On Time Systems' team of world class scientists, mathematicians and technologists have developed an extraordinary collection of proprietary algorithms, methods and trade secrets. When combined with conventional and innovative scientific techniques the result is unsurpassed optimization. These are at the core of all OTS products.
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Traditional project scheduling systems such as Primavera, Microsoft Project, Artemis and SAP, rely upon makespan minimization techniques to develop schedules. Makespan minimization attempts to schedule tasks as early as possible, subject to constraints and resource availability. This approach relies on the flawed logic that it is never wrong to get work done early and that a shorter schedule is always more efficient. In complex scenarios, such as ship building, makespan minimization does not create optimal schedules, and human project managers and schedulers end up spending considerable time and effort adjusting and modifying projects to improve them. However, the overwhelming number and complexity of relationships make it is practically impossible to manually create a highly efficient and optimized schedule.
OTS tackles these problems with a dramatically different approach. We have developed state of the art nonsystematic techniques such as squeaky wheel optimization to achieve unparalleled optimization. The results delivered by ARGOS have never before been possible and cannot be obtained with any other technology. ARGOS optimization typically produces schedules that exhibit a 10% reduction in construction labor costs when compared with those in use in the yards today. These savings are achieved without changing the fundamental production process or shipyard facility in any way.
OTS specializes in search-based optimization technologies. These techniques make it possible to extract optimal or near-optimal solutions from decision spaces so large that they are impossible to search exhaustively. To achieve this, the optimizer must be able to do three things: recognize when a solution is good (or better than another), avoid regions that are unlikely to contain good solutions, and avoid becoming trapped in dead ends. Different types of problems require different approaches to each of these, resulting in fundamentally different search mechanisms. OTS excels at developing and exploiting such mechanisms.
Through in-house development and exclusive licenses, OTS controls a number of key optimization technologies either by patent or trade secret protection. Protected technologies include: Limited Discrepancy Search (LDS), Squeaky Wheel Optimization (SWO), and the optimization algorithm used by ARGOS.
WARP is an optimizing aircraft route planning engine that is deployed as the core of the Advanced Computer Flight Planner (ACFP) route planning system in operation at the U.S. Air Force’s Air Mobility Command. ACFP is used to route cargo aircraft worldwide in addition to mid-air refuelling operations. WARP uses sophisticated search techniques to produce routes that minimize the burn of fuel while satisfying all other flight constraints. The routing process factors in the effects of weather, aircraft performance, and airspace restrictions. WARP can also determine the optimal fuel load required to accomplish a mission and/or the maximum payload that can be carried.
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DWARP builds on the WARP optimizing aircraft router developed by OTS for the U.S. Air Force’s Air Mobility Command. DWARP allows many mission routings to be jointly optimized taking into account the limited availability of resources such as airspace clearances, aircraft parking space, and time, resulting in a minimum-cost/maximum-value overall assignment of resources.
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In addition to shipyards, the schedule optimization technologies in ARGOS are applicable to any industry or organization that does critical path scheduling. Labor savings of around 10% have been shown for schedules used in industries as diverse as aircraft maintenance and oil refinery maintenance. Millions of dollars can be saved by using ARGOS to deploy workforces and utilize resources effectively.