FASTER, EASIER & MORE PROFITABLE
Linear Scheduling The Easy Way
Simply put, TILOS makes planning and executing your linear project faster, easier and more profitable. TILOS linear planning software is used by the globe’s leaders in infrastructure planning & construction.
4 out of 5 global leaders in linear infrastructure construction trust TILOS linear scheduling software.
A favourite of leading infrastructure companies across the globe, TILOS linear scheduling software gives project planning managers, contractors, and project owners the ability to create and execute a reliable, comprehensive and easy-to-communicate linear project plan.
TILOS software was developed specifically to address the unique challenges of linear projects such as roads, railway, pipeline, bridges for professionals in the construction, engineering and energy sectors.
Gantt / Timeline View
Project Planning / Scheduling
Reporting / Project Tracking
Time & Expense Tracking
Video & SCREENSHOTS
Why Use TILOS?
Frequently Asked Questions
TILOS tech specifications
TILOS technical specifications, languages & integrations.
TILOS 11 System Requirements
Tilos 11.0 Hardware Requirements are the same for a hard disk drive (HDD) and a solid state drive (SSD).
● Dual-core processor
● 1 GB RAM
● 2 GB free hard disk space
● Screen resolution (at 100% font size)
○ QVGA 1280×960 (4:3) ○ WXGA 1280×800 (16:10) Recommended
● Quad-core processor, such as Intel Core i5
● 4 GB RAM
● 2 GB free hard disk space
● Screen resolution (at 100% font size)
Full HD 1920×1080 (16:10)
Tilos is tested on the following operating systems (Professional, Enterprise, and Ultimate editions).
Tilos will run also on Windows Home Edition, but it is not recommended. Tilos is not supported on Windows Mobile OS. Client
● Windows 8 Professional (32-bit/64-bit)
● Windows 10 Professional (32-bit/64-bit) File server For file storage, any resource that is visible in Windows is fine.
● Windows 2012 Server (64-bit)
● Windows 2016 Server (64-bit)
● Most SAN or NAS equipment
● Windows 2019 Server (64-bit) For Terminal Server usage requirements, contact the Technical Hotline listed below. Integrations & Compatibility: (If the program is backward compatible.)
● Microsoft Project (Standard and Professional editions) version 2016
● Oracle Primavera P6 with Primavera-XML-Exchange files versions 7 and 8
● ASTA Powerproject versions 14 and 15Reaching Sales, Support, and Community
What is the linear scheduling method?
The Linear Scheduling Method is a graphical scheduling method that focuses on continuous use of resources, in a repetitive manner, along both a time and a distance axis, along the optimal Right of Way (ROW.)
The graphical representation of the linear scheduling method is often called a Time-Distance diagram
Depending on the country, language and culture, you may use a different name for the linear scheduling method.
Some of the popular terms that have been adopted to refer to what is now known as the linear scheduling method are:
Time Distance Diagram
Time Location Diagram
Time Chainage Plans
Flowline or flow line
Repetitive scheduling method
Vertical production method
Time-location matrix model
Time space scheduling method
Horizontal and vertical logic scheduling for multistory projects
Horizontal and vertical scheduling
Multiple repetitive construction process
Time versus distance diagrams (T-D charts)
Linear balance charts
Project management and the linear scheduling method
Project planning & scheduling managers, construction managers and project managers at construction, engineering and project owner companies have found the linear scheduling method to be the most effective way to create and execute an infrastructure project plan.
Linear infrastructure construction project managers such as those on highway and road projects, pipeline projects, railway projects and even power line infrastructure most benefit from the emphasis on continuous use of resources in a repetitive fashion.
What makes the linear scheduling method different than other location-based scheduling methods?
What’s unique about the linear scheduling method is that the rate of progress of each crew is critical and evaluated to ensure adequate spacing between activities in maintained.
If crews cross over because the work rate of the successor crew is greater than the predecessor, then a clash occurs. The Linear Scheduling method makes it possible to identify clashes so that work rates, lag time between crews or distances between crews can be adjusted to eliminate clashes.
The overall progress or sequence of activities is of a lesser concern than optimising the productivity rates to minimise the total time.
Additionally, the graphical element of the linear scheduling method is beneficial as it provides a visual resource which communicates both the macro perspective of the entirety of project, as well as the micro view – specifics like what work has been done where.
