Improving for Drum_Buffer_Rope material flow management with attention to second bottlenecks and free goods in a job shop environment

Document Type: Research Paper


1 University of Tehran

2 Tarbiat Modares University

3 Isfahan University of Technology


Drum–Buffer–Rope is a theory of constraints production planning methodology that operates by developing a schedule for the system’s first bottleneck. The first bottleneck is the bottleneck with the highest utilization. In the theory of constraints, any job that is not processed at the first bottleneck is referred to as a free good. Free goods do not use capacity at the first bottleneck, so very little attention is given to them in the Drum–Buffer–Rope literature. The objective of this paper is to present a methodology that improves the Drum–Buffer–Rope material flow management with attention to the second bottleneck and free goods. This paper presents a comparative analysis of Drum–Buffer–Rope material flow management and the proposed methodology in a job shop environment. To study the impact of free goods and the second bottleneck on the performance of the DBR method, 18 job shop simulation models were developed and data analysis was done for each simulation model. Lead time and throughput are the system performance measurement output parameters. The simulation result shows that the proposed methodology significantly improved the lead time and throughput.


Babu, T., Rao, K., & Maheshwaran, C. (2006). Application of TOC embedded ILP for increasing throughput of

production lines. The International Journal Of Advanced Manufacturing Technology, 33(7-8), 812-818.

Betterton, C., & Cox, J. (2009). Espoused drum-buffer-rope flow control in serial lines: A comparative study of

simulation models. International Journal of Production Economics, 117(1), 66-79.

Bozzone, V. (2001). , The theory of delays a tool for improving performance and profitability in jobshops & custom

manufacturing environment. Delta Dynamics Inc.

Chakravorty, S., & Atwater, J. (2005). The impact of free goods on the performance of drum-buffer-rope scheduling

systems. International Journal Of Production Economics, 95(3), 347-357.

Chakravorty, S., & Verhoeven, P. (1996). Learning the Theory of Constraints with a Simulation Game. Simulation &

Gaming, 27(2), 223-237.

Chang, Y., & Huang, W. (2013). An enhanced model for SDBR in a random reentrant flow shop environment.

International Journal Of Production Research , 52(6), 1808-1826.

Cheraghi, H., Dadashzaddeh, M., & Soppin, M. (2008). Comparative analysis of production control systems through

simulation. J. Of Business And Economics Research, 6(5), 87-104.

Georgiadis, P., & Politou, A. (2013). Dynamic Drum-Buffer-Rope approach for production planning and control in

capacitated flow-shop manufacturing systems. Computers & Industrial Engineering, 65(4), 689-703.

Goldratt, E. (1990). What is this thing called theory of constraints and how should it be implemented?. Great

Barrington, Mass.: North River Press.

Goldratt, E. (1997). Critical chain. Great Barrington, MA: North River Press.

GOLDRATT, E. (1988). Computerized shop floor scheduling. International Journal Of Production Research, 26(3),


Goldratt, E., & Fox, R. (1986). The race. Croton-on-Hudson, NY: North River Press.

Gupta, M., & Snyder, D. (2009). Comparing TOC with MRP and JIT: a literature review. International Journal Of

Production Research , 47(13), 3705-3739.

Lee, J., Chang, J., Tsai, C., & Li, R. (2010). Research on enhancement of TOC Simplified Drum-Buffer-Rope system

using novel generic procedures. Expert Systems With Applications, 37(5), 3747-3754.

Pegels, C., & Watrous, C. (2005). Application of the theory of constraints to a bottleneck operation in a manufacturing

plant. Journal Of Manufacturing Technology Management, 16(3), 302-311.

Rabbani, M., & Tanhaie, F. (2015). A Markov chain analysis of the effectiveness of drum-buffer-rope material flow

management in job shop environment. 10.5267/J.Ijiec, 6(4), 457-468.

Rahman, S. (1998). Theory of constraints. Int Jrnl Of Op & Prod Mnagemnt, 18(4), 336-355.

Rand, G. (2000). Critical chain: the theory of constraints applied to project management. International Journal Of

Project Management, 18(3), 173-177.

Ray, A., Sarkar, B., & Sanyal, S. (2010). The TOC-Based Algorithm for Solving Multiple Constraint Resources. IEEE

Transactions On Engineering Management, 57(2), 301-309.

Sale, M., & Inman, R. (2003). Survey-based comparison of performance and change in performance of firms using

traditional manufacturing, JIT and TOC. International Journal Of Production Research, 41(4), 829-844.

Sarkar, B., & Kumar, S. (2008). Research: an improved theory of constraints. Int. J. Of Accounting And Information

Management, 16, 155-165.

Scheragenheim, E., & Dettmer, W. (2000). Simplified drum buffer rope, a whole system approach to high velocity

manufacturing. Lucie Press.

Schheimrage, E., & Ronen, B. (1990). Drum buffer rope shop floor control. Production And Inventory Management

Journal , 3, 18–22.

Steele *, D., Philipoom, P., Malhotra, M., & Fry, T. (2005). Comparisons between drum–buffer–rope and material

requirements planning: a case study. International Journal Of Production Research, 43(15), 3181-3208.

Tanhaei, F., & Nahavandi, N. (2012). Algorithm for solving product mix problem in two-constraint resources

environment. The International Journal Of Advanced Manufacturing Technology, 64(5-8), 1161-1167.

Wu, S., Morris, J., & Gordon, T. (1994). A simulation analysis of the effectiveness of drum-buffer-rope scheduling in

furniture manufacturing. Computers & Industrial Engineering, 26(4), 757-764. 8352(94)90010-8