I came across many times the project team struggled to develop a good tracking tool to measure the project’s physical progress, and it couldn’t provide accurate feedback on the project team’s performance.  If you are a beginner and your project doesn’t have a system that can measure physical progress, you will have a hard time reporting the physical progress. As a result, the basis of earned value measurement will not be meaningful.

So, if you are trying to understand and implement how physical progress can be measured for equipment installation work, follow the steps below:

Step 1 – Identify Equipment List
Step 2 – Identify Equipment Installation Work Step and Milestone Progress
Step 3 – Build Equipment Erection Tracker Sheet/System
Step 4 – Develop Earned Progress Summary Sheet/System

STEP 1 – Identify Equipment List

The first task is identifying the equipment list when considering the construction progress measurement for mechanical equipment installation. You should be able to find the equipment list in the construction contract requisition or tender documents.

Why do you need to review the equipment list? Well, it should include the details of the equipment (e.g., weight, dimensions, etc.), which are helpful information for planning equipment installation.

The mechanical equipment erection work in the process industry will involve two major equipment categories – static and rotating.


The static equipment group includes the pressure vessel equipment such as drums, columns, reactors, and filters, and the heat exchanger type equipment: shell and tube heat exchangers, plate and frame, and air coolers). And the rotating machinery equipment includes the compressor, blower, pumps, turbine, engine, etc.


STEP 2 – Identify Equipment Installation Work Step and Milestone Progress

Regardless of the tools and system you use to implement the progress measurement, identifying the credit of physical work step completion – milestone progress (also called weight factor). It is a crucial step that you need to follow.

Use the following work steps and weight factor to establish the progress calculation sheet for equipment erection work to get you started with your project. But check with your team and client before you report and claim the progress.

# Static Equipment – Column & Vessel, Shell & Tue Heat Exchangers Installation
    • Chipping & Padding — 10% (if this is installed on the civil footing); this will not require if the equipment is installed on a steel structure.
    • Lifting & Rigging — 60%
    • Alignment —10%
    • Inspection — 10%
    • Grouting — 10%

# Package Equipment – Boiler Installation
    • Main Parts Installation (Main body, Economizer, Air Pre-heater, Stack — 55%
    • Stairway and ladder installation — 20%
    • Duct Installation (Including Damper) — 10%
    • Accessories (Fan, Silencer, Soot blower, Burner) Installation —10%
    • Punch Items — 5%
# Package Equipment – Demineralization Plant
    • Chipping & Padding — 10%
    • Lifting & Rigging — 70%
    • Levelling & grouting — 10%
    • Alignment for rotating equipment — 10% (e.g., pumps and blowers)
# Equipment access platforms/ladders

If you have already captured this in the structural steel installation progress, this should be optional in the equipment installation progress.

    • Assembly at the site — 40%
    • Installation — 55%
    • Punch Item — 5%
# Internal Installation work for Reactor
    • Preparation — 20%
    • Complete Installation — 75%
    • Complete Punch Item — 5%
# Tray Installation work for Column/Drum/Vessel
    • Preparation — 20%
    • Complete Installation — 75%
    • Complete Punch Item — 5%
# Air Fin Cooler/Air Cool Exchanger
    • Access platform installation — 20%
    • Tube Bundle Installation — 40%
    • Mechanical Part Installation — 30%
    • Final Alignment — 10%
# Pump/Compressor/Blower
    • Chipping & Padding — 5%
    • Lifting & Rigging — 40%
    • Levelling & Grouting — 15%
    • First Alignment — 30%
    • Final Alignment — 10%



Step 3 – Build Equipment Erection Tracker Sheet/System

Once you have identified the equipment list, their work steps, and weight factor, you are ready to build an equipment tracker sheet to measure the completion of physical progress.


    1. List the equipment tag number, project location, the work pack number, and the quantity (relevant weights)
    2. The installation work steps in the progress update section; that’s where you update the actual date information or 100% to record the progress.
    3. On the right side – in the progress calculation section, assign the formula to get the installation progress (in weight).

    1. Add another section of the equipment installation with different work steps and weight factors. For example, add the rotating equipment section as below.

Step 4 – Develop Earned Progress Summary Sheet/System

The earned progress summary calculates the earned progress, which integrates with the effort (budgeted hours required to complete the task) and the physical completion of the work, which comes from the equipment erection tracker. To build the progress summary,

    1. List the project information (equipment tag, description, work packages, work hours)
    2. Calculate the weighting: the work hour for each work package – (e.g., 150 hours for E02 – shell & tube exchanger) / total work hour of equipment erection scope.

    1. Populate the work step and weight factor (progress milestone)

    1. Assign the formula (e.g., VLOOKUP function) to pick the physical completion from the equipment erection tracker.
    2. Calculate the individual progress by multiplying the weight factor and physical progress and summing them up. You can achieve this quickly by using the SUMPRODUCT function.


    1. Calculate the overall progress of equipment: the individual progress x Weighting of that equipment.

    1. If you plan to report equipment erection progress by location (area), get the total hours, weighting, and the overall progress summary based on that location.This can be achieved by using the SUMIF function. Then, calculate the progress by the area: the overall progress (weight progress) of area-A (35.4%) / weighting (0.44) = 80%



In conclusion, this tutorial describes the progress measurement system for the static and rotating equipment using the respective work steps and weight factors. Of course, you could modify it by adding or changing work steps and weightings to suit your project needs.

Using the methodology used in this tutorial, you could even build the progress measurement system using in-house software or data visualisation tools – such as Power Bi, which will give you information about the progress and can analyse and track the status in detail. But the data is king, and if you get the idea, you will become a master in developing a progress measurement system.

Download the template here to learn more about the equipment installation progress measurement system.

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