The evolution of the linear scheduling method
The beginnings of the linear scheduling method have been traced back as far as the 1800’s, used by characters as famous as Napoleon.
(According to the book entitled, The Command And Control Of The Grand Armée: Napoleon As Organizational Designer by Lieut. Norman L. Durham, Napoleon was strategising based on Time & Distance calculations.)
In Napoleon’s case, his time distance plans would have been hand drawn. With the advent of the computing age, linear project planners have used a multitude of methods that have become more and more effective at addressing the specific challenges associated with linear projects.
Automating the linear scheduling method
TILOS is the Globe’s leading linear scheduling software.
Preferred by international leaders in infrastructure planning and construction, TILOS provides reliable & complete linear project schedules. By automating complex calculations required to optimise the linear project plan, TILOS quickly pays for itself.
Microsoft Excel & CAD Tools disadvantages
Project management charts like GANTT charts, bar charts or network diagrams can be hand-drawn, or quickly and easily created using tools like CAD or Microsoft Excel.
Easy to create – impossible to keep current
While appealing due to the lack of substantial up-front investment, and the fact that even junior staff members can create these project management charts, the hidden cost of using these traditional project management tools become apparent as soon as there is a change to the linear project plan.
As soon as there is a change to the linear plan due to weather or other constraints, pages and pages of GANTT charts must be amended and recreated.
(and usually the new charts are ready just in time for another change to the plan.)
Progress against the baseline is difficult to determine
When it comes to reporting specifics on progress or delays, GANTT charts simply don’t have the ability to show exactly what work has been done, where along the ROW.
(Often, documenting progress against the linear project baseline is left to the field construction manager to perform manually.)
Complicated and confusing project planning meetings
Using GANTT, network diagrams and bar charts makes it almost impossible to communicate the progress of a linear project to team members and contractors. Field personnel need to know where they have worked and where they will work next. This is not possible with a Gantt based CPM tool.
Communication is key in project planning meetings to manage construction challenges along a ROW. Communicating and presenting to key stakeholders become especially challenging when a concise summary of the progress of the project is expected, along with detailed information on delays or events that may compromise the project’s schedule and budget. A time-distance plan effectively communicates where work has occurred, where work rates have been impacted by field conditions and are easily understood by key stakeholders.
As a project management method for complex linear infrastructure projects, using CAD or Microsoft Excel to produce GANTT charts, Bar Charts or Network diagrams is highly ineffective and a drain on resources while failing to produce complete or up-to date information that can be understood by all parties involved.
Line Of Balance Method advantages
The Line of Balance Project Management Method (also known as the Vertical Production Method) is another common project management methodology used to plan repetitive work such as constructing multiple dwelling units.
When used for linear infrastructure projects like roads, railways and pipelines, this project management technique is more accurately called the linear scheduling method.
The linear scheduling method is also referred to by its output, a Time Location or Time Distance chart.
Examples of TILOS project plans
- An example of a powerline project plan created with TILOS: 200 km of overhead Power Lines across a mountainous Scottish area.
- An example of a bridge project plan created with TILOS: The Höckler bridge in Switzerland was one of the bridges where TILOS was used to show the work not only as a Gantt chart, but also as a time distance diagram. The drawing was imported from the CAD system as a WMF file. To connect the curved bridge with the straight distance axis, connector lines were added.
- The Brenner Base Tunnel is a 55-kilometre (34 mi) long railway tunnel through the base of the Eastern Alps beneath the Brenner Pass. In total it’s about 220 km of tunnel drilling. The travel time from Innsbruck to Bolzano will be reduced from 2 hours to 50 minutes. Scheduled opening is 2026. Expected cost including risk: 8.5 Billion Euro / 11 Billion USD
- An example of a Railway Project Plan created with TILOS:
- An example of a highway project plan created with TILOS.
TILOS is Compatible With The Tools You Use. TILOS Integrations & Compatibility:
Compatible to Powerproject Versions 10, 11, 12 and 13
Compatible to Versions 2003 (no calendars), 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016
Oracle Primavera P6:
Compatible with Primavera-XML-Exchange files from Version 7 or newer.
Data can also be imported into TILOS via Excel Sheet and CAD Drawings.
