in Lean Manufacturing system or “Just In Time” system. Currently these principals are being studying in worldwide. Toyota production system was established based on the many years experience of continuous improvement with the objective of making the vehicles ordered by the customers in fast and efficient ways.

This system (TPS) was based on the two concepts

1. Jidoka (Automation with a human touch): - When problem come or identify, the equipment or line stops immediately to prevent the defects.it is pillar of TPS and lean manufacturing .it is one of the most important principles of lean that can help to achieve an excellence. It is also related to product or service quality.no company can survive without excellent quality and Jidoka is the root by which we can achieved.

2. Just in Time: - In this concept each process produces only what is required for the next process. It is a production model in which product are manufactured to meet the demand not created in surplus or in advance of need. The purpose of JIT production is to avoid the waste associated with overproducing

Based on two above philosophy, TPS is manufacturing the efficiently & quickly produce vehicle of sound quality, On the time and complies with customer requirements. TPS and its approach helps to reduce the cost and provide the competitive strength of Toyota.

Stop line and correct immediately concept: -

As per TPS, Machine or line must stop safe whenever an abnormality occurs or identify. Generally, two types of system present in the company one is manual and second is automated Operator can stop the machine or line if he observed the abnormal in machine in manual process and safety programing and logarithm stops machine if found any abnormality in machine in automated system. It follows the theory that to have the best quality for product and opportunity to continuous improvement. We must stop production line when issue occurs and fix the issue before resuming work

Benefits of Stop line concept: -

Significant benefits we can achieved by stop line and correct immediately concept are reduce the wastages. Along with reduction the waste it can also give the benefit in reduction of consumer complaints due to poor quality, increase the Brand Value, increase sale and help in customer delight.

Waste

Benefit from Stop Line

Defects or reworking

No reworking -defects will not generate

Waiting time

Reduce the waiting time between the two steps of process (reduce the defect, no waiting time due to no defective WIP)

Inventory

No inventory of defective product or WIP, we can optimize our RM Inventory basis of Zero defective product 100% conversion from RM to FG

Over Processing

No extra Processing because no defective product produce (some time we need to produce more product to meet the market requirement if we produce the defective product)

Motion

No people motion because of No extra documentation and approval for reworking and dispose of defective product-

Transportation

No extra transportation in the factory to arrange the defective product from production line to warehouse and segregation from good product

 

How we can reduce the incidents of Line Stop: -

 It is defiantly a production loss to stop the line and correct very frequently, one side it gives a several benefit to reduce the wastages and improve product quality, when manufacturing process stops unplanned it accumulates breakdown, so we should also work in reduction of frequent line stoppage also

Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) is a best system to reduce the frequently line stoppage

The below eight pillars of TPM. It is focused on proactive and preventive techniques for improving equipment reliability:

  1. Automation Maintenance

  2. Focused Improvement

  3. Planned Maintenance

  4. Quality Management

  5. Early/equipment Management

  6. Education and training

  7. Administrative & Office TPM

  8. Safety Health Environment condition

With the help of these pillars, we can increase productivity and reduce the number of line stoppage

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At our company we tend to build custom Radiators, we've a really thorough method for quality assurance, however generally, problems with unforeseen or uncontrollable circumstances (such as Furnace issue, Aluminum  is staple – pre process Issue , Welding .) may end up in a very crucial issue moving our schedule, which may have a big impact on our shopper Satisfaction or FTR for that matter. this is often why we elect to prevent the road once crucial problems arise — to prevent, working, and resolve the problem, and learn the way to forestall it from occurring once more.
We take these styles of issues very seriously, since a relentless target delivering client price is at the core of everything we tend to do. scan to learn how we use Lean ideas at the structure level to tackle potential problems head-on, address them quickly, and use them as opportunities to form our product and our folks stronger.


Pull the Cord- a well known internal control mechanism from Toyota is that the Andon wire. The wire may be a thanks to alert others of problems on the assembly line; everybody has the authority to tug the wire. actuation the wire like a shot stops production and broadcasts an indication, alerting others that there's a crucial issue that desires a right away response.
In Lean producing, a supervisor would then facilitate the employee review the problem and verify next steps. At Our company, groups and leaders work along to resolve the problem and learn the way to forestall it from occurring once more.
Pulling the Andon wire is inspired in Lean environments as a result of it blocks defects from reaching customers, and creates a chance to enhance the system to forestall future defects.
This is why we tend to utilized a Red light-weight Bulb Andon wire at our Company. Anyone within the company World Health Organization finds a potential issue in our product will press red light- bulb Andon wire.


When this happens, we tend to check that the assembly supervisor is created responsive to the case. If he fails to retort, Production manager is created Aware by communication system. We’re careful to make sure that these notifications solely embody noted data, to form positive that we tend to properly establish truth issue Associate in Nursing realize an acceptable, sustainble resolution.


