Production: Drum-Buffer-Rope

The Drum-Buffer-Rope method (DBR) ensures all operations are synchronised to maximise throughput. You just have to find the bottleneck that’s limiting the flow of productivity. That constraint then sets the pace. It’s the ‘drum’ that determines the rhythm for work. Production is scheduled around the capacity of the constraint with all other resources scheduled to support its availability. Raw materials are released only when they are needed.

Why is it called Drum-Buffer-Rope?

  • The Drum refers to the critically constrained resource that beats the rhythm to which the whole organisation is synchronised.
  • The Buffer is a time-based shock absorber that takes account of process variability to ensure that the Drum is never starved of work. This protects the throughput of the organisation.
  • The Rope controls the release of work into the system in such a way that the Drum is fully utilised and there is no unnecessary creation of work in progress.

Applying DBR to your situation

You probably have a good idea where your bottleneck is already. Ideally, we’re not simply chasing down an elusive constraint—we’re designing it into your system. Through interviews and workshops, we’ll identify the true point of greatest leverage in your operations environment. From that point, work is planned and performed according to the rhythm set by that constraint, generating remarkable results.

Although developed for manufacturing, you can apply this management method to any environment in which there is a high degree of repeatability. Whether you’re in scheduling the factory floor at an automotive plant and accounting for complex bills of material and production routes—or in the testing phase of software development assigning the work of fixing defects—DBR delivers results that exceed your organisation’s expectations.

To learn how we could help you, get in touch today for a free consultation