Industry Terms

  • A


    Andon is a term from the Japanese culture that graphically shows a quality problem stemming likely from an incorrect process, a poor quality part, a part failure, etc.

  • C

    Cycle time

    The amount of time it takes for a production sequence to occur, to assemble a part, it is usually measured in seconds or minutes.

  • E


    An acronym for Enterprise Resource Planning. This is a software / system that matches orders to production systems to optimize planning and manufacturing on a shop floor. ERPs can be per one factory or across many factories.


    Is a method of connecting multiple computers into a local area network.

    Error Proofing System

    Is any system which reduces errors, usually in a production environment or factory.

  • F


    Is a mechanical or software feature which, in the case of a failure will leave the system or machine, as safe as it was before the change.

  • H

    Human Capital

    The skills, knowledge and experience of a person or a group of people, such as a workforce. An intangible asset of a company.


    Human Machine Interface, sometimes called an MMI (Man-machine interface). It is how a human interacts with a machine or a system.

  • M


    Manufacturing Execution System


    A system implemented to reduce errors in manufacturing and product assembly.


    Materials Requirements Planning software which controls what a factory, system or line will manufacture.

  • P


    A system used by humans to pick various parts for an assembly operation. Lights are used to visually guide the operator to picking the parts usually from small bins.


    Is a Japanese term which translates to mistake-proofing.


    Programmable Logic Controller a scanning computer used in manufacturing.


    A Programmable Logic Controller is a high speed scanning computer used for manufacturing environments.


    Power over Ethernet.

  • Q


    A Quality Management System often used by a company as a set of processes to control quality.

  • R


    Radio frequency identification, often used for employee identification.

  • S


    Used in machine building and automation, it is used to show visual machine status indicators. These can be red, yellow and orange (for example) to denote a stop, jam or failure.

  • W

    Work instructions

    Drawings, word documents, video, wireframe and sketches to assist workers in manual assembly tasks.