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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.
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.
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.