Implementation of drum-buffer-rope at a military rework depot engine works

V. Daniel, R. Guide, Gerald A. Ghiselli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Drum-buffer-rope (DBR) and buffer management have been discussed as production planning and control tools [2, 3]. Both tools are part of the synchronous manufacturing (or theory of constraints) philosophy, which is simply part of a focused improvement journey. The implementation of synchronous manufacturing involves the modification of existing performance measures and the adoption of DBR as a planning, scheduling, and control system. Alameda Naval Aviation Depot remanufactures a variety of military assets, from entire aircraft to avionics components. In this environment, to schedule and control operations with DBR, the release of parts making up individual units is controlled by an assembly buffer which, in turn, reflects a final assembly schedule. DBR paces the release of material to ensure the assembly buffer provides adequate protection to the scheduled completion dates of the units. The drum for the operation is the completion of final assemblies, which paces the induction of units by the production planner. The need to expedite parts is controlled by buffer management, showing which parts may disrupt the schedule and need to be expedited. Buffer management techniques are used in order to give visibility to scheduled parts and proactively expedite parts that may delay the final assembly schedule if action is not taken. Little has been written in journals about implementing synchronous manufacturing and, to the best knowledge of the authors, no description of adopting drum-buffer-rope in a remanufacturing environment exists. This article is a description of the steps taken at Alameda Navl Aviation Depots' engine division to implement DBR and the amount of improvement accomplished.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)79-83
Number of pages5
JournalProduction and Inventory Management Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1995

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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