Tilos Software – Linear Scheduling Method and Time Location Planning Software

Tilos in Australasia

Time location planning is a process of managing project activities in time and distance. It is a critical function in construction to manage risks and communicate with more stakeholders. Tilos can also be used for scenario testing and resource management while minimizing disruptions and maximizing efficiency.

Tilos software is therefore a powerful tool that can be used for time location planning and adopting the linear scheduling method. Tilos provides a graphical user interface that makes it easy to edit schedules as well as import and export schedules. Tilos software also offers a variety of features that make it an ideal choice for time location planning, including multiple views and time chainage diagrams for different audiences.

Linear Project Management in Time and Location Planning Software

Linear project management is a methodology that extends Gantt chart theory by including distance as well as time. The location of the work may be changing as time progresses. The speed and direction of the work may vary. In addition, some sections of the corridor maybe skipped or performed out of sequence.

Tilos is time location planning software for scheduling linear construction projects. Basically, any infrastructure project where distance is a factor.

Tilos software can be used for time location planning in different construction industries, like Highway-, Railway-, Pipeline- and Tunnel construction, but also in Water Engineering or Transmission Line Building.

Tilos

is:

 

  • Easy to use, yet powerful time location planning software.
  • Utilized on many international projects.
  • Simply a brilliant tool for planning and managing linear projects.
  • Tracks and presents the ‘as built’ compared to the baseline schedule.

The Linear Scheduling Method

TILOS is a linear scheduling method software that was developed to improve the visualisation of repetitive tasks when planning and managing major projects. The time chainage diagram supports all highway, rail, tunnel, pipeline, and bridge projects.

The key benefits of TILOS software are the flow of visual data in terms of time and place on one schedule. Gantt schedules and network diagrams are more analytical, but they fail to provide a visual connection between the project plan and the project itself as can be found within a Tilos schedule.

Each country has different names for this specific planning technique:

  • Linear Scheduling Method (LSM)
  • Time Distance Diagram
  • Time Location Diagram
  • Time Chainage Diagram
  • French Diagram
  • March Chart

Due to the lack of decent software tools, many plans were drawn with software packages like CAD or Excel. The major flaw is that as soon as changes occurred, plans were constantly being amended as there was no easier way to process the data visually. TILOS linear scheduling method software combines both time and distance in one powerful project management tool:

  • Full CPM analysis. Display of critical path in Time chainage diagram
  • Full support of sub-projects. Bridges, pump stations or other bar activities can be planned in a separate sub-project and their major activities or milestones can be linked to Time Chainage Diagram.
  • Full control over Quantities, work rates, resources and costs connected to location information.
  • Perfect monitoring of progress along the production line.

What is a time chainage diagram?

A time chainage diagram is a graphical representation of how events unfold over time and distance. It is often used in project planning to visualise the sequence of tasks and milestones that need to be completed to achieve a goal.

A time chainage diagram will typically show the start time and location and end time and location for each task, as well as any dependencies between tasks. This information can be used to create a schedule for the project and track progress over time, assisting with the wider linear scheduling method.

Time chainage diagrams are a useful tool for project managers, as they provide a clear overview within linear project planning and can help identify potential risks or bottlenecks. They can also be used to communicate the project roadmap to stakeholders.

Railway Project in Tilos

Railway Project in Tilos Using the Linear Scheduling Method & Time Chainage Diagram

Why are TILOS software & time chainage diagrams far superior to Gantt and Network Diagrams?

Traditional planning systems display their results in bar charts or network diagrams. Linear projects present unique challenges because the crews and equipment move along the construction site to perform their work.

Neither of the traditional diagrams are able to show a graphical link between the location where the work is performed (the distance axis) and the time when it is executed (the time axis), as is found with time chainage diagrams.

Time chainage diagrams clearly communicate the scope by showing the project details and the schedule in one view.

Pipeline sample

How do I read linear scheduling software?

Linear schedules, generated by Tilos linear scheduling software, can communicate more information because of the way distance related data is assigned to each individual task. The link between site and schedule information enables a quicker and deeper understanding of the construction plan.

  • The distance axis is typically horizontal and the time axis is vertical  (although this can be reversed). Furthermore, the slope of the task line indicates the speed or productivity rate of the crew performing the work in the field.
  • Task lines that overlap indicate possible pitfalls and show that the construction plan does not work.
  • Non-linear activities, where the crew is stationary, are represented by two dimensional shapes. Examples include block valve installations, culvert or bridge foundation work.
  • Restricted areas do not allow the planning of tasks in a given time and distance window because of permitting issues preventing land access or environmental issues (such as bird areas or rare plants). Clash detection highlights which tasks collide with one another.

