A Quick Guide To Andon: An Effective Lean System in Manufacturing

A Quick Guide To Andon An Effective Lean System in Manufacturing

Andon is a Japanese word that means “paper lantern.” It is also the name of an important lean system used in manufacturing. The Andon system is designed to help identify and quickly correct problems on the production line. Let’s take a closer look at the Andon system, how it works, and some of the benefits you can expect from using it in your manufacturing operation.


What is Andon?

Andon is a visual management system that operators and managers in lean manufacturing use to identify and display the status of production lines easily. Andon’s more accurate English translation is “sign,” or “signal.” It is based on the Toyota Production System’s (TPS) Jidoka methodology. 

The system works by pulling the Andon cord or pressing the Andon button when a problem occurs on the line. This action triggers an alarm and/or visual signal, like a flashing light, that alerts management to come and investigate the issue. The goal is to fix the problem so production can resume immediately and quickly.


How Does Andon Work?

Before, production personnel will leave their posts to try and find solutions to the problem. Now, with Andon, the solution is brought directly to the workplace. Andon is a system that helps streamline manufacturing workflows, interconnecting networks of three primary components: cord, light, and board.


The Andon Cord

Also known as the Andon rope or Andon cord, this is a physical cord that workers can pull to stop the line and signal management that there is a problem. This should be accessible to all workers to quickly and easily stop production when necessary.


The Andon Light

The Andon light is a visual signal that alerts management to come and investigate the problem. Different lights can be used, but the most common is the LED light. When the Andon cord is pulled or the Andon button is pressed, the light will start flashing, so management knows to come to the line.


The Andon Board

The Andon board is a display board that shows the status of each production line in real-time. In addition, the board can track production metrics, like output and cycle time, and identify issues when they occur. The Andon board is typically located in a central location so that everyone can see it.


Benefits of Andon

There are many benefits of using the Andon system in your manufacturing operation, including: 

  • Improved communication between workers and management 
  • Quicker identification and resolution of production problems 
  • Increased transparency and visibility into production metrics 
  • Enhanced workplace safety 
  • Reduced production downtime 
  • Increased efficiency and throughput 


Andon Today

The Andon system was developed in the early days of lean manufacturing, but it is still used today. With new technologies, like cloud-based manufacturing software, Andon systems have become even more effective. 

Cloud-based manufacturing software can provide real-time data and analytics to help you quickly identify and resolve production issues. Additionally, cloud-based software makes sharing data across multiple locations easy, so everyone is on the same page.

If you’re looking for a way to improve communication, increase transparency, and reduce production problems in your operation, then the Andon system may be right for you. With the help of today’s technology, you can easily implement an Andon system that will streamline your workflows and improve your bottom line.


How To Implement Andon In Your Manufacturing Operation

Now that you know what Andon is and how it can benefit your manufacturing operation, you may wonder how to implement it. Here are a few tips: 

  • Define the purpose of your Andon system. What do you want to use it for? 
  • Choose the right location for your Andon board. It should be in a central location where everyone can see it. 
  • Select the right type of light for your Andon system. LED lights are a good option because they’re bright and easy to see. 
  • Train your workers on how to use the Andon cord or button. They should know when and how to use it. 
  • Monitor your Andon system regularly to make sure it’s working properly. 


How DATAMYTE Can Support Your Andon System

Through the years, Andon has evolved into an innovative method relevant to industrial and commercial use. Technological advancements played a vital role in making it easier for businesses to improve and escalate the system. The DataMyte Digital Clipboard is a workflow automation software that can help teams respond to issues faster and boost collaboration between workers in the production and assembly lines. 

With the DataMyte Digital Clipboard, you can create a comprehensive Andon workflow that involves the implementation and connection of various digital devices. These devices include barcode scanners, RFID readers, and computers. In addition, you can use the software to create an Andon display viewable by both workers and management in real time. 

You can also create a checklist to ensure that each task is completed before moving on to the next. The DataMyte Digital Clipboard can send alerts to the appropriate personnel when an issue arises. Using this workflow automation software, you can create a lean and efficient Andon system that will help improve your bottom line. Get started now by scheduling a demo with DATAMYTE!



You can easily implement an Andon system in your manufacturing operation by following these steps. With the help of Andon, you can improve communication, increase efficiency, and reduce production problems. So what are you waiting for? Get started today!



Related Articles: