work stations connected to Andon


Bombardier at Rovaniemi

BRP, Bombardier Recreational Products Inc. is the world’s leading designer, seller and manufacturer of recreational motorised vehicles. BRP Finland Oy, i.e. the company’s Finnish unit located in Rovaniemi, is the manufacturing site for Lynx and Ski-Doo snowmobiles designed specifically for the Scandinavian snow conditions. The Rovaniemi factory also manufactures Can-Am six-wheel ATVs.

The majority of the Rovaniemi facility’s capacity is focused on the assembly of snowmobiles and ATVs, which are assembled in the same production lines. Assembly is monitored with the ARROW Andon alert and reporting system. Andon is part of a Lean-based approach to production, and it was originally developed for Toyota’s production development purposes. Andon enables a production worker to report a problem detected in assembly and to even stop the production line.

ARROW Andon gives an audio-visual alert of problems

In the fall of 2015, the Rovaniemi facility switched to ARROW Andon, which was chosen to replace the old, similar system. Andon was implemented in all production sectors, but it is most actively used in the main line and the packaging line.

At the BRP facility in Rovaniemi, assembly lines consist of team areas, which in turn consist of workstations. Workstation employees use Andon remote controls, and three buttons in particular: Yellow – notification of a problem at an assembly workstation, red – the assembly line is stopped due to the problem, and green – the problem has been solved and assembly work can continue. The remote control sends a signal to the ARROW Andon system which activates an alert displayed on info screens around the production facility. An info screen blinking yellow tells team leaders not only the relevant colour code, but also the location of the problem. In addition to the screen, team-specific music starts to play in the production facilities, so that the team leader is sure to notice the alert. Each team has been given the opportunity to choose their team-specific song. When the team leader arrives on site, the problem is solved or, if necessary, the alert is changed into red. This alert activates the info screen turning it red, which means that a foreman is called to the workstation indicated by the Andon screen. The red alert also stops the assembly line until the problem has been solved.

Tackling reasons behind malfunctions with reporting

In addition to disruptions, the ARROW Andon info screens located in the production environment show how much has been accomplished of the day’s production target, as well as the number of occurred alerts. The screens also display a real-time indicator demonstrating the quality of assembly. Production managers document the reasons behind malfunctions into the Andon system by using predetermined reason codes. The reports produced by the ARROW Andon system are frequently used to identify development needs. The reports can be searched for, for example, malfunction times according to teams or reason codes. Line stoppages are also monitored per each workstation, which makes identifying assembly line bottlenecks easy.


BRP Finland Oy
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