How to build an Andon app

Lower waiting times by implementing an Andon system with a smartwatch

Andon app on a smartwatch

The WORKERBASE Smartwatch enables the setup of a modern Andon system. Instead of Andon cords, workers can send alerts with their smartwatch and in turn get notifications on the smartwatch in case a co-worker sends an alert.

What is Andon?

Andon is a widely used term in lean manufacturing. It refers to systems used to notify operators on the shop floor and management about process problems or quality incidents:


  • Usually, Andon systems use signal lights attached to workstations, production lines or machines to visually indicate problems.
  • Problems or incidents are reported by Andon cords or Andon buttons, so operators can send alerts by pulling a cord or pushing a button.
  • In many cases, the trigger gets automatically activated by the machine itself.


Many Andon systems include functions to stop production machines when a defect or abnormal situations are found, so that corrective actions can be initiated. For example, operators may want to call assistance.

State-of-the-art Andon systems do not only use Andon lights but also incorporate audio alarms, text, or wearable computing devices.

How to use Andon systems?

Andon systems can be used in many situations, e.g. report missing materials or safety problems. Other situations for using Andon systems include the reporting of defects found or tool malfunctions. If such incidents occur, it is recommended to stop work until a solution has been implemented. This empowers workers and improves the overall production quality. For continuous improvement programs, alerts should be logged to a database for analytics and reporting purposes.

Improve Andon systems with a smartwatch

The WORKERBASE platform allows implementing a modern Andon system:


  • Operators are equipped with Smartwatches and can report incidents at any time.
  • App-based workflows empower operators to send a support request or report missing materials through the integrated QR barcode scanner. Support requests can be sent in case of  safety problems, abnormal situations, defects found or tool malfunctions
  • All support request can be sent immediately to a pre-defined target group or individual persons.
  • Target group include e.g. co-workers, management, maintenance personnel etc.


The WORKERBASE system provides role and user management function for Andon systems. Hence, administrators can create target groups for alerts in an efficient way. For the efficient deployment of an Andon app, you can either use a preconfigured WORKERBASE app such as the Support call app or build your own Andon workflow using the WORKERBASE App Builder.


Compared to Andon cords, app-based Andon system on a smartwatch can make the reporting of incidents event easier. Thus, each operator can trigger an alert at the position where he is working. It is also possible to directly attach metadata to the andon alert. This may include pictures or error codes from a list. Consequently, this increases the identification and deployment of corrective actions. The WORKERBASE systems also support sending audio messages to co-workers. In case of an incident, an audio message can be reported and will be distributed either to a single person or to a group of persons. 

Support call App

Operators can request support with the WORKERBASE Support call app.  The Support call app can be freely configured with a web browser to create a custom Andon workflow.

More about the Support call app

Send Andon alert

Notify relevant people

Follow up

Report problems. Set up lightweight mobile apps running on a smartwatch to efficiently report incidents. Use the Support call app to integrate picture taking functions and set up target groups for receiving alerts.

Get notifications. The WORKERBASE platform allows to manage user and roles as well as to define rules for target groups. With that, the distribution of alerts can be controlled bysed on role, location and even skill set.

Define and control corrective actions. Once an alert has been sent, the WORKERBASE systems can show corrective actions as step-by-step instructions on the smartwatch. All actions are reported back to the cloud to enable monitoring and reporting workflows.

How WORKERBASE can help you

Just drop us a line and ask for anything with which you think we could be helpful. We are looking forward to hearing from you!