Copenhagens “Nordhavnsvej” planned with TILOS

The biggest road project of the Copenhagen Municipality is currently under construction. The Nordhavnsvej is a link between Nordhavn and Helsingørmotorvejen. The new road will pass through densely populated areas and will also have to pass under two heavily frequented railway lines and major road intersection.

The consortium between Pihl & Son A.S. / Züblin AG is using TILOS for planning and controlling the overall site and to display and to communicate the processes and the logistic conditions, to those responsible for execution on  one hand and to the project owner on the other hand.

“TILOS is one of our most valuable and essential tools, that helps us displaying the key processes of the complex schedule with lots of different conditions and side-effects when building Nordhavnsvej.

Besides the scheduling possibilities the strength of TILOS is the display: It allows us to explain directions of activities and the effects of activities aside inclusive logistic and mass inspections. With that display we can explain the whole construction process much easier, than with other tools.

This means: Unlike to a Gantt chart diagrams the involved persons are really working with the TILOS schedule and accepting it.

Additionally we plan and control the costs of machine effort and material consumption for the most expensive processes. As we periodically update the plan, we have a very good view of the project, its development and future outlook.”

says Carsten Lehman, responsible for planning and controlling Nordhavnsvej.

At the moment one of the most important steps taking place at the site: In a four weeks full closure of one railway line the trench excavation for the road beneath the train lines has started. After these four weeks the railway line will resume its normal schedule – then based on steel bridges over the trench. Following this, the construction pit will be excavated up to 20m deep – under full rail traffic.

The picture is showing the current state of the site, highlighting the run of the planned underpass.



When is the crew arriving at a special location?

Mission: Display the date, that a crew/activity is arriving at a special station

Sample application: A pipeline crew is working along the ROW. When is the crew arriving at the river?


  • Create a milestone task at each station you like to have the arrival date/time
  • Link the line activity start/finish to each milestone
  • Select the link option “Calculate lag by Distance tu Successor with the lag value 0. This will force the milestone nearest to the line
  • Add annotations to the milestones and set up the with tokens:

Station: {Start.Distance.Estimate}m
Arriving: {Start.Date.Estimate}

Result after Reschedule:


  • The symbol of the milestones can be set in the tab display of the task
  • The size of the milestones can be set in the tab  display of the time-distance cell
  • Station List as a Gantt spreadsheet:


How to calculate the meeting point of two lineage tasks

Mission: Calculate and display where and when two tasks will meet, that are working towards each other.

Sample application: Meeting point calculation in Tunnel construction with two driving tasks.

– Both tasks are calculated by duration  (calculation by profile is possible)
– The Quantity is calculated by the task length


– Create a finish-finish link between those two tasks
– Change the link type to “Calculate meeting point”.
– Reschedule the project.



With the “Lag” value can be defined a waiting time:
– The first task has to be arrived at this station (First is defined with the direction of the link)
– then wait the Lag time
– Then the second tasks arrives



Data Exchange from CPM (Gantt-Chart) to Linear Schedule (TILOS)

TILOS is being used on many huge projects in combination with CPM based project management systems, in most cases Microsoft Project and Oracle Primavera. The initial demand from new users having planned without linear scheduling concepts in the past is: To convert the project into a linear schedule, display a time-distance-diagram (also named time location diagram).

As the projects data are rich, calendars, tasks, relationships, costs data and actuals, we recommend to use the xml based data exchange. It can exchange in both directions and opens the gate for parallel planning in different systems.

Supposing you are familiar with the program workflow how to data exchange, we concentrate here on specific options to optimize the exchange and the results:

For each of the discussed special cases, there is a sample template profile available along with the standard setup of TILOS. You can open the profiles with the profile editor.

How to set up the basic profile settings?

All profiles require:

This sample: Application 1 and Application 2 defines the programs that shout exchange data. The Checks on Calendars, tasks and Links define that these objects are transported from MS Project to TILOS.

How to get distance data into CPM schedule?