Swarm round the Issue (Obeya)


Once the matter is escalated to production manager if Supervisor is unable to resolve, Supervisors of alternative method , maintenance manager , quality Team gather to resolve the problem and sort of a team issue square measure solved .
The Product Managers and alternative department Leaders can roll up and begin screening the matter at the station. this is often what we tend to usually decision a “war room” scenario; in Lean producing, it’s noted as obeya. everybody who’s required to form crucial choices to mend the problem is instantly offered.
We try this to hurry communication and higher cognitive process, that is crucial to determination the problem quickly. The folks fixing the problem don’t have to be compelled to stay up for permission or additional data before acting, since everybody they have to speak with is quickly offered. It conjointly ensures everyone seems to be on constant page regarding the problem at hand, its underlying cause, the chosen resolution, and any established success criteria.


Go to the Gemba


Usually, team can gather on the station of the team affected and short the matter there. This reflects the spirit of the Lean concept gemba, which accurately suggests that “the real place”.
This is the thought that once attempting to handle a problem, you move to the place wherever the problems exists. this may sometimes mean the work. It’s necessary to notice that our leadership is usually gift within the “war room”, since that's wherever they will see the case most clearly and supply the simplest steerage.

 


Make the Work Visible


When the team is in suit to handle the problem, they’ll like a shot post a card to our development Roadmap Kanban board. This board encompasses a specific lane at the terribly prime for these kinds of problems. we try to form the problem and its ensuing work as visible as potential to the whole company, thus everybody has Associate in Nursing understanding of what went wrong and the way it is prevented within the future.


Limit Downstream Impact


Limit alternative WIP
The card is labelled with the groups that square measure tormented by the problem and the other cards for those groups square measure blocked to point out that this card is everybody’s prime and solely priority till it’s resolved. block alternative cards conjointly makes it clear to alternative groups what work is being tormented by the problem.
This lane is taken into account Associate in Nursing Expedite lane, which means that the team ought to work on cards during this lane before resuming or beginning the other work, so as to maneuver the cardboard through the board as quickly as potential. we tend to conjointly place a WIP (work in process) limit of one on the Expedite lane to stay the team targeted on resolution the problem before endeavor the rest. This prevents context change and ensures that any issue moving our method is resolved as quickly as potential.


Stop the Line (Jidoka)


The next step is that the hardest for any organization: stopping the road. In Lean, this idea is termed jidoka. It follows the idea that to possess the simplest quality for your product and also the best chance for continuous improvement, you want to stop all production once a problem happens and fix the problem before resuming work.
Stopping the road may sound crazy to several, since no price is delivered from any a part of the organization if all activities stop — however this sort of thinking is short-sighted. Failing to resolve problems as they occur solely ends up in Associate in Nursing insurmountable pile of technical debt, that keeps your organization from having the ability to maneuver forward.
The only thanks to handle problems in a continuous improvement environment is to visualize every issue as a chance for improvement, and a stepping stone for gradual growth.

 

Idea in follow


This is essential to quality, since work done by different groups cannot solely interfere directly with the efforts to repair the difficulty, however it's going to additionally produce downstream work for the individuals on the team fixing the difficulty. as an example, let’s say team A is functioning on resolution a vital issue. Meanwhile, team B is implementing changes that need review or another kind of involvement from members of team A.
Hopefully, team A is concentrated entirely on fixing the vital issue. If team B continues to implement the work they’re doing, they run the danger of making even a lot of work for team A once the difficulty is resolved. Team A won't be up to hurry on the selections that are created, therefore they’ll got to pay time ramping up, and may miss a number of the knowledge they have so as to implement the work properly, that might have an effect on the success of the implementation.
Now imagine this happening with some different groups whereas the road is stopped. you'll be able to get into a state of affairs wherever work is queuing up, waiting on the team members WHO are addressing the difficulty. The longer this work sits, the a lot of chance there's for it to become stale and have a bigger risk of its own problems once it's enforced.
It’s the danger of those downstream problems that warrant stopping all this different work throughout a “stop the line” issue. Fixing problems later, downstream of any method, is nearly continuously dearer. we've got to understand that the value of stopping the road and having under-utilization will typically outweigh the value of lost productivity throughout stop the road problems.
This doesn't mean anyone not performing on the difficulty merely sits idle. this is often a chance for them to figure on continuous improvement comes, as long as those comes won't produce a negative downstream impact on those performing on the difficulty. These idle team members will work on automation, testing, skilled development, etc. we tend to raise our groups to stay a backlog of those styles of comes so that they will simply decide them up once a stop the road happens. a very important aspect of this kind of labor is that it has to be simply paused once the road starts once more still.


Practice Continuous Improvement


Once the difficulty has been resolved, we tend to ensure that the resolution is communicated to the complete company. However, we tend to don’t right away begin the road once more nonetheless. Fixing the immediate issue is merely the primary half. In a shot to attempt for continuous improvement, or kaizen in Lean word, the groups concerned hold a retrospective to review the difficulty and the way effective our method was around resolution it.
During this retrospective, the team members attempt to seek out the foundation explanation for the difficulty exploitation techniques like the 5 Why’s. Then, they discuss doable enhancements to our development method to forestall problems like this within the future. It’s important that the team comes away with unjust things which will be enforced right away, beside some plan of what success can seem like — and a timeline for after we may begin to check those edges. The outcomes of the retrospective are recorded and reviewed with relevant groups and organizations.


