Calculations and Data Analysis for Engineers

Course Id:  MES1200   |   Duration:  3.00 day(s)   |   CEUs Awarded:  2.1   |   Level:  Introductory

Course Objective

This course is designed for plant engineers who need to make decisions based on the process data stored in Aspen InfoPlus.21. The course covers the tools that are essential to build and execute calculations on the data, analyze historical data, configure Key Performance Indicators (KPI's) to monitor unit performance and retrieve plant data into Microsoft Excel using the Aspen Process Data add-in for Excel.

Course Overview

  • After taking this course, students will be able to:
  • Create and schedule calculations integrated with Aspen InfoPlus.21 using Aspen Calc
  • Incorporate standard functions into a calculation, create new formulas and manage calculation libraries using Aspen Calc
  • Query and analyze process data from Aspen InfoPlus.21's HISTORY and AGGREGATES tables using Aspen SQLplus
  • Configure Key Performance Indicators (KPI's) to analyze plant or unit performance against predetermined standards
  • Retrieve data from Aspen InfoPlus.21 into Microsoft Excel using the Aspen Process Data add-in for Excel


  • Build simple and complex calculations, integrated with Aspen InfoPlus.21, without the need for programming languages
  • Support operational excellence initiatives through use of Aspen Calc; included with Aspen InfoPlus.21, which is a wizard-driven, scalable calculation engine that aids users in advanced Analysis and Intelligent Decision Support


  • Plant engineers who need to make decisions based on process data stored in Aspen InfoPlus.21
  • End users who need to quickly build small applications involving calculations within Aspen InfoPlus.21 database
  • Advanced users who need to integrate complex calculations external to Aspen InfoPlus.21 into the InfoPlus.21 environment


  • This course utilizes the primary tools for calculations and data analysis needed by process engineers to analyze plant data
  • Although the course does not assume any prior experience with Aspen InfoPlus.21, those attendees that already have a working familiarity with the product will benefit by discovering how calculations are integrated into InfoPlus.21 database processing
  • Short lecture sessions focused on concepts and terminology
  • Structured hands-on lab exercises that promote lasting learning experiences


  • Some understanding of InfoPlus.21 database structure:
  • Attendance of MES122 Aspen Process Explorer: Using and Configuring

Subsequent Courses

  • MES231 Aspen Real-Time SPC: Using and Configuring (recommended for users interested in statistical data monitoring)
  • MES311 Aspen InfoPlus.21: Applications Development (recommended for users who will create custom database records)

Class Schedule

Class Agenda

MES1200: Calculations and Data Analysis for Engineers

Creating a New Calculation

  • Identify and explain Aspen Calc capabilities and show the access and navigation within the graphical user interface
  • Review the data entry requirements for creating a calculation and discuss the different calculation methods available
  • Workshop: Use CalcScript to calculate the average value of raw material tanks in a simulation.

Activation Methods
  • Describe how to execute a calculation on a scheduled basis
  • Show how to use the interval and periodic schedule groups
  • Show how to use an event driven execution
  • Workshop: Execute a calculation on a scheduled basis. Create a new schedule group. Execute a calculation on a trigger basis

  • Identify and explain the role of Formulas and how the work
  • Show how to create and store formulas
  • Use a new formula in a calculation
  • Use a pre-defined function within a calculation
  • Create a new Function and use it in a calculation
  • Workshop: Create a new calculation that uses a formula to calculate the minimum value of a tag over a specific time range.

Calculation Types
  • Review how to create calculations using Excel
  • Review how to create calculations using VBScript
  • Workshop: Create a new calculation using an Excel spreadsheet as the calculation type

On Demand Calculations
  • Review different types of On Demand calculations; Ad Hoc, Stored and Shared
  • Review how to create an ADSA Data Source to be used with Stored calculations
  • Show examples of how to use On Demand calculations in client applications such as Aspen Process Explorer and Aspen Web.21
  • Workshop Create an Ad Hoc calculation in Aspen Process Explorer.
  • Workshop: Create an Ad Hoc calculation that uses in IF statement

Other Features
  • Review how to view reports.
  • Review Engineering Units and Types
  • Review Engineering Units conversion
  • Workshop: Complete the lab exercise to:
  • View AspenCalc reports
  • View a calculation as an XML file
  • Create a new Engineering Unit Type and Engineering Unit¬†

Creating Multiple Calculations
  • Review how to create multiple calculations at the same time.
  • Workshop: Create calculation using the Excel spreadsheet provided.

