The existing Line Andon System comprised a number of technologies from multiple vendors and included a reporting system that was also made up of a mixture of systems and software suites.
The display technology was fairly basic. It had evolved from red and green bulbs that showed where the line had stopped, up to a more contemporary 640 x 720 LED-based solution that showed basic figures such as production targets. But this was beginning to show its age and was exhibiting failures.
TMUK needed to undergo a modernisation program to develop a new solution that would not only collect all the necessary production information, but would also collate and decipher it before disbursing it in an easy to understand, actionable format to all parties involved in any remedial actions prompted by the Andon solution.
The new solution was to be made up of three core elements: a Line Andon system; a Real Time Andon reporting system; and hourly reporting and shop display boards.
The new Digital Andon System (DAS) for TMUK is based on technologies already deployed, tested and delivered by the Rockwell Automation Global Solutions Team in North America team across multiple Toyota sites in the US.
The UK Global Solution team enhanced the DAS with the addition of FactoryTalk® Historian Site edition (SE) and clients to provide additional functionality that will deliver a standard Manufacturing Intelligence platform for Toyota to develop beyond the Andon solution, across its global manufacturing sites.
Additional work for the UK project was undertaken by the Rockwell Automation Global Engineering Centre in India, which developed the graphical elements of the Line Andon system.
The Line Andon System is delivered by a number of stations (specific to each line) running FactoryTalk® View Station Site Edition (SE) on six physical PCs, but using video extender cables to connect to multiple monitors mounted above the line in full view of the operators and their supervisors.
This system provides pull or line-stop indication to production line team leaders, giving them the ability to respond to team members’ concerns and avoid extended line stops.
The new system gathers data from the line-control panels (LCP) for immediate reflection on local display screens as well as ensuring that data extracted from the LCPs is also made available for extraction, for use by the Real Time Andon and other systems.