Andon solu­ti­ons from apronic

Tar­ge­ted infor­ma­ti­on in pro­duc­tion through Andon

Andon sys­tems pro­vi­de trans­pa­ren­cy in pro­duc­tion. Mal­func­tions can be repor­ted by employees and sup­ple­men­ted with any key figu­res such as cycle times, tar­get and actu­al quan­ti­ties or com­pa­ny-spe­ci­fic (OEE) KPIs on lar­ge dis­plays in pro­duc­tion. Email, SMS, tele­pho­ne or app alerts ensu­re that pro­duc­tion stop­pa­ges or pro­blems are repor­ted direct­ly to the right per­son and that action is taken the­re. Our solu­ti­ons thus crea­te trans­pa­ren­cy among all employees or visi­tors to the shop flo­or. This enables effi­ci­en­cy increa­ses through moti­va­ti­on and the reduc­tion of down­ti­mes through a quick reac­tion to malfunctions.

Andon solu­ti­ons crea­te trans­pa­ren­cy and respon­si­ve­ness in pro­duc­tion environments

Andon Board Graphik Störung

An Andon board is a dis­play board for the pro­duc­tion sta­tus of a pro­duc­tion line. Simi­lar to the Andon light, the sta­tus is dis­play­ed in traf­fic light colours, which makes it very easy to visual­ly check the pro­duc­tion. Errors are auto­ma­ti­cal­ly detec­ted by the machi­nes or by the users and shown on the dis­play panel. This way, you always have your key figu­res in view.

Modern Andon boards are often imple­men­ted with very lar­ge dis­plays, but the use of a bea­mer is also pos­si­ble. The fle­xi­bi­li­ty of the­se Andon dis­play boards can also be used for more in-depth infor­ma­ti­on. Today, the­se infor­ma­ti­on boards are used to dis­play pro­cess-rele­vant key figu­res (KPI = Key Per­for­mance Indicator).

Andon Graphik OEE
Materialanfoderungen auf Andon-Boards
Stillstandsanzeige auf Andon-Board
Andon-Board als Stückzahlanzeige

Andon is a method of visu­al data manage­ment, ori­gi­na­ted in Japan and was deve­lo­ped as part of the Toyo­ta Pro­duc­tion Sys­tem. Andon sys­tems visua­li­se ope­ra­ting sta­tes of pro­duc­tion lines or indi­vi­du­al machi­nes. The infor­ma­ti­on should be dis­play­ed in a way that is com­pre­hen­si­ble and imme­dia­te­ly reco­g­nisable to all people.

Ori­gi­nal­ly, andon (Japa­ne­se for paper lan­tern) is a small light on the machi­ne that visua­li­ses pro­blems in the pro­duc­tion pro­cess. Even today, simp­le traf­fic lights or signal lights are still used for visua­li­sa­ti­on on many machi­nes. Andon signal lamps accor­ding to the traf­fic light sche­me are common.


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Trans­pa­ren­cy as a means of moti­vat­ing pro­duc­tion workers

Chal­lenges in the manu­al manu­fac­tu­ring of products

In many manu­fac­tu­ring com­pa­nies, a lar­ge num­ber of work steps are still car­ri­ed out manu­al­ly. Even if the auto­ma­ti­on of pro­duc­tion pro­ces­ses is alre­a­dy far advan­ced, the­re are sim­ply some acti­vi­ties, espe­ci­al­ly fine-grai­ned or fre­quent­ly chan­ging ones, that humans do bet­ter than a machi­ne could today and will con­ti­nue to do in the future. And even in high­ly auto­ma­ted manu­fac­tu­ring envi­ron­ments, the­re are machi­ne ope­ra­tors, main­ten­an­ce per­son­nel or logi­stics staff who obser­ve pro­duc­tion and inter­ve­ne if neces­sa­ry. What all manu­fac­tu­ring has in com­mon is that it has to be ope­ra­ted, moni­to­red and kept ali­ve by people.

In a high-wage coun­try like Ger­ma­ny, it is important to spur the employees in pro­duc­tion and adja­cent com­pa­ny are­as to per­form at their best, if only for cost reasons. Employees are beco­ming more deman­ding and want to be infor­med and inte­gra­ted into pro­duc­tion plan­ning and imple­men­ta­ti­on. Against the back­ground of demo­gra­phic chan­ge and the shorta­ge of skil­led workers, every manu­fac­tu­ring com­pa­ny has the task of retai­ning employees in the future. Long-stan­ding employees have acqui­red a gre­at deal of know-how over time, which must be used opti­mal­ly. In addi­ti­on, new employees or employees from tem­po­ra­ry employ­ment repre­sent a chall­enge for many com­pa­nies. They have to be trai­ned and infor­med as quick­ly as pos­si­ble about the work con­tent in order to be able to par­ti­ci­pa­te pro­duc­tively in the pro­duc­tion pro­cess within a short peri­od of time.

