There have been several different interpretations of Jidoka by various practitioners. Some interpret it as giving machines human like intelligence, and others interpret it as the act of stopping a process if something goes wrong.
On the automated line it involves machines to recognise when a problem occurs, example a defective part or a malfunction on the machine, and the stop the process based on that.

Definition of Jidoka

Jidoka is a lean tool that gives a machine or a process the ability to stop the line when a problem is detected. It is a quality assurance tool that ensures a process is stopped and people are informed of a problem as soon as it is detected, that way counter measures can be taken right away rather than the process continue to produce defective parts.

History of Jidoka

Jikoda is originally from Japan and was first used by Sakiichi Toyoda, the founder of the Toyota Group. He noticed that traditional looms used by his parents at that time, had a high defect rate due to breaking tread and machine continuing to produce defective products.
Sakiichi Toyoda changed the design of the looms, so that if the thread broke, they would automatically stop so the issue could be corrected. This is the origin of Jidoka and how it was first used.

Implementing Jidoka

Jikoda should not be seen as a static thing that is implemented and never changed again. It evolve based on issues seen in the manufacturing process as part of continuous improvement.
The Jidoka cycle can be split up in following 5 steps.

Detect Problem: There are many ways to detect problem, e.g. camera that detect visual defects or a part missing on the product, or it could be a pressure sensor detecting a leak on a product.

Stop Process: When a problem has been detected, the line, process or machine should be stopped immediately, that way production of additional defective products are avoided.

Containment Action: Temporary measures should be taken to get the production up and running again, this could for example be to temporally inspect and sort incoming parts manually.

Root Cause Analysis: a root cause analysis is done to identify and rectify the underlying reason for the problem. This feed into the next step as a long term solution instead of the previous action which was a temporary fix to continue production.

Implement Corrective Action: Corrective actions are developed based on the root cause identified in previous step; they are then implemented as a permanent fix to prevent the issue from reoccurring.

If you are interested in getting started with lean and implementing some of the methodologies in your company or business, then our 5S Training might be of interest to you. It is usually the first step to take when starting out with lean, as it creates the foundation for further improvements to be implemented.

Alternatively you can continue to our Quality Training page to see some of the other types of training we provide.

Go to Quality Training

Jidoka Lean Tool