The ARGOS Optimization Suite
The ARGOS Optimization Suite is a set of applications built upon
OTS proprietary optimization technology that provide dramatically
improved schedules for major construction projects including
shipbuilding, fleet maintenance, and refinery turnarounds.
ARGOS is the only scheduling system that
directly targets efficiency of resource usage as its optimization
The Need for ARGOS
Shipbuilding and similar labor-intensive industries requires
relatively skilled and expensive labor. For example, approximately 30%
of the cost of a new ship is labor, and existing scheduling systems
are not designed to improve the overall efficiency of labor
Billions of dollars are wasted annually in complex, large-scale
operations due to the limitations of existing planning and scheduling
methods. These methods are a combination of conventional wisdom,
experience, and software systems that are only capable of finding
a solution, without the ability to evaluate or find a
high-quality solution. Complex construction operations involve
thousands of decisions regarding task timing and resource utilization.
If these choices are well made, good outcomes can generally be
expected. If even a few are poorly made, however, the result may be
much worse than it might otherwise have been. The choices with which
we are presented typically interact in subtle ways that only become
apparent after many other choices have been made, so the best choices
can only be determined by exploring the various combinations of
decisions that are available.
The ARGOS Approach
OTS’ flagship optimization product: a schedule optimization tool
that is intended to work in tandem with project management and project
scheduling systems, improving labor efficiency in large-scale
construction and maintenance projects. ARGOS is the only scheduling
system that directly targets efficiency of resource usage (i.e.,
cost) as its optimization metric.
ARGOS relies on a fundamentally different algorithm than traditional
scheduling systems, which provides a variety of advantages. This
algorithm lets ARGOS balance numerous, possibly conflicting,
objectives instead of simply trying to minimize duration. The ability
to optimize for many different criteria simultaneously gives ARGOS
the flexibility to meet varying shipyard needs. In addition, ARGOS’
speed makes it possible to re-optimize in response to situational
changes and to develop new plans inside the production cycle, offering
shipyards and other industries the potential to recapture billions of
dollars currently “left on the floor” each year.
ARGOS can help
reduce labor costs by roughly 10% through better resource utilization
(less overtime and less idle time) in addition to improving the
chances that the schedule can be executed as designed and determining
the optimal workforce size to have available as a project progresses.