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An Introduction to Lean Work Design by Matthias Thürer, Lawrence D. Fredendall

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CHAPTER 6

Buffer Management

For parts that are going through bottlenecks, queue is the dominant portion [of their time in the plant]. The part is stuck in front of the bottleneck for a long time. For parts that are only going through non-bottlenecks, wait is dominant, because they are waiting in front of assembly for parts that are coming from the bottlenecks. Which means that in each case, the bottlenecks are what dictate this elapsed time. Which, in turn, means the bottlenecks dictate inventory as well as throughput.

Goldratt and Cox (2004, p. 232)

Given that every system has variance and that variance negatively affects the performance of the system, all work designs need to address how to limit, control, or buffer the variance to protect ...

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