Andon board

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Andon board
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Andon board is related with production. It is a part of a lean manufacture system. Andon board is an electric light board used in production line in factories for visual control of tracking defective work in assembly lines. Located in a central part, andon board is well seen by a team members and a supervisors. Board has a numbers or names which specify the status of each process and that is why team members are aware of proceedings in their line. Visual indicator such as coloured light signaling that worker has found an abnormal situation like missing parts, poor quality, problem with the parts, missing information etc. Immediately everyone is informed about the problem and where it has been caused[1][2][3][4].

The origin

Andon board comes from Japan. "Andon" is a Japanese word means lamp[5]. Andon was first used in a Toyota Production System (TPS). It was a foundational element of manufacturing in Toyota as a part of jidoka or build-in quality. Now, andon board is in use in a most of manufactures[6].

Usage of the andon board

Andon board is very easy to use. A green light is on when a line is going well. If worker indicates a problem, he pushes a button or pulls a cord and the yellow light is litted on the andon board. Supervisors diagnose what happened and can call for help. They try to resolve a problem quickly to be able keep working in time. The red light turns on when job is not completed or the problem is acute. With red, all line stops and every worker with it. In a meanwhile team members have time to rest, prepare parts, go to help, fullfil bins. After solving a problem, short break is over and a line keeps running. For workers andon board makes an atmosphere of a real team[7][8].

Meaning of a colour on the andon board

Andon board is equipped with a few various colour of call lights[9]:

  • green light - normal process
  • yellow light - line is having a problem, delay in process
  • red light - stop the process


  1. Hill A. (2012), p.28
  2. Stewart J.(2011), p.51
  3. Boyer R., Charron E., Jurgens U., Tolliday S. (1998)
  4. Monden Y. (2011)
  5. Hill A. (2012), p.28
  6. Stewart J. (2011)
  7. Boyer R., Charron E., Jurgens U., Tolliday S. (1998)
  8. Black J.T., Hunter S. (2003), p.97
  9. Boyer R., Charron E., Jurgens U., Tolliday S. (1998)


Author: Weronika Lisik