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TILOS: The project leader of infrastructure projects

Read this story in Norwegian.

Linear Project is one of several leading technology companies that have become part of Trimble in recent years. The German firm has much in common with Vianova Systems – something in particular Nordic infrastructure customers now can take stronger advantage of.

Like Vianova Systems, also Linear Project became a Trimble company in 2015. Linear Project is not a big enterprise, but the company´s product, TILOS enables worldwide customers to plan and schedule large infrastructure projects in a most effective way. Going forward also Vianova Systems will sell TILOS, together with its own BIM solution.

With only a few employees, an outsourced programming staff in Poland, and an extensive network of distribution partners, Linear Project today markets and sells its specialized planning software on all continents.

Planning pioneer

TILOS – which is short for Time Location System – is a unique time-location-based planning system designed specifically for the planning of linear construction projects, typically transport infrastructure projects. The system is therefore particularly suitable for planning construction projects such as roads, railways, tunnels, water and sewage, pipelines and the like – the same type of projects that NovapointDCM and QuadriDCM are made for.

Another similarity Linear Project shares with Vianova Systems is pioneering. Also the German firm is a pioneer in its field, and has during 25 years built up a large customer base worldwide.

 “We started off selling an English project management system in the early nineties”, explains Hübert Geier, one of the founders of the company and the system architect behind TILOS. Geier visited Vianova Systems in Oslo recently to conduct training of the system, and to discuss the new business opportunities more in detail.

“Many of our first customers however soon requested if we could deliver time-location diagrams as a function in the tool. The technique is totally different from traditional GANTT and network diagrams, and following a market assessment we conducted we discovered that there existed no tool of this kind on the market.”

Graphical planning

“One of the reasons we thereafter developed TILOS was that we wanted an interactive graphical system where the planner him/herself can outline the project schedule as a drawing. A system that makes it possible to plan in a natural and intuitive way by drawing the plan directly on the screen, instead of writing long activity lists”, explains Hübert Geier.

This involves a fully graphical interface for planning time-distance charts, including having full support for the critical path technique.

“Because the technique was well known in the market and there were no other supplier who had implemented it, TILOS was well received by the customers. TILOS was the first tool of its kind.”

Strengthens BIM projects

“With the rapid development of BIM in the transport infrastructure area, and especially in the Nordic countries, it is very stimulating to be part of Trimble and work with Vianova Systems that is leading this field. Through our joint marketing channels in Trimble, we strongly believe that Vianova Systems will create even better opportunities for their customers with TILOS.”

“Even if a project already is using a project management system, it will actually still be useful to adopt TILOS to get the graphical visualization”, says Hübert Geier. “TILOS can import the results of existing plans, including locations and quantities, and create a visual and even more detailed plan, which dynamically changes as conditions change. In this way you can plan and manage activities much more effectively and gain full control of costs and resources.”

TILOS' ability to integrate with leading project management systems such as Primavera and MS Project has proven to be of great value to customers. Both of the “standard” systems use traditional GANTT and network diagrams, and do not provide a visual connection between the project plan and the project itself.

Saves time and money

“Our strength is the time-distance chart that creates a visual link between the plan and what is being built at the construction site. You get everything on one sheet, a much more effective way to work from. In the graphical diagram you also easily see task dependencies and constraints in the construction process, and you can easily see if there is overlap or conflict between activities. Consequently also minimizing scheduling mistakes and deficiencies.”

“In other words we have a unique sales position with TILOS. No one else do it this way. The end result for the customer is reduced planning time, improved quality, and time and money saved.”

“The customer gets a quick return on investment”, concludes Hübert Geier, who is delighted that Vianova Systems Group now also takes responsibility for selling TILOS.