It is important to have attributes in the CPM System, that contain the placement of the tasks according to distance axis. As there is no dedicated data field for that, it need to be done based on user defined fields in the application.
In order to avoid conflicts with formats, we recommend to use a text field. This allows also to use special format like 400+00 or imperial formats like 4m 50y.
In the profile -> task Object the following settings are required and already set by default. If you use other fields, please change the Fieldname on the CPM Side (in this case: Text13 Text14 from MS Project)

During import TILOS interprets the string based on the current default display sets for the distance unit. If this is not the same as set in the CPM system, you need to change the unit before import to TILOS or set the import unit in the import parameters to a different one. Press the Button Edit right of Application 1 (TILOS) field and set up the Distance unit to apply.

How to convert sector based data into TILOS Station values?

Having no distance values in the CPM system, but sector names assigned to the schedule it is also possible to generate a location in TILOS:
In TILOS a sector table is required to match Sector name (from CPM) with coordinates.

In the CPM system you need a code assignment or text field with sector name as value (Sample: Text15). In the profile match this field with the sector name assigned in TILOS.

During import, TILOS will assign the task to the belonging sector, and displays this in tab coordinates. However, coordinates cannot be changed for that task until the sector assignment is released from the task.

How to get different colors and shapes in TILOS?

Each TILOS task refers to a task template defining color and line style. In General CPM a code library assignment or a text field contains the work type or other categories. This can be matched with TILOS templates and beginning from the first import there is a ready to display result in TILOS.

There are 2 possibilities:

How to map task template name with external data?

Use the task template name, if you have coded in the CPM system a single text field for the work type.

Using Primavera, you might link a code library. The sample matched the description of the code assignment with the TILOS field Task Template.

How to map task template ID with external data?

The TILOS template library is a structure and has UID created based on the structure level. This is the same logic Primavera uses.

In exchange profile, the template can also be transferred using the path of the code assignment to match with TILOS template.

How to transfer sub sets of data?

Considering, that the CPM schedule is huge with multi thousand tasks, it will overflow the time distance chart. We recommend to reduce the exchange data to a reasonable level, that should be displayed in TILOS.

MS-Project and ASTA Powerproject exchange the data based on VBA macros. Here only those tasks get exported, that are visible on screen in the current view applied. This means: Collapsed tasks get not exported. This enables to export only upper level activities and not the details. Similar things can be done with filter views.
Primavera exchanges the data in the Primavera API interface. Here you are able to set filters on those tasks that should be exchanged. We recommend to make a user defined field: ExportToTILOS, populate this in P6 with global change and use this field as export filter.
While MS Project allows on summary tasks, Primavera has more options: You may create task of type Level of effort and control they duration by incoming links from other tasks and export only those to TILOS. A further way is to define WBS summary tasks.

How to export code library assignments?

Additional structures can be transferred by using the TILOS categories.

This 3 types (categories, category entries, category assignments) checked also transfers the complete libraries to TILOS. See sample profile regarding setup.
In the API program filter for categories that should be exported. In that way you avoid to create big, needless data sets in TILOS.

How to export WBS code from Primavera to TILOS?

Version 8 has built in WBS code structure, so the transfer is fairly easy. In Version 7, the WBS structure is matched into a TILOS category. (Edit button right of Application 2 Primavera)

Export WBS as category: Checked option exports only WBS no code, if you want to transfer just the WBS as category library and no codes. Enter in WBS Category name the name of category library you want to assign in TILOS.
To exchange the category assignments itself, you need to exchange the category assignments also.

Primavera adds ProjectID ahead of WBS. There is option to add this during import and to remove during export.

How to exchange cost and resource data?

To exchange also cost and resource data, further options need to be applied.

There are further sample profiles with this options checked. The API program exports only those resourses, that are used on the projects.
The resource and cost assignments get simplified. Only total quantity and total cost get exchanged.

How to exchange progress information ?

To exchange progress further options need to be applied. Select in the profile editor the task attribute: Progress%.

Note, the progress can only bet transferred to tasks, that have progress model: Simple % (As CPM only reports simple %). In any other case this field gets calculated by TILOS and can’t be imported.

How to set the TASKID from CPM system in the TILOS tasks?

Each system has its own model to handle unique task ID’ s. Besides that, TILOS also has a field called GUID, that allows tasks to keep its TILOS ID and maintain the exchange ID in a further field. The GUID was invented to have a global unique ID for tasks that are exchanged between different applications, especially if multiple applications share the data exchange.

Settings for data exchange to use application ID as ID:

Application Parameter Setting
TILOS Taskidentifier TaskID
Primavera Use Global UID
as Task Identifier
ASTA Generate task ID by Unique TaskID
MS Project Always a GUID is created.


