Real time Andon


The real time Andon system is a manufacturing system referring to a system to notify management, maintenance, and other workers of a quality or process problem.

The term is derived from the Japanese language, which means lantern or “light where to go”. In Lean, the term “andon” most often refers to a signalling system used to call for help when an abnormal condition is recognised, or that some sort of action is required. Furthermore,  the indicators, displays and controls used throughout manufacturing plants to improve communication of information.

Moreover, an Andon can take many different forms from simple indicator to complex control boards. Furthermore, all of them give ‘ real time’ status of the performance of the given area.

Here you can see Andon example. Each colour has a different meaning, for example:

  • Green - normal operations.
  • Yellow - attention in the near future.
  • Red - urgent attention.



Visible/Audible - Can be seen and/ or heard by entire workgroup and workgroup leader

Concise/ Understandable - primary three conditions ( OK, Abnormality, Process stop)

Timely/ Responsive - Real-time data

Pertinent - Only shows status of workstations in a particular area

Complete - Provides a complete picture of the overall status of the entire area to enable prioritisation and coordination of the corrective efforts


Andon boards have not only helped in reduction of “work in progress” or lag time between cycles but have also helped organisations not to rely on whiteboards, clipboards and word of mouth and even emails and intranet as a communication tool.

More benefits:

  • Makes the state and condition of manufacturing processes easily accessible and very clear – to everyone.
  • It helps the industry guide, monitor and ensure productivity.
  • Andon boards double as early warning devices
  • Andon boards can be used in manufacturing, inventory management, storage, receiving, picking and shipping.

Although the system has many advantages, but it does not solve abnormalities! In fact, it can only highlight them.


  • The definition of a repository (time range, quality required, ...) to be able to report abnormal conditions
  • An easy to understand system: identify what is happening in a glance
  • Information must be available and visible
  • Standardised actions: Depending on the alert in real time, about some actions you should think before (procedures)

In addition, you can read more about Toyota Andon model.

If you are looking for a dynamic display solution featuring real-time andon systems, PingFlow specialises in supply chain management and real-time activity monitoring! Please do not hesitate to contact us for information!

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