Lean Manufacturing - The ThermoFab Advantage

As a lean manufacturing organization, working with ThermoFab offers advantages in material handling, inventory, quality, flexibility, scheduling, personnel and, ultimately, in your satisfaction.

Our entire process is centered on ensuring you receive high quality products on-time. ThermoFab has seen significant benefits from applying the principles of the Theory of Constraints (TOC) and implementing VISUAL DBR (Drum-Buffer-Rope) through our work with Synergy Resources.

Synergy Resources


ThermoFab follows the Theory of Constraints (TOC) business management philosophy called Drum-Buffer-Rope (DBR), which was developed by Dr. Eli Goldratt, author of The Goal: It’s Not Luck, Critical Chain, and Necessary But Not Sufficient.

DBR controls the flow of materials through the plant so that products are produced according to market demand with a minimum of manufacturing lead-time, inventory and operating expenses.

Drum, Buffer, Rope Definitions

Drum – Constraints or bottlenecks in the process. This is what is being managed to ensure a smooth flow.

Buffer - A protection against Murphy. This is the time provided for parts to reach the protected area. The protected areas are the Drum, the due dates and the assemblies of constraint parts with non-constraint parts.

Rope - A schedule for releasing raw materials to the floor. The Rope is derived according to the Drum and Buffers; its mission is to ensure the proper subordination of the non-constraints.

The DBR technique enables companies to maximize a Capacity Constraint Resource and use time buffers to create schedules that help deliver products on time. Drum-Buffer-Rope is based on the TOC logistics approach and its five steps of focusing:

  1. Identify the System's Constraint(s).
  2. Decide How to Exploit the System’s Constraint(s).
  3. Subordinate Everything Else to the Above Decisions.
  4. Elevate the System's Constraint(s).
  5. If, in the Previous Steps, a Constraint Has Been Broken, Go Back to Step One,
    but Do Not Allow Inertia to Cause a System's Constraint.
Our lean manufacturing system provides you with the greatest flexibility of any manufacturer. ThermoFab will work with you to create a yearly blanket order with monthly releases based on a 45-day rolling forecast. This push-pull system with a 45-day window for planning deliveries offers you extensive flexibility - allowing for market changes and growth within your product lines.

To learn more about how ThermoFab's investment in lean proccesses helps us provide you with Manufacturing At Warp Speed contact us by email or call 888-494-9777.

Send us your CAD files today or contact us for a project assessment.