Andon boards to increase trans­pa­ren­cy for your production

Poor com­mu­ni­ca­ti­on is one of the main reasons for unmo­ti­va­ted employees. Increase the moti­va­ti­on of your pro­duc­tion staff through trans­pa­rent com­mu­ni­ca­ti­on of:

Andon Board Werkhalle

Andon board at one of our customers

Infor­ma­ti­on about rele­vant news from the cor­po­ra­te world pro­mo­tes a stron­ger iden­ti­fi­ca­ti­on of employees with the com­pa­nies. Decis­i­ons are com­pre­hen­si­ble and goals cle­ar­ly reco­g­nisable. Andon boards pre­sent this infor­ma­ti­on on lar­ge digi­tal dis­plays for all to see. Cor­po­ra­te com­mu­ni­ca­ti­on via clas­sic media, such as in-house maga­zi­nes, ana­lo­gue bul­le­tin boards or hand­outs, is inef­fi­ci­ent, high­ly time-delay­ed and no lon­ger up to date. Thus, the­se ways of com­mu­ni­ca­ti­on are rather unsuitable.

Andon-Cords: The rip cord for manu­fac­tu­ring disruptions

The Andon cord is ori­gi­nal­ly a rip­cord, but today it is also often used as an emer­gen­cy stop but­ton. The Andon-Cord has two tasks. On the one hand, it trig­gers the emer­gen­cy stop func­tion and thus stops the enti­re sys­tem to pre­vent dama­ge to peo­p­le and machi­nes. In addi­ti­on, the sys­tem stop is cle­ar­ly visua­li­sed for ever­yo­ne via an Andon light and usual­ly also the Andon board. Modern Andon sys­tems also inte­gra­te with other sys­tems and can, for exam­p­le, dis­play a push noti­fi­ca­ti­on on the pro­duc­tion manager’s mobi­le phone.

Andon-Cords give indi­vi­du­al employees the oppor­tu­ni­ty to actively react to mal­func­tions, mate­ri­al requi­re­ments or other ques­ti­ons about the pro­duc­tion pro­cess. Using touch panels, tablets, smart­wat­ches or simp­le but­tons at the sta­ti­ons, help can be cal­led in case of pro­blems during pro­duc­tion. Usu­al func­tions are e.g.:

Alarmmeldung auf Smartwatch

The modern form of an andon cord

The mas­ter call can be used for ques­ti­ons about the pro­duc­tion process 

The pro­duc­tion worker has a ques­ti­on about a pro­duc­tion run or a spe­ci­fic com­po­nent. The­re is no pro­duc­tion or cycle risk, but assis­tance must be provided. 

Fault mes­sa­ges at a workstation 

For exam­p­le, a tool or other device used to finish the pro­duct at the work­sta­tion may be dama­ged. In this case, has­te is requi­red in order to main­tain the pro­duc­tion cycle and not to shut down the enti­re line. 

Mate­ri­al requi­re­ment of a workstation 

Mate­ri­al (e.g. C‑parts such as screws) is miss­ing at a workstation 

Employees can choo­se from a pre­de­fi­ned num­ber of mes­sa­ge reasons. This could be a type of error, but also a mate­ri­al num­ber for reor­de­ring. Once the mes­sa­ge has been sent, it appears on the lar­ge dis­plays in pro­duc­tion and also on the work­sta­tion its­elf, in the form of a stack light or on the screens of the touch ter­mi­nals. It is now obvious to ever­yo­ne in pro­duc­tion that ano­ther employee needs to inter­ve­ne at this work­sta­tion. The pro­duc­tion mana­ger can thus see exact­ly which work­sta­tion needs help. But mate­ri­al requi­re­ments can also be dis­play­ed on the lar­ge dis­plays in logi­stics. The for­k­lift dri­vers can then direct­ly sup­p­ly the cor­rect work­sta­tion with the reques­ted materials.

Visu­al and opti­cal addi­ti­ons pro­vi­de more trans­pa­ren­cy for Andon solutions

Signal­ling tones or announce­ments in pro­duc­tion can be used to con­vey much more infor­ma­ti­on. It is pos­si­ble to com­mu­ni­ca­te faults as announce­ments in dif­fe­rent are­as of pro­duc­tion. The texts can be gene­ra­ted auto­ma­ti­cal­ly via text-to-speech from error texts and are then play­ed out in pro­duc­tion when the error occurs. A live announce­ment would also be pos­si­ble at any time, giving pro­duc­tion mana­gers ano­ther valuable tool for reacting.