Tilos chart concept
Tilos chart concept

How do I describe the project site details using linear scheduling & a time chainage diagram?

Site-related data such as elevation and crossing lists help you understand the schedule and to identify constraints. Most data is available well before scheduling work is started. TILOS schedule software can import this data and increase the information communicated along with the plan while reducing the effort of re-entering data multiple times.

  • Symbols and pictures can be imported and placed along the distance axis to describe the work that has to be performed in the project.
  • Scales and grids describe important station points. Grid lines assigned to stations also simplifies data entry.
  • Speed profiles model non-linear productivity rates in different sections of the project such as slope areas, wetlands, heavy rock areas or simply base productivity on learning curves.
  • Distance-related graphs such as elevation, slope diagrams or mass haul profiles showing cut and fill sections can be generated directly from profile data.

Tilos chart 3

How do I keep my plan up to date?

In most project management systems, progress is defined on actual dates and % complete, while the % value is often estimated. TILOS time distance planning software can record progress for each task based on site data and show exactly which sections of the project have not been completed.

  • Progress can be recorded in three methods: percentage-based, quantity-based or distance based. In all cases, precise location information where the work has been completed is required. This progress can be shown with a simple distance-based bar chart, showing completed sections.
  • The remaining work can be re-evaluated to meet the project goals. This can be done by increasing resources or making changes to the construction plan.
  • The baseline shows differences between plan and execution and highlights delays in the project at an early stage.
  • The progress data can be imported from the daily site reports into TILOS. A flexible import feature reads the data from Excel files and assigns the progress directly to the activities, analyses the results and updates the remaining work program.

    Progress Tracking in TILOS Software Using the Linear Scheduling Method

Tilos Progress Tracking

Task & Location Planning

TILOS is designed for the fast creation of linear schedules making use of the linear scheduling method and predefined work packages in its library. On creating new activities, TILOS is analysing location data (length) and can immediately set quantity, resource allocation, and duration. The planning work is reduced to a minimum.

5 different ways to create activities

  1. Drawing on screen: The most natural way is to develop the plan graphically on the screen as you would do on paper. TILOS converts the lines into real-time and distance data. Changes in the dialogue are converted directly to the drawing.
  2. Activity list: Create first a list of work packages and edit the distance values manually or by sector list. They appear automatically in time distance view. The sector list is a table with predefined location areas, where work will be executed.
  3. Bar chart: Draw activities directly in the bar chart, as you know from other applications.
  4. Import: Activity lists with links and resources can be imported to TILOS and viewed as a time chainage diagram. Missing information can be added later in TILOS.
  5. Insert activity groups: Pre-modelled activity groups, that are always performed in one sequence can be generated in one action (e.g. Trench opening – Pipe laying – Trench filling).

3 different ways to create relationships

  1. Drawing on screen: The most natural way is to link the activities directly on the screen using the mouse.
  2. Link List: Get a good overview of the links structure by simply creating and editing them within a list.
  3. Import: Import allows the quickest way of creation if those have already been worked out in a CPM based planning system.

More reschedule options

The scheduling method with TILOS software has many unique features to reflect the effect of the field location on the schedule such as:

  • Distance keeping:
    Set a distance, that 2 activities need to have in between, and TILOS will adjust this on each reschedule (e.g. Trench opening needs always to be 100 m ahead of Pipe laying).
  • Synchronise successor:
    This option makes sure, that 2 linked activities are always synchronized in location if source activity is changed (e.g. if the length of trench opening is updated, then end of pipe laying gets updated as well).
  • Speed synchronization:
    2 Processes work parallel and have the same speed. TILOS makes sure, that if the speed of master activity is changed, all others also get changed.
  • Meeting point:
    If two teams work at the same work package but from the different side with different speed. TILOS calculates the meeting point automatically by setting an end-end-link.

Learn More on Tilos Software & the Linear Scheduling & Project Planning Capabilities Available

If you would like more information on Tilos Software and how it could assist your operations in its use of the linear scheduling method, with features such as linear project planning and a time chainage diagram, please do not hesitate to contact us at Delta Solutions. We can be reached by calling +61 7 39 111 066, sending an email to info@deltasol.com.au, or by leaving your details on our online enquiry form, and we will get back to you with the information you require as soon as possible.