Use Metrics sagely


Each stop the road incident is monitored and varied knowledge is collected throughout the resolution method. we tend to then use this knowledge to know however we tend toll we handle such incidents. however typically do they occur? however long will it take USA to resolve them? however typically can we bog down whereas resolution the issue? What areas of the appliance have the foremost issues?
These metrics are sporadically reviewed by development leadership to see if there ar opportunities for improvement at higher levels of our method. It’s imperative that we tend to use these metrics rigorously, as a result of the last item anyone needs is to discourage staff from stopping the road once it’s necessary. If management were to react poorly to metrics regarding the frequency or period of stop the road incidents, this might be the case.
Metrics regarding these rare, however important, incidents ought to be seen as opportunities for improvement. we would like to encourage all staff to drag the Andon wire and doubtless stop the road if they see any major problems in our product, as a result of this is often however we tend to follow continuous improvement. It’s everyone’s responsibility to make the setting wherever staff feel safe to try and do therefore.


Lean Core Values


Lean core values are continuous improvement, respect for individuals, and a relentless concentrate on delivering client price. Stopping the road to resolve problems as they occur is a superb example of living these values.
We show respect for our customers by right away coping with any issue which may keep them from having the ability to use our product. Out of respect for our peers, after we have a stop the road issue, we tend to halt any activities that might increase the work of these affected. we tend to permit them to place down everything they’re doing so they will be utterly centered on resolution the vital issue.
We additionally work to make associate setting wherever anyone feels snug escalating a difficulty to the current vital level. This is, of course, difficult — as a result of nobody needs to be the whistle blower. however it’s vital if we tend to hope to continue on a path of healthy, sustainabl growth.
We stop the road so we will follow continuous improvement at the structure level. With the resolution of every stop the road issue, we tend to become smarter, our product becomes higher, and we’re higher able to forestall problems from occurring within the initial place.
All of those efforts are stock-still in our commitment to delivering client price, that drives each call we tend to build.

 

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Stop-The-Line Philosophy:

 

When it comes to production system, there are two main pillars associated with it, one is JIT (Just In Time) and the other one is Jidoka (Stop-The-Line), while JIT is all about flow of work, Jidoka is about stopping the line.  Jidoka is about quality at source, i.e., inculcating quality into the processes of the assembly line leading to goods manufacturing, instead of doing quality checks after the goods are manufactured; however, in all the lean companies, Jidoka is being used along with inspection as a powerful combination of tools to prevent defects from reaching the customers.

 

Jidoka was primarily pioneered by Toyota Production System and now has become one of the most important principles of lean that can help achieve true excellence.  The line stop is a big step in the right direction toward maintaining quality of the product in the lean companies.

 

Every individual in a lean company has the authority to stop the line, if they found any abnormality, which if unchecked could impact the quality of the manufactured goods.  It gives the worker not just the power, but the empowerment, to stop the production, if defect is found, and immediately call for any help needed.

 

In Jidoka, the production line is not just stopped, but the approach would be to identify the problem, fix it, analyse the root cause to prevent the problem from happening again and again.

 

The principle of Jidoka (Line Stop) can have the following steps:

 

1.  Detecting an abnormality;

2.  Stop the line;

3.  Fix the issue;

4.  Investigate and fix the root cause;

 

Jidoka is not being followed in many of the western companies, because of the fear of loss due to line being constantly stopped even for the minor problems.  Even though Jidoka seems to adversely affect the productivity in the short term, within a short period of time, the line stops begin to reduce as line problems are getting fixed or eliminated, and the productivity begins to improve as the root causes are being fixed as and when they pop up.

 

Apparently, the fear of productivity dip comes to our mind when we think about stopping the line because of failure to meet the required quality; however, the actual failure would be if we do not highlight the problem, apply a fix to it, and eliminate the root cause of the problem.

 

The planning aspects the companies should adopt while implementing Jidoka is that they not only give the employees the power to stop the line when an abnormality is found, but proper training to everyone involved in the assembly line, in the appropriate problem solving tools so that they will be able to fix the problem and eliminate the root cause of the problems.  Also, proper process documentation has to be maintained about the fix/changes they have made in the assembly line, so that it is properly communicated to all the people involved in the line production.

 

In this way, the line problems are identified and fixed then and there, and the root cause is also analysed and removed in the due course, with proper documentation to help the successful future runs of the production line.

 

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Very good answers by Manish Gupta, Dr. Shashikant, Mohamed Asif, Shaily, and Saravanan S. 

 

The best answer by the means of being "to-the-point" and "well-structured" is that of Mohamed Asif and he is the winner for this question. 

 

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