Manufacturing businesses rely on technology that is quick, accurate, and data-driven to produce their goods. Andon systems are a key piece of technology that promote continuous improvement across manufacturing firms as a whole and maintain high levels of productivity.
What Are Andon Systems?
An Andon system is a manufacturing technology that can be used to address and resolve manufacturing issues and setbacks.
The name Andon comes from the Japanese word “andon,” which means “lamp” or “light.” This naming convention comes from the original Andon systems that were physical light-up boards that showed when there was an issue in production and would illuminate and activate the Andon cord. The Andon cord was a physical action that workers could take to indicate that there was an issue in production, and they could also use it to stop production entirely if necessary.
The most widely used and most popular type of Andon system is a call-for-help system and Andon boards, which are electronic and digital devices that can be used to quickly and effectively notify first responders of production issues and setbacks. Andon boards allow workers and managers in the manufacturing facility to easily see what type of issue is affecting production so solutions can be quickly implemented.
Andon systems provide a number of benefits, including optimizing manufacturing processes and efficiency as well as promoting continuous improvement.
What Are the Benefits of Andon Systems?
Andon systems offer many different benefits for production facilities and businesses. Some of these benefits include:
Increases in productivity: An Andon system can immediately notify of manufacturing issues across an entire production floor, which increases productivity as a whole.
Enhances quality: A reliable Andon system monitors and tracks quality control, and it can be used to identify and fix issues that may be impeding quality, safety, or efficiency. It can also notify you when new parts or equipment is needed so you can anticipate future upgrades and replacements.
Drives continuous improvement: An Andon system provides data that can drive continuous improvement goals. It can help you pinpoint why and how often production issues are occurring so you can develop goals to eliminate issues.
Enhances automation: Andon systems can integrate with existing technology and enhance automated processes on your production floor. From collecting data to immediately notifying the appropriate personnel of any potential issues, Andons automate root problem identification.
Increases safety: A quality Andon system can provide an easy-to-use tool that draws attention to any safety concerns and quickly and effectively resolves and corrects them.
How Have Andon Systems Become Smarter in Recent Years?
Andon systems have made many strides since their first iterations. In the early and mid-20th century, Andons were physical and required employees to pull a cord every time they needed help or to stop production.
Now, Andon systems are smart devices that use remote software to immediately notify appropriate personnel of any production issues or halt production instantaneously. They also automatically update and upgrade to stay up-to-date. These smart Andons help manufacturers avoid wasting time and money in the manufacturing process, which in turn helps increase productivity and profits.
Modern Andon systems can be integrated with existing equipment and machines and have many benefits, including helping production teams meet continuous improvement goals and reaching greater levels of automation.