Poka-yoke can be used to develop more effective fixturing solutions. This allows for error-proofing and subsequent cost reduction. 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. They work by impeding the movement of a product along one or more axes. As a result, the assembler can perform their assigned operations to modify the product better.
Poka-yoke can be implemented in fixture assemblies to minimalize errors in manufacture. By forcing a particular orientation, parts that may otherwise be misaligned will be installed correctly. As many products are symmetrical, having a poka-yoke-inspired fixture that requires a special product orientation 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 face the same direction and orientation each time.
Poka-yoke can also be used in fixture assemblies to minimize errors by constraining the freedom of motion of the product. This can prevent damage associated with excessive vibration. For example, products undergoing roto-peening may have thin protrusions prone to damage. As a result, providing a particular type of clamp may be necessary to prevent the movement of these protrusions to avoid product damage.
Design for Assembly primarily looks at flow time reduction through 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.
By 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 result is a less expensive product that can be manufactured faster and requires less rework.