Introduction to Refinery Planning

Course Id:  RPA101   |   Duration:  5.00 day(s)   |   CEUs Awarded:  3.5   |   Level:  Introductory

Course Objective

Learn how to solve refinery planning problems using Aspen PIMS and Aspen PIMS-Advanced Optimization. This hands-on course has been revised to incorporate problem-based learning by using relevant refinery problems to optimize results. You will not only learn how to use the tools, but you will also learn how to troubleshoot. Videos were created specifically for this class as a helpful tool to use on your job.

This course is designed for new planners and modelers who have 1 year or less experience in Aspen PIMS / Aspen PIMS-AO and need experience in building and optimizing refinery planning models to generate optimum plans.

Course Overview

  • Build refinery Linear Programming (LP) planning models to solve and generate optimum plans to evaluate the following:
    • alternative crudes
    • intermediate feedstocks
    • outside blendstocks
    • process units
    • products
  • Use data tables and structures required to build and maintain a model for developing crude distillation architecture, product blending, typical refinery process units, pooling, vector and delta-based models. Interpret and analyze LP solutions.


  • Apply LP and economic evaluation fundamentals
  • Perform basic economic evaluations
  • Develop simple Aspen PIMS model and understand how the matrix structures are generated
  • Execute and troubleshoot various case scenarios and analyze information from Aspen PIMS reports


New planners and modelers who have 1 year or less experience in Aspen PIMS / Aspen PIMS-AO and need experience in building and optimizing refinery planning models to generate optimum plans. Technical or non technical students are welcome.

This course provides a person who is knowledgeable in Linear Programming (but not necessarily knowledgeable in Aspen PIMS) with a quick way to gain a good understanding of the system.


Involve me: Students solve real world planning problems and interpret / troubleshoot LP solutions.
Show me: Instructor discusses concepts and presents demo.
Let me practice: Students complete lab exercises to gain understanding of concepts and tools.
Let me connect the dots: Students summarize content of what was learned with instructor probing questions.




Class Schedule

Class Agenda

RPA101: Introduction to Refinery Planning

Topic 1: Getting Started What is Aspen PIMS

  • Define PIMS
  • Describe how PIMS can be used with your current planning process
  • Summarize who uses PIMS
Topic 2: Review of Linear Programming Concepts
  • Explain linear programming concepts
Topic 3: Aspen PIMS User Interface
  • Describe Aspen PIMS logical flow
  • Summarize all PIMS menu options, features and functions
Topic 4: Aspen PIMS Data Tables and Table Format
  • Describe Aspen PIMS data table structures and string naming conventions
Topic 5: Aspen PIMS Supply and Demand Tables
  • Create Aspen PIMS Supply and Demand Tables
Topic 6: Review of Economic Concepts
  • Summarize process economic concepts, marginal values, marginal cost and revenue curves
  • Explain the relationship of marginal value and DJ
  • Calculate marginal revenue for feedstocks and marginal cost for products
  • Describe recommended uses for marginal values
  • Calculate break even value
Topic 7: Case Stacking
  • Define and build cases in Table Case
Topic 8: Product Blending
  • Declare blended materials
  • Identify components for blends
  • Define blending specifications
  • Provide static properties for any material in the model
Topic 9: Troubleshooting
  • Evaluate a solution and troubleshoot the issues
Topic 10: Process Submodels
  • Identify the different types of process submodels
  • Build the submodel structure for a process unit  
Topic 11: Yields that Vary with Feed Quality
  • Build submodels in which yields change based on feed quality
Topic 12: Pooling and Recursion
  • Describe rules for creating recursed pools
  • Identify techniques used to solve the pooling problem
Topic 13: Parameter Rows
  • Build parameter rows useful for reporting
Topic 14: Crude Distillation Tables
  • Interpret crude unit architecture
  • Describe logical crude units
  • Define crude distillation cutting scheme
  • Assign specific assay tables for specific logical crude units
Topic 15: Assay Management
  • Recognize the capabilities and features of PIMS Assay Management
Topic 16: Row and Column Names in the PIMS Matrix
  • Identify the row and column naming conventions used in the Aspen PIMS Matrix
Topic 17: Miscellaneous Tables
  • Build Aspen PIMS Miscellaneous Tables
Topic 18: Common Mistakes
  • Identify common mistakes made when using Aspen PIMS
Topic 19: Additional Features
  • Summarize additional features in:
    • PPIMS Models
    • MPIMS Models
    • XPIMS Models
    • PIMS-Advanced Optimization

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.