Andon - Definition
Andon - a Japanese term that refers to the warning lights on an assembly line that light up when a defect occurs. When the lights go on, the assembly line is usually stopped until the problem is diagnosed and corrected.
In 'ancient' Japan, Andon was a paper lantern (a handy vertically collapsible paper lampshade with an open top and a candle placed at the central section of the closed bottom). To the ancient Japanese, Andon functioned as a flashlight, a signaling device in distance, or even a commercial sign.
Nowadays, Andon at many manufacturing facilities is an electronic device: audio and/or color-coded visual display. For example, suppose an Andon unit has three color zones (red, green, and orange) and when the orange zone flashes with a distinctive sound, it calls for an attention of and is signaling operator to replenish certain material.
A tool of visual management, originating from the Japanese for "Lamp". Lights placed on machines or on production lines to indicate operation status. Commonly color-coded are:
- Green: normal operations
- Yellow: changeover or planned maintenance
- Red: abnormal, machine down
Often combined with an audible signal such as music or an alarm.