Introduction to Aspen KPI Builder
  • Identify and explain the business case for using Aspen KPI Builder
  • ¬†Introduce the concepts associated with Aspen KPI Builder
  • Discuss how Aspen KPI Builder can be integrated with other Aspen Plant Operations applications
  • Show how to view and use KPIs within Aspen Process Explorer

KPI Wizard
  • Identify and explain the KPI Wizard to build KPIs
  • Workshop: Create several KPI tags using the KPI Wizard.

KPI Properties
  • Explain how to view and modify KPI properties
  • Workshop: Reconfigure the KPI tags using the KPI Properties dialog.

KPIDef Record
  • Provide an overview of the KPI Records using the Aspen InfoPlus.21 Administrator
  • Workshop: Become familiar with the structure of KPIDef records using the Aspen InfoPlus.21 Administrator. Use an Aspen Calc calculation and a Aspen SQLplus Stored Procedure as alternate sources for the KPI and Target Values

Aspen Process Explorer Excel Add-Ins
  • Identify and explain the advantages of using Excel add-in features
  • Show how to setup the initial configuration to link Excel to the Aspen add-in
  • Demonstrate the ability of the add-in to retrieve attributes and current values from the Aspen InfoPlus.21 database.
  • Demonstrate how to use cell references within Excel
  • Workshop: Retrieve attributes and current values from the Aspen InfoPlus.21 database
  • Demonstrate how to retrieve historical data, Filtering the data and using the Timeline to cause the sheet to refresh
  • Workshop: retrieve historical data, Filter data and use the Timeline to refresh the sheet

What is Aspen SQLplus
  • Identify various features of Aspen SQLplus and the potential benefits of these features
  • Interpret the Aspen Process Information database as a relational database so that SQL can be applied to it

Select Statements
  • Use the Aspen SQLplus Query Writer to create and execute queries
  • Apply the syntax of a SELECT statement to query the Aspen database
  • Sort data from a query using the ORDER BY
  • Workshop: Use the Aspen SQLplus editor to construct simple queries with the SELECT statement and become familiar with the Query Editor.

The WHERE Clause
  • Learn how to filter data using the WHERE clause with examples of the following
  • logical and comparison operators
  • character and timestamp constants
  • Know which criteria to use to restrict results
  • Learn the order of precedence when using Logical Operators
  • Introduce Wildcards and show how they can be used in queries
  • Workshop: Use a WHERE clause to restrict output from the database using various techniques.

SELECT Revisited
  • Create queries that use arithmetic functions, expressions, and apply the rules that govern their use
  • Perform data conversion as performed by Aspen InfoPlus.21
  • Use Pseudo Columns and Pseudo Tables to access system-type data from the Aspen InfoPlus.21 database
  • Workshop: Use arithmetic functions, expressions, and Pseudo columns to enhance the SELECT statement.

SET (Group) Functions
  • Create queries that use SET (Group) Functions effectively
  • Create subsets using the GROUP BY clause
  • Restrict the output with a HAVING clause and comparing with use of WHERE
  • Create cross-tabulated lists
  • Workshop: Use the SET functions to calculate values for groups of data.

Record Based Queries
  • Save queries as files and as records in the InfoPlus.21 Database
  • View the structure of a Query Record and see how the query is stored
  • Execute query records using different methods of activation
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the purpose of Compressed queries
  • Create queries that use the system functions ACTIVATION_RECORD and ACTIVATION_FIELD within a Generic Query
  • Outline the principles behind Ghost Select Queries
  • Workshop: Create a query that is saved as a record. Activate the query using various methods. Set up a compressed query.
  • Workshop: Create and populate a data record from a prepared custom definition record that allows a link to a query. Write a query to process this record.

Writing Simple Programs
  • Understand basic procedural statements
  • Use simple programming techniques
  • Workshop: Use the Aspen SQLplus programming extensions to write some short program routines.
  • Workshop: Modify the IQ task so that it can run in multi-threaded mode.

Extending SELECT and Temporary Tables
  • Review Pseudo Columns and Pseudo Tables
  • Review Aggregates and Evenly spaced History
  • Workshop: Use Pseudo Columns. Use Pseudo Tables ALL_RECORDS, AGGREGATES, and HISTORY. Access history selectively by occurrence number, and by explicit occurrence number.

Aspen Technology, Inc. awards Continuing Education Units (CEUs) for training classes conducted by our organization. One CEU is granted for every 10 hours of class participation.