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AndonCONTROL - a simple way to improve lean production methods

21 November 2012

In the language of lean production methods an Andon light commonly refers to any sort of visual system that signals the need for a response.

This may be a danger in the workplace, a change in status of a machine or process, or something as a simple as a “call for action”.

The term "Andon" originates from the Japanese and is the word for a traditional paper lantern often used to signal a warning.

When used as a “call for action” the andon light needs to be manually activated by the member of staff at the workstation.  For example, a simple four colour andon light might signify:

Green on - Workstation manned
Amber - Assistance required from maintenance
Red - Serious error, supervision required
Blue - shortage – stores to replenish

A flexible call system
A workstation equipped with a signal tower and an andon controller allows the member of staff to call immediately for help without leaving the workstation.  Local visibility of the “call for action” is given by the signal tower which may also be equipped with a sounder for additional effect.

Easy to install
The andon controller is a switch box and is supplied with the essential cabling to link it to the andon light or signal tower and a plug in 24V power supply unit.

Wireless technology provides a complete overview 
In larger production areas workstations are often outside the supervisor’s line of sight. For situation such as these WERMA offers an optimal solution: a combination of AndonCONTROL and WIN (Wireless Information Network) allows a central overview of the currents status of up to 50 workstations at the same time.

By adding a WIN transmitter to the signal tower operated by the andon controller every time a switch is actuated that data is collected by the WIN system allowing review and performance monitoring of the workstation.

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