An instrument for quality assurance and is used in conjunction with an Andon board. Two ‘rip cords’ are attached to the production line. One of these is used to stop the line in emergency situations, the other to call a quality manager. If the Q rip cord is pulled, a signal with the station number is visible on the Andon board and the Q manager is called to the station to provide support. He or she now has time to solve the Q problem and delete the Q signal before the line gets to a previously defined point. If the Q manager is able to eliminate the problem before reaching the point and cancel the signal, the line continues. If not, the line will remain at this point until the problem is solved and the signal has been deactivated. A message is often sent to production management if the line remains stationary for longer than a previously defined time because of the Q message. Management is then requested to take a decision on resuming production or extending the manufacturing downtime until the problem is permanently resolved.