Visual Factory- Visual management is the process of displaying critical information so that anyone entering a work place, even those who are unfamiliar with the detail of the processes, can very rapidly see what is going on, understand it and see what is under control and what isn’t. Essentially, the current status of the operation can be assessed, at a glance.
On the factory floor, visual management can take shape in the form of key performance indicators that relate to production quantity, speed and quality, as well as machine uptime and downtime.
Values such as the following communicate a process’ or an operator’s performance.
- Good Count
- Bad Count,
- Shift Totals,
- Ratio and Rate
In keeping with visual management’s requirement that the information can be seen at a glance, the information is shown on large displays that can be seen from a distance and by more personnel than just the machine operator.
Many companies, whether or not they practice continuous improvement, want production to flow uninterrupted, and have therefore adopted some form of andon, a term that refers to a system used to notify management, maintenance and other personnel of a process or quality issue. The green, yellow and red light “stacks” or “towers” seen in a production facility are and on messaging in action. Mounted up high, these simple andon systems allow everyone to see the status of virtually every machine in a room.
- A green light means the machine is running well
- A yellow light usually indicates the machine is running but requires attention
- A red light almost always means that the process has stopped and requires immediate attention.
While stack lights are convenient, they provide little information other than crude status, and many facilities have therefore adopted displays that provide detailed messages regarding machine status.