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May 25, 2012

Andon Boards in lean manufacturing

Andon can be defined as "visual control" device that shows machine, process status or line. Most lean manufacturing systems need this device as it is very useful to reduce production waste in all levels. By using andon boards, a company can monitor and ensure productivity easily. Manufacturing warehouse use this tool to see order status or priorities in an instant way even from more than 100 feet away. This device can also function as early warning devices since audible alarms or warning messages are installed in the device. In short, it can be said that this communication tool leads to a better coordination of orders, priorities and parts in a lean manufacturing system. This good coordination finally leads to a better customer service. The use of andon boards replaces the role of traditional communication tool in lean manufacturing systems. With this device, now a company doesn't need to use clip boards, white boards or emails to communicate. Mostly, the boards are able to project a number of 4" characters. If you wish the device to display smaller characters, it is also possible. Andon boards can display 2.1" high characters for a company with smaller areas or less viewing distance. You can also install Windows applications inside the displays. Thus the applications will operate on the boards just like when they run on a PC. HMI applications like Wonderware, Iconics, GE Cimplicity and Visual Plant can also be operated on this device. With the benefits of andon boards, the device has enhanced lean manufacturing tremendously. Therefore, this communication tool has to be developed further to reduce more waste. The older ones usually display only data with fixed and restricted to single word headings. In addition, the data is lost when the display changes. To improve the performance, Gemba Solutions have developed the new andon board called OEE Impact Andon Board. This device offers flexibility and displays that users can configure with a PC. The new OEE Impact Andon Board will give another dimension for lean manufacturing. Its software will inform you how you fare against target by calculating TAKT times. This device can also view progress within work shifts or within a specific period of time. In addition, this latest communication device will inform historical summary that reports targets, down-times, reject. The new products are very helpful since they help a company knows how well their production is going. The EOO Impact Andon Boards can also use powerful software to track problem areas in case the results are less than what you expect.