Management Improvement Dictionary: Andon

Andon - is an visual (and often auditory) process cue. For example a light that signals all is well (green light), when stock is running low (or a machine is nearing time for service) (yellow light) and when a machine is down or stock is empty (red light).

The alert will be reacted to by the appropriate personnel. Often a supervisor will come to assure a quick resolution is found.

Andon cords allow a worker to signal that help is needed. They can pull the cord to indicate, via the andon signal, that help is needed (related: Jikoda). This can also result in the line being stopped.

Andon boards display an view of the entire system (showing the status of many parts of the process). They may also show some process measures visually such as the current takt time compared to the expected takt time.

Related Terms: Online Resources:
  • - Jidoka description - "Toyota plants use a problem display board system called 'andon' that allows operators to identify problems in the production line at a glance."