Poka yoke can be used to develop more effective fixturing solutions. This allows for error-proofing and subsequent cost reduction. In order to properly determine the application of poka yoke to fixtures, it is vital to establish a baseline for what a fixture is defined as.
Fixtures are tools that provide geometric stability to a product. The work by impeding the movement of a product along one or more axes. As a result, the assembler is better able to perform their assigned operations to modify the product.
Poka yoke can be implemented in fixture assemblies in order to minimalize errors in manufacture. By forcing a particular orientation, parts that may otherwise be installed misaligned will be installed correctly. As many products are symmetrical in nature, having a poka yoke inspired fixture that requires particular orientation of the product will force the installation technician to work on the product the same way every time. As a result, the product work operation can be standardized as the manufacturing engineer knows the product will always be facing the same direction and orientation each time.
Poka yoke can also be used in fixture assemblies to minimize errors by constraining freedom of motion of the product. This can prevent damage associated with excessive vibration. For example, products undergoing roto-peening may have protrusion which are thin and prone to damage. As a result, it may be necessary to provide a particular type of clamp to prevent movement of these protrusions to prevent product damage.
Design for Assembly primarily looks at flow time reduction through the use of innovative product designs that incorporate engineered changes to reduce handling and insertion times. Poka yoke acts to error-proof manufactured product assembly processes. Fixtures provide stability and standardization of manufacturing parts and processes.
Through incorporating both poka yoke and fixtures into a product assembly, the overall handling and insertion times can be drastically reduced. Furthermore, non-conformant conditions can be minimized by utilizing fixtures that incorporate error-proofing into the build process. The end result is a less expensive product that can be manufactured faster and with less rework required.