Using an Andon cord

Andon sign

In Lean Manufacturing (and originally the Toyota Production System or TPS), there is an Andon cord on the manufacturing line.  Whenever ANYONE sees a quality problem, they are able and encouraged to pull this cord.  It stops the entire line.  This post is also about my paperback.

Putting an Andon cord so accessible and inviting to everyone may seem dangerous and counterproductive.  But it works!  The cost of quality for traveled defects is HUGE.  The Andon cord (and proper training plus proper reactions after the cord is pulled) solves this problem.  You can learn more about it on the Wikipedia entry here.

For those watching the countdown timer, or the Amazon page for my book How To Be a Rocket Scientist, the paperback has taken longer than expected to return for sale.  Perhaps I jinxed the cycle time…my online proof review of the book update (just minor grammar corrections) revealed that there were some font conversion issues with some words in italics.  There is a ticket in the CreateSpace team to look into it and advise me of what to do next.  And I pulled the Andon cord for the paperback. 🙂

Not to worry!  It will return ASAP.  In the meantime you can still buy the eBook.  Or if you want a free chapter delivered to your inbox, select one here.

If you want to be a successful rocket scientist, use your own version of an Andon cord whenever you find a quality problem in your project.


About Brett Rocket Scientist

Brett creates artful work in aerospace and innovation. He is currently a project manager, author, and speaker. Sometimes he is still an engineer and music composer.

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