On the Beat of the Drum:Improving the Flow Shop Performance of the Drum-Buffer-Rope Scheduling Mechanism

Thurer, Matthias and Stevenson, Mark (2018) On the Beat of the Drum:Improving the Flow Shop Performance of the Drum-Buffer-Rope Scheduling Mechanism. International Journal of Production Research, 56 (9). pp. 3294-3305. ISSN 0020-7543

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One of the main elements of the theory of constraints is its Drum–Buffer–Rope (DBR) scheduling (or release) mechanism that controls the release of jobs to the system. Jobs are not released directly to the shop floor – they are withheld in a backlog and released in accordance with the output rate of the bottleneck (i.e. the drum). The sequence in which jobs are considered for release from the backlog is determined by the schedule of the drum, which also determines in which order jobs are processed or dispatched on the shop floor. In the DBR literature, the focus is on the urgency of jobs and the same procedure is used both for backlog sequencing and dispatching. In this study, we explore the potential of using different combinations of rules for sequencing and dispatching to improve DBR performance. Based on controlled simulation experiments in a pure and general flow shop we demonstrate that, although the original procedure works well in a pure flow shop, it becomes dysfunctional in a general flow shop where job routings vary. Performance can be significantly enhanced by switching from a focus on urgency to a focus on the shortest bottleneck processing time during periods of high load.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
International Journal of Production Research
Additional Information:
This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in International Journal of Production Research on 13/11/2017, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/00207543.2017.1401245
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Deposited On:
08 Nov 2017 08:52
Last Modified:
19 Sep 2023 01:48