Andon is a visual management tool used in the Toyota Production System (TPS) and other lean manufacturing systems to indicate the status of a production line or work process. The word “andon” comes from the Japanese word for “lamp,” which was originally used to signal problems in the production line.
Andon systems typically consist of a board or display that shows the status of the production line or work process, and a signal or alert system that indicates when there is a problem. The signal can take various forms, such as flashing lights, audible alarms, or other visual cues, depending on the nature of the problem and the needs of the production line.
When an operator or worker detects a problem, they can activate the andon system to signal for help or support from their team leader or supervisor. This can help to quickly identify and resolve problems before they cause significant disruptions or delays in the production process.
Andon systems are an important part of the lean manufacturing approach, as they help to create a culture of continuous improvement by encouraging workers to identify and address problems in real-time. By doing so, the overall quality and efficiency of the production line can be improved, resulting in better products, happier customers, and a more profitable business.