Settings for data exchange to use application GUID as ID

Application Parameter Setting
TILOS Taskidentifier GUID
Primavera Use Global UID
as Task Identifier
ASTA Generate task ID by Generate on
MS Project Always a GUID is created.

Any other combination we do not recommend.


Linear project welcomes Dr. Heiko Trogisch as new trainer and consultant

Linear project is pleased to introduce Dr. Heiko Trogisch as a new member of Linear project. He is a civil engineer with specialization in traffic route engineering and has been working on different railway projects in the past.

As the new section manager for railway he is developing new rail solutions and caring on our customers in railway branch. His further responsibilities are training and consulting, especially in railway environment.

We wish Heiko Good Luck in his new job.


Thames Water chooses TILOS for time-location planning of Thames Tunnel Megaproject

The Thames Tunnel Sewer is a major new sewer, urgently needed to protect the River Thames from increasing pollution. The project will upgrade London’s Victorian sewerage system to cope with the demands of 21st Century London.

Starting in west London, the preferred route for the main tunnel generally follows the route of the River Thames to Limehouse, where it then continues north-east to Abbey Mills Pumping Station near Stratford. There it will be connected to the Lee Tunnel, which is currently under construction, and will transfer the sewage to Beckton Sewage Treatment Works.

The Thames Tunnel is proposed to be 7.2 metres in diameter, about 67 metres deep and covering a distance of approximately 25 kilometres – making it one of the largest and deepest tunnels under London. Planning and design of such a tunnel brings large and complex challenges, and because the nature of the project is linear, Thames Water needed a time-location planning tool to provide a graphical visualisation of the project plan.

Channi Matharu, Planning and Scheduling Manager for the Thames Tunnel, started to look at linear planning software that would allow him to validate the schedule and have good presentation capability. After reviewing available systems for functionality and ease of use, the project team chose Linear project’s graphical time-location planning tool, TILOS, for its flexible drawing software and scheduling ability.

“We needed a tool that would extract the very detailed information out of our planning software and give us a visual representation that would reflect the scale of the project. We looked at a range of linear planning software tools, and following a demonstration by Asta Development we chose TILOS. TILOS can condense 60 pages worth of crucial information into one page. We need that level of detail presented as efficiently as possible,” said Channi.

TILOS is a very powerful tool

There are many challenges to consider when planning such engineering projects, many of which will not be visible or manageable when using CAD and Excel software tools. Unlike these systems, TILOS provides a graphical visualisation of the project plan with the project location.

The process involves preparation of the project programme in P6, checking it through for logic and consistency; it is then exported to TILOS. TILOS verifies whether the logic is right – whether the tunnels join in the right places, whether they are continuous and so on.

The data is displayed in picture format to the project team. This illustration of the critical path helps ensure, for example, that the construction of the shaft will be complete before the TBM is ready to begin boring the tunnel at the site. A picture shows this more clearly compared with conventional planning software. All the constraints are highlighted and any anomalies can be put right and re-exported.

Clarity of information means good communication

TILOS allows the team to identify and extract just the right amount of information and exports the detail needed.

 “Using TILOS means the whole team has visibility of the plan – they find it easier to follow than a bar graph. In TILOS an object relates to a physical representation, whether it is a shaft or a tunnel,” continued Channi.

“TILOS is making our lives easier. It helps us to sort out any issues of logic before they become a problem. It also allows us to communicate clearly to all teams involved exactly what we are aiming to do and is a good tool to demonstrate to all stakeholders what we are going to deliver.”

Channi and the team members who use TILOS have found that it gives exactly the output they need. Its success means that the team is keen to implement TILOS in a much wider community.

“My goal is to have my full team trained on TILOS and using it going forward. We showed it to the wider project team, and thanks to its strong presentation capability, it will be used for the duration of this project.”

This proposed engineering megaproject will be presented for planning consent in late 2012, with construction beginning in 2016 for a period of 6 to 7 years. The Thames Tunnel will upgrade London’s Victorian sewerage system to cope with the demands of 21st Century London and will tackle the problem of overflows for at least the next 100 years, enabling the UK to meet European environmental standards. TILOS will be instrumental in making this great project happen.

(With permission from our UK partner ASTA development plc.)