Other linear project management methodologies
Some of the more traditional scheduling methods that have predated the linear planning method include:
The Bar or GANTT Chart:
Developed by Henry Gantt during World War One, the bar or Gantt chart can be quickly drawn by hand or developed in most common computer programs, such as Excel, PowerPoint etc.
The bar or gantt chart does creates a visual project plan, but doesn’t contain or communicate all the information and variables needed to optimize for continuous resource usage along a ROW.
Critical Path Method (CPM Schedule):
The CPM Schedule, or Critical Path Method was developed in 1957 specifically for projects that are broken down into a complex series of chronologically discrete activities that are logically connected in a sequence from project start to finish.
While the Critical Path Method or CPM is a powerful method, it is not ideal for linear project planning and scheduling, as it does not have the ability to communicate the specifics of what work is done where.
Line Of Balance Method:
The Line of Balance Method differs from the Linear Scheduling Method in one critical way.
The Line of Balance method, as well as the Vertical Production Method are both considered “point based” where the Linear Scheduling Method is “alignment based” as it relates to the ROW.
In fact, the Line of Balance Method was developed by the U.S. Navy in the 1950’s specifically to optimise the production of units in an assembly plant and has been adapted to schedule multi-unit housing projects.
Advantages of the linear scheduling method
By optimising for the of continuous use of resources, the project plan and schedule can be rendered more effective – doing more work in less time. And where productivity is optimised, work schedules are reduced and profits are maximised.
A Project Management System For Linear Projects
The key component of the linear scheduling method is the creation of the project management chart known as a march chart or Time Distance chart to display the project in two dimensions: time and distance.
Instead of trying to convey a time-distance project in one dimension, March charts are specifically designed for projects where time and distance are the two main components that need to be accounted for.
The number of resources required to build and manage a Time Distance is a small fraction of the number needed to develop a CPM Schedule to the same level of detail.
The benefits of the linear scheduling method for your project:
Complete and accurate baseline versus execution information.
March charts enable project planners to integrate the schedule with the physical site data and logistical constraints.
Instead of creating and presenting the plan as a series of Gantt bars, this approach allows the planner to integrate and print as much detail as required about the schedule on a single page. This detail can include elevation profiles, land acquisition, spend curves, geotech data, environmental windows, crossings and crew movement and direction of travel along the ROW.
Anticipate Issues and Optimise The Plan
In its most basic form, march charts show each crew represented by a different shape or line type, colour or shape. Usually distance along the ROW is horizontal and increases from the left to the right. Time is typically represented vertically, increasing from bottom to top. The advantage of a march chart for linear projects is immediately obvious as you can determine the location of each crew at any particular point in time.
Any issues associated with crew productivity rates are also readily apparent.
A march chart can be further enhanced by adding additional layers to the plan. You can display any other critical element of your project, such as Right of Way Restrictions, Weather Issues and more.
Accelerate The Schedule
From the unique perspective of viewing the entire scope in one view, not only are potential risks obvious, but opportunities to accelerate the schedule become readily apparent.
Equipment sequencing and crew productivity rates can then be modified to reduce inefficiencies and speed up the project as a whole.
Easy to understand, communicate and present the plan.
Global leaders know that using a Time Location Diagram or March Chart is by far the best way to plan, optimise, modify and execute a complex linear infrastructure project because it displays the entirety of the project scope in just one view.
Automate Time Distance Charts with TILOS software
March charts can also be hand-drawn or developed in CAD, however manually created Time Distance diagrams will still be easily outdated. Many planners prefer to use automated linear scheduling software tools like TILOS.
TILOS helps linear project planners to:
Identify equipment and activity clashes in the schedule.
Optimise the schedule to ensure continual use of resources and reduce time in field.
Plan mass haulage (one of the biggest cost drivers for linear projects)
Present and communicate the project’s complexities to various parties including stakeholders, contractors, junior engineers and owner companies.
The downside of GANTT charts
A comparison of traditional project management methodologies vs the linear scheduling method.
Whether the project management tool you choose is Microsoft Excel, CAD or more robust and specialised tools like Primavera or Microsoft Project, the end result is that your linear project plan remains a GANTT chart with no connection to where you are working on the ROW.
