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Speaking of Precision

Speaking of Precision is a knowledge preservation and thought leadership blog covering the precision machining industry, its materials and services. With over 36 years of hands on experience in steelmaking, manufacturing, quality, and management, Miles Free (Milo) Director of Industry Research and Technology at PMPA helps answer "How?" "With what?" and occasionally "Really?"

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Red Ribbon Poka Yoke

Posted December 07, 2010 8:31 AM by Milo

Speaking of assembly…

Last weekend I bought a table that my wife wanted, to replace the classic old drop leaf which had seen better days.

Picking up the carton, I was fascinated by the red ribbon that was strung out of the box itself and a few inches proudly waving around for all to see.

What's up with the Red Ribbon?

When I opened the carton, guess what was on the end of that ribbon?

The blister pack containing the nuts, washers, and assembly wrench.

Too bad I didn't take the photo before I assembled the table.

What a splendid poka yoke. The red ribbon sticking out of the package was proof positive that the necessary blister pack was in fact in the carton.

No X-rays needed.

That's what I like about visuals.

Visuals are simple, elegant, and can save you a whole bunch of time (time=money).

Just by showing up, being red, and waving around.

How about you?

Any elegant "visual solutions" that you have deployed to make a difference in your manufacturing, assembly or packaging operations?

P.S. She loves the table.

Editor's Note: CR4 would like to thank Milo for sharing this blog entry, which originally appeared here.

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#1

Re: Red Ribbon Poka Yoke

12/08/2010 5:06 AM

Hey Milo, that's pretty smart.
I've wracked my brain but can't come up with any examples, although I do put feathers on my arrows so I know which end to pick up and they act as a safety and arming indicator.
Del

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#6
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Re: Red Ribbon Poka Yoke

12/08/2010 1:30 PM

Nice...

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#2

Re: Red Ribbon Poka Yoke

12/08/2010 6:26 AM

It also has the added bonus of being able to liberate the instructions (assuming they were with the blister pack) without having to pull all the pieces out. I always like to give the instructions a once over before I commit to the project.

Shawn

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#3
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Re: Red Ribbon Poka Yoke

12/08/2010 6:51 AM

I always like to give the instructions a once over before I commit to the project.
...
surely reading the instruction is the last refuge of a scoundrel ?
Del

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#7
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Re: Red Ribbon Poka Yoke

12/08/2010 1:32 PM

Yes that's so. However the commitment was when we paid for the box and put it in the car. The instructions were not part of the decision making process...

Milo

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#4

Re: Red Ribbon Poka Yoke

12/08/2010 9:16 AM

And what do you do when your package displays the tell-tail ribbon, but the manufacturer has neglected to attach the assembly hardware to the other end?

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#8
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Re: Red Ribbon Poka Yoke

12/08/2010 1:35 PM

That is a fair question but somehow I figure if we ask how they poka yoke that, then you will ask "how do they assure they attached the correct hardware pack..."

The joys of assembly!

Fleas on top of fleas...

So how do you assure that the rods in your pouch are the rods you want, and not the wrong rods from the last assignment???

Milo

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#5

Re: Red Ribbon Poka Yoke

12/08/2010 9:56 AM

There is a manufacturer I represent (manufacturer special doors, e.g. the door between the kitchen and dining room in a restaurant) that uses the Poka Yoke method for their small parts and instruction package. I have seen them use four different trace tape colors, each one for a particular type of installation. Pretty clever, I think.

Instructions? We don't need no stinking instructions! (with apologies to B. Traven)

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#9
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Re: Red Ribbon Poka Yoke

12/08/2010 1:38 PM

"Instructions? You can't handle the Instructions"

Apologies to Jack Nicholson.

Milo

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#10

Re: Red Ribbon Poka Yoke

12/08/2010 9:41 PM

Hmm, 30-35 years ago when I was designing (prototyping) PCB's; I used "rainbow" colored ribbon cable. As I remember it, I had to toss the first few rows to make it match the resistive color code, but nobody (ESPECIALLY ME!) was ever confused!

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