Autonomation (JIDOKA) improvement in electrical device manufacturing

Business Electrical device manufacturing
Country / Company size China / About 2,000 employees
Improvement site Assembly plant of electrical device
Diagnosis result

They mistakenly recognize autonomation (Jidoka) as just automation.

✓ They believe that they cannot improve without autonomation.
✓ The original idea of autonomation is not incorporated. At the time when the defect came out, it was not found, etc.

For one year from 2018 to 2019, we implemented autonomation (JIDOKA) improvement on the assembly line of an electrical device manufacturing plant in China.

At this manufacturing plant, improvement activities throughout the plant and education for employees were enthusiastically carried out, and improvement activities were being carried out at many parts of the production line. On the other hand, automation of assembly work was a major pillar of improving productivity of the plant.

The aim of this project is to work on improvement of the production process based on the idea, "the machine will stop immediately if an abnormality occurs, and no defective product will be produced" (Toyota calls it "autonomation").

At the kick-off, we diagnosed the shop floor with the plant manager, the person in charge of the improvement, and 10 people of the improvement team and discussed problems of the production line and themes of the improvement.

~Kick-off program~

1day AM : The first half of the Autonomation (JIDOKA) seminar
PM : Shop floor diagnosis of the production line
2day AM : Shop floor diagnosis of the production line
PM : Shop floor diagnosis of the production line
3day AM:Presentation of improvement plan (direction) for each production line
PM : The second half of the Autonomation (JIDOKA) improvement seminar

The shop floor diagnosis at the kick-off revealed that many wastes such as waste of storage and waste of walking were left behind since they believed that improvement for the production line, which is not automated, would not progress until they could automate it, such as introduction of automatic assembly machines.

In addition, automated lines had monitoring work, defect products, waste of walking etc., and the equipment that had been introduced was not operating as expected.

At the seminar, we considered the difference between autonomation (JIDOKA) and automation, and once again grasped the wastes of the production line in charge. The recognition of these wastes, whether automated or not, has resulted in activating improvement activities and reducing wasteful investment and improving productivity.

Eliminating wastes in the manual process leads to saving wasteful investment when you introduce automation. Improvements of automated production line will maximize equipment performance and lead to improving productivity with more stable quality.

~1 year of the consulting guidance~

Right after
  • Understand waste and recognize waste.
  • Improvement activities at key production lines, such as manual assembly lines 
  • Promotion of 5S
  • Improve storage operations etc.
1 year later
  • Voluntary improvement activities increased, and the level of employees increased.
  • Cost reductions by expanding the number of lines for improvement, eliminating waste, and improving productivity
  • Considering production of a new product in an empty space

~Introduction of consultant~


Hisayoshi Ishikawa

Professional Engineer (Engineering management field) / Shop floor improvement consultant

Technical consultant for production technology, quality control, equipment maintenance and reliability improvement. At the same time as improving manufacturing site, I develop human resources so that improvements can be made continuously at each manufacturing site.

Detailed profile


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