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Old 23rd July 2005, 04:57 AM
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I Say... 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.

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