A Japanese word that uses mechanic devices to assist with tasks with limited or no electric, pneumatic, or hydraulic power sources. It is also not controlled by a computer but rather by the design of the mechanics, using gravity, springs, kinematics, counterweights, human muscle, weights, pendulum, seesaws, and gears to manipulate objects.
It originated with mechanical dolls in Japan, called karakuri ningyo. These dolls are first mentioned around 1500 years ago, but were most popular around 200 years ago. These dolls can be seen as the precursor to robots.
The principles of Karakuri Kaizen are:
- Don’t use the human hand. Move objects automatically.
- Don’t spend money.
- Use the force of your equipment.
- Build it with the wisdom and creativity of the people of the shop floor.
- For safety, don’t just rely on paying attention, but build a device that stops automatically.
Benefits of Karakuri devices:
- Less expensive – Development time is shorter, materials are less costly (as there are often fewer items involved), and the energy costs are much less (if any).
- Easier to maintain – With less costly parts, and more knowledge of how it works, keeping these devices running is simpler.
- Easier to improve – Since it is built by hand, it can be changed quickly which promotes continuous improvement
- More engagement with team – More people can help build a karakuri device, rather than outsource it to another company. Employee engagement is greater.
- Improved safety and ergonomics – Reducing the chance of worker injuries and loss work days
- Improved quality – devices reduce human error and mistakes
- Introduction to Karakuri Kaizen (All About Lean)
- Fundamentals of Karakuri Kaizen (All About Lean)
- Karakuri Kaizen Examples (All About Lean)
- Developing People Not Robots Through Karakuri
- Karakuri: How to Make Mechanical Paper Models That Move
- Japanese Paper Toys Kit: Origami Paper Toys that Walk, Jump, Spin, Tumble and Amaze!
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