Management And Accounting Web

Drum-Buffer-Rope System

Provided by James R. Martin, Ph.D., CMA
Professor Emeritus, University of South Florida

Chapter 8 TOC Section | Theory of Constraints Main Page

Citation: Martin, J. R. Not dated. Drum-Buffer-Rope System. Management And Accounting Web. https://maaw.info/DrumBufferRope.htm

The Drum-Buffer-Rope System is a key concept in the Theory of Constraints. Its' purpose is to balance the flow of production, or in the case of a scout troop to keep all the scouts hiking at the same pace. The slowest scout or constraint sets the pace. This is the drum. The slack in the rope tied to the first scout and slowest scout is the buffer that protects the pace on the hike, while the inventory in front of the constraint (i.e., up stream) is the buffer in the factory. The rope enforces the pace on the hike while the pull system enfores the pace in the factory.

Concept Purpose or Function Scout Troop Factory
Drum Sets the pace Slowest Scout The Constraint
Buffer Protects the pace Slack in the rope Inventory in front to the constraint
Rope Enforces the pace Rope tied between the first
scout and the slowest scout
Some type of pull system, e.g., kanban type or OPT schedule

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Related summaries:

Goldratt, E. M. 1990. What is this thing called Theory of Constraints. New York: North River Press. (Summary).

Goldratt, E. M. 1990. The Haystack Syndrome: Sifting Information Out of the Data Ocean. New York: North River Press. (Summary).

Goldratt, E. M. and J. Cox. 1986. The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement. New York: North River Press. (Summary).

Martin, J. R. Not dated. Chapter 8: Just-In-Time, Theory of Constraints, and Activity Based Management Concepts and Techniques. Management Accounting: Concepts, Techniques & Controversial Issues. Management And Accounting Web. https://maaw.info/Chapter8.htm

Martin, J. R. Not dated. Comparing Dupont's ROI with Goldratt's ROI. Management And Accounting Web. https://maaw.info/ComparingDupontGoldrattROI.htm

Martin, J. R. Not dated. Comparing Traditional Costing, ABC, JIT, and TOC.  Management And Accounting Web. https://maaw.info/TradABCJITTOC.htm

Martin, J. R. Not dated. Global measurements of the theory of constraints. Management And Accounting Web. https://maaw.info/TOCMeasurements.htm

Martin, J. R. Not dated. Goldratt's dice game or match bowl experiment. Management And Accounting Web. https://maaw.info/MatchBowlExperiment.htm