Using Time Distance charts versus GANTT Charts on linear projects is often the difference between being able to easily identify trends and issues in certain sections or a project plan that lacks clarity and visibility to the Project Team.
GANTT charts are:
They do not show what progress has happened where along the ROW.
They estimate a constant rate of productivity in fluctuating conditions.
They produce a large amount of paperwork, yet fail to clearly convey the scope.
Difficult to change
They do not incorporate equipment move arounds or other realities of linear projects.
The CPM Schedule downsides
Project Management Systems such as Primavera or MS Project are often used to create a Critical Path Method or CPM schedule for a linear project.
The planner creates a series of discrete activities and then logically connects these activities. Resources can be added to each schedule activity and resource loading can be easily displayed. In order to maintain crew sequencing in a linear-type project, the planner ensures that each activity is connected to its successor by a Start-Start and a Finish-Finish relationship.
These project management tools also produce a GANTT chart. This GANTT chart will then display a graphical representation of the project sequence, and the plan will progress from this baseline.
CPM Schedules may produce an inaccurate baseline
Project management tools such as Primavera or MS. Project automatically plan the project based on the CPM schedule and can be updated more easily than manually updating a GANTT Chart or CAD Drawing. However, they still present issues that threaten the timely completion of a complex linear infrastructure project.
Most estimates and CPM schedules assume a consistent productivity (or work) rate for each crew along the ROW. This productivity factor is then applied for the entire length of the ROW to determine the duration of each crew.
However applying a consistent productivity rate to a crew doesn’t account for changes in profile, terrain, amount of mass haulage required based on ROW elevation, weather changes and many other factors that impact the productivity rate of a crew.
Because of the high likelihood of an inaccurate productivity rate CPM schedules, they simply do not completely or accurately convey the baseline project schedule.
ROW challenges using CPM Schedules are difficult to represent
In cases where the right of way (ROW) access may be interrupted during particular times due to weather, crossings, permitting or other factors external to simple resource allocation, the CPM Schedule as a project management methodology lacks a simple way to easily modify the plan.
Equipment move-arounds then become difficult and clashes become harder to prevent, and almost impossible to proactively manage before construction starts.
Where are we with this project?
For project planning managers, the ability to accurately answer this question and plan for the next section is critical.
And while the typical CPM schedule progress report may show that a crew is 45% complete, it assumes the progress is from start to finish and does not connect completion with the physical ROW. A CPM Schedule does not show exactly where the work has been done and where it is yet to be done.
This approach often causes problems for construction managers.
Linear projects by nature, don’t often progress in a sequential fashion. Equipment move-arounds are standard procedure and it’s necessary to ensure crews are adequately spaced apart.
Planning meetings are still confusing:
While the CPM Schedule sounds like a good project management method for scheduling linear projects, in reality the CPM Schedule only tells half the story of a linear project.
Developed in 1957 specifically for projects that are broken down into a complex series of chronologically discrete activities that are logically connected in a sequence from project start to finish, the Critical Path Method is better suited for the construction of buildings and other facilities (power generating stations, refineries, etc.) and are not adequate for the constructability issues and demands of building linear project such as a pipeline, rail system or roadway.
As a project management method for complex linear infrastructure projects, using the Critical Path Method to produce GANTT charts is highly ineffective and a drain on resources while failing to produce complete or up-to date information that can be understood by all parties involved.
Video: Linear scheduling for civil projects
Use of Linear Scheduling with Civil Infrastructure Projects to Enhance Project Value & Reduce Risk
Linear scheduling methodology (LSM) involves the use of distance / location data in addition to the time information in planning repetitive construction sequencing for infrastructure projects. This methodology, derived from the Line of Balance (LOB) planning methodology developed by the US Navy in the 1950’s, is widely used globally. To date, distance-based planning has been effectively used for road, rail, tunnel, bridge, dam rehabilitation, pipeline, and power distribution projects in North America.
The application of LSM in infrastructure projects allows for the optimization of the execution plan and subsequent reduction of scheduled time in-field with the resultant decrease in costs. LSM is also used for claims analysis to understand and clearly present project delays, as well as risk analysis to assess mitigation opportunities.
This presentation will provide an overview of the methodology and review the application of linear planning in infrastructure projects to effectively identify risk, optimise time in-field, and reduce overall cost.
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