Feature Series

Feature Series - Easy Line/Station Setup


One key thing that we've focused on with andon is the ability for users to quickly set up their org and begin collecting production data.  There are a number of ways that we make it simple to create an org, but for this entry I wanted to highlight what we are doing with line/station setup.

On the 'Create Org' page we ask you to enter the lines and stations for your org.  Most companies have very similar names for each stations in a line, and so andon will automatically associate every station with every line that you enter.  From the above example, the org would be set up with:

  • Line 1
    • Assembly
    • Test
    • Packaging
  • Line 2
    • Assembly
    • Test
    • Packaging

In this way a significant amount of redundancy is reduced in the org setup process.  If any modification is needed, it is easy for the site admin to make the updates using the Modify lines and stations guide on the support page [link here]

For more details on creating your org see the Create new org & add users guide on the support page [link here]


Feature Series - User Authentication


Authentication is always a challenge when working with software designed for the manufacturing floor, because typically production operators do not have the same account access as their office counterparts.  In a lot of the manufacturing environments that I go into operators do not even have their own corporate email address or operating system logins.  This can cause an issue for SaaS web apps if a base assumption of the software is that the user has a corporate email address.

With andon, we paid special attention here to make sure that our authentication process is seamless regardless of the method used to authenticate the user.  Our web app allows the user to authenticate using any email address or facebook/google/microsoft account.  Once authenticated, your site admin gives the user a token that allows the user access to the org within the web app.  This allows andon to establish common user identity within your org regardless of the login method each user chooses, and allows your site admin to retain control over each individual user's access to the app.  

For more details on adding users to your andon site, see the Create new org & add users guide on the support page [link here]





Feature Series - Auto Refreshing Dashboard


One key concept in lean manufacturing environments is having visual indicators throughout the production floor to allow the team to see the status of a particular line or station.  The idea is that these indicators increase visibility and reduce response time by allowing support teams and management to quickly identify where help is needed.

Andon extends this concept into the modern age with our auto-refreshing production status dashboard (example image above).  This page in the web app has a built-in timer that automatically refreshes the data every 5 minutes- allowing you to set up dedicated screens on your production floor that show this view in real time.  While subtle, this auto refreshing dashboard feature can make a HUGE difference in the effectiveness of your production monitoring.  As always, we've focused on creating a simple but effective way to maximize value with this feature.  For further details on the production status dashboard, see the Review production status guide on the support page [link here]



Feature Series - API for recording production data

command line.png

From my days as a manufacturing engineer at an electronics manufacturer I am familiar with burden of having to train operators on how to use a new user interface, and the challenge that can exist with data accuracy when operators are manually recording production data.  Sometimes this is the only way to quickly roll out production monitoring on your production floor, but for a lot of companies manual user input can simple be a no-go for production monitoring.

One of the great features of andon is that we overcome this issue by also offering API calls that allow you to fully automate the process of recording production data.  This can give a completely seamlessly user experience on the production floor- allowing you to post production data to andon from your existing automation.  In fact, using the API calls andon can be implemented in a way that is completely in the background to your existing production process.

As always, we've focused on providing a simple but powerful API solution so you can implement quickly.  For further instructions see the API guide on the support page [link here]- we think you are really going to like how easily the API's can be integrated into your existing production automation.