Title: Buffer size determination for drum-buffer-rope controlled supply chain networks

Authors: Zhaleh Parsaei; Nasim Nahavandi; Tarek ElMekkawy

Addresses: Department of Industrial Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Tarbiat Modares University, P.O. Box 14115-143, Tehran, Iran. ' Department of Industrial Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Tarbiat Modares University, P.O. Box 14115-143, Tehran, Iran. ' Department of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg MB R3T 5V6, Canada

Abstract: The theory of constraints drum-buffer-rope (DBR) system is a method for achieving effective supply chain management (SCM) and is now being implemented by a growing number of companies. Buffer size determination is the most difficult step in using DBR in SCM, however, it received less attention and the buffer level is usually determined by trial and error. The focus of this paper is first is to develop an efficient approach to determine the sizes of time buffers of control points of the DBR controlled supply chain. The approach is constructed according to the supplier network reliability analysis in the control points of networks; second, the proposed approach is compared with the most common approach in literature by means of a simulation study using enterprise dynamics (ED). Simulation results show that the developed approach is more effective than the most common approaches in literature.

Keywords: theory of constraints; TOC; drum-buffer-rope; DBR; time buffer; reliability; control point; supply chain management; SCM; supply chain networks; buffer size; simulation; enterprise dynamics.

DOI: 10.1504/IJASM.2012.046895

International Journal of Agile Systems and Management, 2012 Vol.5 No.2, pp.151 - 163

Available online: 13 May 2012 *

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