Lean Manufacturing and Six Sigma Definitions

Glossary terms, history, people and definitions about Lean and Six Sigma

Error proofing

Any mechanism or device in a process that helps eliminate defects by preventing, correcting, or drawing attention to human error as they occur. Also known as poka-yoke, which was developed and popularized by Shigeo Shingo.

A simple example is demonstrated when a driver of a car equipped with a manual gearbox must press on the clutch pedal prior to starting an automobile. The interlock serves to prevent unintended movement of the car.

Other examples of error proofing in vehicles:

  • Headlights shut off automatically when left on or audible alert triggered
  • Car doors do not lock when keys left inside
  • Lights on dashboard appear when tire pressure is low, doors are left open, seat belts are not put on, turn signal left on, etc.

However, most error proofing is meant to be simple and inexpensive devices that either prevent a problem from happening, or detect it right away.