Poka Yoke System: Error Prevention in Actuator Assembly

Poka Yoke System: Error Prevention in Actuator Assembly

Customer Information: Our client is a major Spanish pharmaceutical company specializing in the research, development, production, and marketing of drugs for various medical conditions. They offer a wide range of pharmaceutical products that address respiratory, cardiovascular, metabolic, oncological, neurological, and immune system disorders. Additionally, the company is actively engaged in innovating new therapies and treatments to improve patient health and outcomes.

Initial Challenge: The client encountered significant difficulties in the correct installation process of valve actuators when mounted on butterfly valves positioned under the BIN. Operators made assembly errors due to the difficulty in seeing the valve disc position, resulting in disc misalignment and subsequent load loss during the BIN filling phase. The client requested a solution that would simplify the assembly process for operators, reduce errors, and improve overall productivity.

Proposed Solution: In response to the client’s challenge, our engineering team proposed the implementation of a Poka Yoke system tailored to the specific needs of their assembly process. The Poka Yoke system, derived from Japanese principles of simplified production, focuses on error prevention through processes that make errors impossible or immediately detectable. The Poka Yoke system designed for this project included the following key components and features:

  • Unique Mounting System: We developed a mounting system that ensures the actuator can only be mounted in the correct orientation on the butterfly valve, eliminating the possibility of incorrect installation.

Implementation and Results: After client approval, the Poka Yoke system was implemented in their assembly process with the assistance of our engineering team. The installation of the unique mounting system was seamlessly integrated into their existing operations. The results of the implementation were very promising:

  • Error Reduction: The Poka Yoke system eliminated errors in actuator installation, removing inefficiencies and particularly the risk of loading the BIN with an open disc, thus preventing product loss during the BIN loading phase.
  • Increased Efficiency: With the optimized assembly process and improved control mechanisms, operators were able to complete the installation phases more efficiently, resulting in increased productivity.
  • Quality Improvement: The unique positioning of the actuators improved the overall quality and reliability of the system, minimizing the risk of failures or losses.

Conclusion: By leveraging the principles of the Poka Yoke solution, our client successfully addressed assembly challenges and achieved significant improvements in productivity, quality, and operational efficiency. The implementation of the Poka Yoke system highlighted the importance of proactive error prevention in manufacturing processes, ultimately contributing to the client’s commitment to promoting health through pharmaceutical innovation.