An Exposition of Multiple Constraint Scheduling as Implemented in the GOAL SYSTEM (Formally DISASTER)

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Production and Operations Management






Since Eli Goldratt first appeared on the scene in the late 1970s, his ideas concerning production management have generated a huge amount of interest, controversy, and misunderstanding. These ideas have been proliferated under several names such as optimized production technology (OPT), drum-buffer-rope (DBR), synchronized manufacturing (SM), and theory of constraints (TOC). Although there seems to be general agreement on the importance of how capacity-constrained resources are scheduled, research aimed at advancing the state of the art for the specific problem addressed by DBR continues to be limited by prior misunderstandings and the lack of a rigorous examination by the academic community. This paper seeks “to advance the state of research on constraint scheduling in several ways. First, it presents a concise history of the evolution of DBR. It then explains the use of rods in constraint scheduling. Next, it presents in detail the solution algorithm incorporated by the Goldratt Institute in their production software and, finally, relates that algorithm to alternative methods. In the process of these activities, several lingering misconceptions are resolved.