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Andon Pull Boxes: What are they?

Andon pull boxes are commonly used in automotive plants, but by no means are they restricted to the automotive industry. They are used on an assembly line. Simply put, the operator uses them to activate a signal when an alert condition occurs. It may be that the operator intends to stop the assembly line when this alert condition is met. Other plant floor personnel, such as the plant manager, production manager, line manager, etc. need indication that the condition has been triggered. In most cases, visual indication from the bulb or LED mounted on the box is not sufficient. More often The Andon Pull Box works to signal an audio device and a large marquee board at the same time. The audio device can be a horn or a siren, for example, which would immediately tell the appropriate plant floor personnel that an alarm condition exists. That person would then check the marquee board overhead to determine which station is down.

Is the Pull Box a mechanical device?

The actuator can be a lever or a spring-acutated pull cord, just as the name implies. But it can also be triggered remotely, by the push of a button. The signal that communicates with the audio and visual devices varies as well. Many common protocols are supported. Andon boxes can be built to your specifications.

In Summary

Andon Pull Boxes are actually a custom system consisting of the Andon Box, a marquee and an audio signaling device all working together to provide quick indication of an alert condition on an assembly line. Simco Technologies can work to your specs on communications protocols and what type of actuation of the signal that you prefer.
Marquee "Andon Bingo Boards" (picturedleft) are manufactured by Static Controls in Detroit and represented by Simco. They feature red alpha-numeric characters, serial or parallel interface, and they can be single or double sided. The marquee board pictured here is but one of a large variety of configurations available. Simco can help you choose from the Static Controls catalog of Andon Bingo Boards, or we can assist in the design of a custom display for your needs.

Pictured below is the Federal Signal CommCenter Digital Message Center, used with the SelcTone Explosion-Proof Audible Signalling Device (below right). The CommCenter is a digital playback unit used for playing voice messages, melodies, tones and signals over SelecTone public address systems. The system can be activated by a signal from the Simco Andon Pull Box. The SelecTone signalling device consists of a re-entrant horn speaker and audio amplifier. All internal amplification circuitry, gain control and tone modules are contained in a rugged, explosion-proof die cast aluminum amplifier housing.
The Federal Signal CommCenter message center is an excellent audible component to go along with a Static Controls Andon Bingo Marquee Board and Simco's Andon Pull Box to make a complete monitoring and signalling system for use on a production line.