Andon System Reimagined

It is a common practice nowadays that engineering control of multiple production lines is carried out by a single engineer. In order to perform their tasks efficiently and safely, so-called ANDON systems are used, which indicate alerts with color-coded stack lights when a production line fails and requires engineering intervention.

In addition, factory production trends are either displayed on a screen or recorded on paper in relation to what was planned, day by day, in a manner clearly visible to all employees.

IBCS Hungary’s solution combines these two features. Large-screen TVs at BOSCH’s Serbian factory, alongside each production line, display online data about the quantity produced, the planned quantity, the resulting difference, and, in the event of a failure, the faulty production line.

The developed solution is based on a production tracking system previously supplied by IBCS Hungary, which stores the data of the manufactured products in a central database. From the produced quantity and the planned quantity, the system calculates KPIs every few seconds and displays them on the production line screen. If an error occurs, it is indicated by a prominent and flashing pictogram. The quantities produced are displayed in different colors and, if production is below the planned quantity, it is indicated by a “sad” icon, and if more is produced, the result is indicated by a “smiley” icon.

However, IBCS has developed and produced not only the software but also the hardware needed to signal errors. For this we used one of the most versatile platforms these days, the Arduino® system, complemented by other components needed for reliable and trouble-free operation in industrial environments. By pressing any of the 9 error signal buttons on the production line, the hardware device detects, registers, and transmits the corresponding data to the ANDON software environment, where it is processed as described above.