Ready, set, let’s go!
Okay, so they’re not traffic lights in the conventional sense, but the color scheme and boldness in alerting us to potential issues certainly is.
Usually erected high enough to ensure the visibility of everybody on site, the Andon Board is a key part of a modern visual factory. Another lean manufacturing product originating from the Toyota Production System approach, the Andon Boards’ purpose is to ensure that the operational status across for plant is easily understood and reacted to by everyone.
Part of the Jidoka methodology to be more specific, the Andon Board should empower operators to recognize issues and take the initiative to stop work or make immediate changes without waiting for management to make the decision. This diversification of decision-making forms part of the wider sixsigma thinking whereby everyone is part of the team and everyone is aware of the steps involved in delivering the end product.
Very often the board is split into Green - everything is running as it should. Amber - where an issue is detected and a set amount of time is set for a fix to be implemented. Red - which equates to production being stopped immediately. Although perceived by many as counterproductive to totally stop a line, the contrary is true and staff need to be not just empowered to make that call, but encouraged to do so.
The Andon Line, as it was originally known, was a literal pull cord to stop production. Times have moved on for many factories since that, but the theory and logic remain as true to this day at their conception.
Comprising of teams of employees who are not just trained across multiple departments to ensure complex understanding of each step of the plastic injectionmolding A-Z, but who are avid #lean advocates, NS KUNSTSTOFFTECHNIK - CZ take quality to the nth degree and use a whole range of fail safes to ensure consistency and accuracy for every order.