Tele­pho­ne calls for fault reporting 

A tele­pho­ne call is made via a switch­board to the employee (e.g. the pro­duc­tion mana­ger). A voice mes­sa­ge is stored that can pro­vi­de infor­ma­ti­on about the loca­ti­on and the type of mes­sa­ge. The respec­ti­ve employee can then accept or reject the mes­sa­ge via the tele­pho­ne key­pad. In case of rejec­tion, ano­ther stored secon­da­ry cont­act would be called. 

E‑mail and SMS notifications 

The smart­phone is a good way to dis­tri­bu­te alerts for many employees in manu­fac­tu­ring, as it is per­ma­nent­ly worn on the body. Email and SMS alerts can be used to dis­tri­bu­te the ente­red fault mes­sa­ges to the right places in the company. 

Smart­wat­ches for fault reporting 

Smart­wat­ches have the decisi­ve advan­ta­ge that they are always worn on the wrist and mes­sa­ges are regis­tered direct­ly by the per­son via vibra­ti­on alarms. It is also pos­si­ble to accept or for­ward the mes­sa­ge via the display. 

Audi­ble noti­fi­ca­ti­ons of messages 

Via voice announce­ments and mes­sa­ge tones in the pro­duc­tion area or the indi­vi­du­al pro­duc­tion offices, a mal­func­tion can be com­mu­ni­ca­ted quick­ly and effectively. 

The­se mea­su­res lead to a quick and tar­ge­ted respon­se to calls for help or fault reports. The employee no lon­ger has to run to the pro­duc­tion mana­ger and tell him ver­bal­ly that a pro­blem has occur­red. This con­sider­a­b­ly shor­tens the time until the initi­al sta­te is res­to­red and pro­duc­tion down­ti­mes can be redu­ced to a minimum.

Störmeldung, Warnung

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Use data for pro­cess opti­mi­sa­ti­on and increase assem­bly performance

The data gene­ra­ted from the mes­sa­ges of the pro­duc­tion workers is important infor­ma­ti­on. A free­ly defi­nable reason for the fault as well as a free text can be added to each fault, which later makes it pos­si­ble to avo­id the­se faults in the future. The recor­ded times until the mal­func­tion of the work­sta­tions can also be used to resche­du­le pro­cess steps with mate­ri­als manage­ment or main­ten­an­ce. This ensu­res a fas­ter reac­tion to unplan­ned inci­dents in pro­duc­tion in the future.

Which Key Per­for­mance Indi­ca­tors (KPI) can be used for this?

The­re are num­e­rous methods of pro­cess opti­mi­sa­ti­on, whe­ther Total Qua­li­ty Manage­ment (TQM), Kai­zen, Lean Manage­ment, Lean Pro­duc­tion or Six Sig­ma, all methods requi­re the mea­su­re­ment and dis­play of Key Per­for­mance Indi­ca­tors (KPIs). The goal is to con­ti­nuous­ly impro­ve pro­duc­ti­vi­ty, qua­li­ty and work pro­ces­ses while redu­cing down­ti­me. KPIs are key figu­res with which per­for­mance within pro­duc­tion can be mea­su­red and eva­lua­ted. The key per­for­mance indi­ca­tors rela­te to uti­li­sa­ti­on, time, mate­ri­al and per­son­nel. By lin­king theo­re­ti­cal maxi­mum per­for­mance and cur­rent actu­al per­for­mance, con­clu­si­ons can be drawn about the effec­ti­ve­ness of a pro­duc­tion. But also the com­pa­ri­son of actu­al per­for­mance and tar­get, or line A com­pared to line B, pro­vi­de important infor­ma­ti­on about opti­mi­sa­ti­on poten­ti­al within a pro­cess. Fur­ther­mo­re, the­se per­for­mance indi­ca­tors can be used to mea­su­re and eva­lua­te the effects of chan­ges in the pro­cess. Stu­dies show that the visua­li­sa­ti­on of data on Andon boards increa­ses staff per­for­mance. Mea­sura­ble effects can be seen espe­ci­al­ly in com­pe­ti­ti­ve zeal, pri­de and alertness.

Examp­les of pos­si­ble Key Per­for­mance Indi­ca­tors that can be dis­play­ed on Andon Boards

Andon solu­ti­ons from apronic

We at apro­nic have alre­a­dy imple­men­ted many Andon appli­ca­ti­ons for our cus­to­mers. The­r­e­fo­re, we have a com­pre­hen­si­ve know-how of what is pos­si­ble and how it can be imple­men­ted. In num­e­rous pro­jects, a wealth of expe­ri­ence has grown which has flowed into the deve­lo­p­ment of our stan­dard solu­ti­on prodwatch. This offers you a com­pre­hen­si­ve tool for all the Andon appli­ca­ti­ons descri­bed. We look for­ward to your call and to being able to help you achie­ve new peak per­for­mance in your pro­duc­tion in an exci­ting project!

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