Melville, NY – SpencerMetrics today announced the immediate availability of BEACON, the digital Andon module for its CONNECT® Industry 4.0 platform. CONNECT provides real-time data collection, monitoring, reporting, and integrated systems connectivity and the introduced BEACON Andon module provides many additional production efficiency benefits including visual signals, email alerts, SMS texts and dashboard monitor display messaging.
An Andon system is designed as a communication tool in manufacturing to alert machine operators, maintenance staff, and management of production issues. Typically, Andon allows the operator to stop production if a defect or quality problem is found so that corrective measures can be taken immediately, before production moves forward. In traditional implementations, the alert is displayed simply on a light tower at the machine, visually showing its status – green, red, etc.
With CONNECT’s digital BEACON Andon, users can customize multiple common alerts, such as 'Require Quality Check', 'Request Supervisor', 'Paper Needed', etc. Using the SpencerMetrics shop floor data collection interface, the operators can enable any such alert(s) immediately as needed. The system also empowers operators to add specific details regarding issues at hand. In BEACON’s implementation, the operator may proactively set alerts while the machine is running, thus reducing machine downtime; to communicate near-term needs such as requests for skids, paper, replacement parts; or alert others to safety or quality concerns; all without any stoppage in production. Once alerted, the production and management team can quickly respond with a solution or perform a real-time root cause analysis.
The BEACON alert module triggers real-time notifications to a person or team designated to be informed. The active alert is also displayed on CONNECT’s real-time production dashboard for immediate visibility across the factory floor. Simultaneously, data about the alert, including timestamps, duration, machine, operator, etc. are automatically collected and available through CONNECT Analytics. This allows for the succinct, yet thorough, understanding and evaluation of response times, frequency of specific issues, and other factors that can help minimize production downtime.
The BEACON Andon module is currently being used by Lakeside Book Company. Brian Chenault, Continuous Improvement Supervisor at Lakeside’s Kendallville, Indiana plant said, “Using CONNECT's Andon module has given us better visibility when issues occur on the production floor. The dashboard monitors, email alerts, and SMS texts sent to maintenance and supervisors give immediate real-time notification that help is needed on the production floor, helping to reduce delay times waiting on supervisor or maintenance staff.” Manuel Olin, Lead Maintenance Technician at their North Chelmsford, Massachusetts plant added, “We have improved our roll delivery response time using CONNECT's Andon feature configured to inform about paper request. This allows operators to stay at their machine watching quality and not tracking down a material handler.”
The digital BEACON module is a direct result of working with CONNECT users, addressing their real-world needs and the SpencerMetrics team’s commitment to continuously providing more value to the platform. “We learned that a significant amount of time was wasted due to lack of real-time communication of issues from shop floor to supervisors, maintenance, or other responsible departments. Our digital Andon module helps address such communication gaps by expediting responsiveness, increasing awareness, and empowering the production team to increase equipment uptime”, said Vishal Sahay, EVP at SpencerMetrics.