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Sensors

Sensors are mechanical devices that are sensitive to their environment, and that communicate information about what they detect.

Sensors can detect pressure, temperature, speed, and a host of other things. Sensors are commonly linked to either an alarm of some sort (a buzzer when a seat belt is not fastened), or a poka yoke device (key won’t turn if the sensor notices that the car is not in park).

The level of sophistication of sensors varies widely. Sensors can be as simple as a floating bobber used for fishing, or as complicated as a pressure gauge that is linked into a cooling system at a nuclear reactor.

Sensors are a key component of jidoka, one of the pillars of Lean. Separating people from machines is only possible because of sensors that identify problems.

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