Karakuri is a mechanism that uses gravity, springs, and gears instead of external power sources to manipulate objects as a means to “save energy”, and is a key element of Kaizen that when put into practice, can translate into significant productivity and efficiency gains including:
- Eliminate overwork
- Eliminate waste
- Eliminate uneven workflow
- Improve safety
- Improve quality
- Improve productivity
- Improve maintenance
Karakuri is also a tradition innate to Toyota’s culture since its inception and the practice extends to companies throughout Japan. It is interesting to see the tools that can provide a significant benefit to your operations without the necessity of adding overhead beyond the initial investment and routine maintenance that may be required.
Give me a lever long enough and a fulcrum on which to place it, and I shall move the world.Archimedes
Eliminating or at least minimizing the need for external energy sources results in a net reduction of operating expenses. A gravity flow rack is certainly one of the more primitive and obvious examples of Karakuri as demonstrated by this video of an AMS MRS Rack Storage. Check out the video in the “Related Articles and Resources” below to see how Karakuri can help to simplify and improve your operations.
Until Next Time – STAY lean!
Related Articles and Resources:
- Video: The Toyota “Karakuri” mister leading our continuous improvements
- Video: Karakuri demonstration
- Video: Steve Jobs on Continuous Improvement