What is Andon System and How It Works?

What is Andon system

Andon system is originally manufacturing management and control system developed by Toyota as part of lean manufacturing, process improvement and continuous quality improvement. Andon is originally a manufacturing management term making reference to a method or quality control approach used to alert manufacturing managers, supervisors and workers of any current process or quality problems and issues.

Typically the device used for the Andon system is actually a board integrating indication signals to point which workstation in the production process has got the problem. The actual process alert is usually triggered by hand by the employee by using a simple switch. It can also be triggered instantly by using any type of automation integrated with the process and the production equipment.


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The Andon tool can sometimes include a quick way to quit production in order to ensure the existing process problem must be fixed. A number of devices used today as part of Andon system can include different types of alerts such as sound notifications, text messages and any additional features based on the nature of the production and manufacturing process.

Andon systems today are widely used by many companies worldwide and they provide numerous benefits for the organizations and individual employees. It provides the actual manufacturing worker with the capability and ability to quit the manufacturing process whenever a problem is located. Production workers can call for support and maintenance in order to fix the existing issues and continue the process as soon as the issues are fixed.

Typical causes of production problems are lack of required parts and components, any problems created throughout the process like machine breakdown or malfunctioning of equipment as well as presence of any security problem or hazardous and safety issues for the employees. The process is instantly discontinued when the system is triggered either manually or automatically till all the current problems are discovered and fixed.

The production process can be organized in a way that all the alerts and notifications are saved into a database in order to be used later as a part of any ongoing quality improvement initiatives. The Andon device normally shows the place where the alert had been created and may even provide an outline of different solutions and scenarios of possible courses of actions.

Current Andon techniques may include text messages, visual aids and sound components which can be carried out with coded sounds, songs with various tracks matching the defined issues and notifications or even spoken information to assist workers in taking the most appropriate actions in case of process alerts.

In addition modern Andon systems used in industrial organizations today include additional features, data integration, data management and support for the employees. Many originally manual alert systems have been replaced by automated alert and notification systems identifying the problems and triggering the alerts automatically reducing the possibility of human errors. Process automation capabilities and technology today offer many different ways to automate the system by using sensors and update the real time data in the database for analysis.

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