A brief white paper available from Fluke Networks, entitled “How to Find Profits in New Places,” examines the reasons why the cable-testing process is prone to errors and waste—and some steps contractors can take to reduce them. The paper addresses the complex realities of today’s cabling installation and testing environment, citing statistics from a survey the company conducted of more than 800 installers worldwide.
The paper then discusses multiple options for combating the error-prone process, and introduces the term “Poka-Yoke,” which as the paper explains is “a Japanese term that means ‘mistake-proofing.’ A poka-yoke is a mechanism that helps prevent an operator from making a mistake.” The paper gives the examples of the gas pump, where the size of an automobile’s tank neck prohibits a leaded-gasoline or diesel-fuel pump from entering the tank when the auto requires unleaded gasoline.
Poka-Yokes can and do exist in the realm of cable-testing, the paper goes on to explain. This time it provides the example of setting a fiber reference. When a test instrument ensures proper reference setting in much the same way a gas tank ensures only the correct nozzle is inserted … that’s a Poka-Yoke. “By eliminating mistakes, contractors can reduce costs, increase profitability, and reduce the time to systems acceptance and therefore payment,” the paper says.