Aspen DMC3 Builder - APC Project Step Testing and Commissioning Using a Virtual Plant

Course Id:  APC240   |   Duration:  3.00 day(s)   |   CEUs Awarded:  2.1   |   Level:  Intermediate

Course Objective

Develop hands-on experience for APC Project Step Testing and Commissioning using AspenTech's Virtual Plant, The Virtual Plant is a high-fidelity dynamic process model that responds like a real plant. Attendees will learn real-world control practice as they use the Virtual Plant to execute the Step Testing phase of an APC project. This course also teaches new control engineers essential process control concepts that have been traditionally learned on the job. Upon completion of this course attendees will have completed the equivalent of a full APC Step Testing and Commissioning.

Course Overview

  • Explore fundamental concepts of client/server communication and implementation details using Aspen Cim-IO software.
  • Configure, and maintain Aspen DMC3 Online, Aspen Watch and Aspen Production Control Web Server software.
  • Perform all steps of an Aspen DMC3 project: data collection and extraction, loading and starting a controller, commissioning the controller, and updating configurations as operating objectives change.
  • Explore the capabilities of the Aspen Production Control Web Interface.


Develop skills required to execute an APC project Step Test


  • Engineers who are designing or implementing new Aspen DMC3 controllers
  • Engineers who are maintaining existing Aspen DMC3 controllers


  • Lecture topics and course notes thoroughly describe the online APC implementation process and tools employed
  • Extensive hands-on workshops allow students to actually implement a DMC3 control application from having a rough seed model, work through step testing with SmartStep and continuing into commissioning
  • Students are encouraged to ask questions and explore any specific requirements from their site or company


  • APC105 Introduction to Aspen DMC3 Builder for APC Engineers
  • APC230 Aspen DMCplus - APC Project Pretesting Using a Virtual Plant

Class Schedule

Class Agenda

APC240: Aspen DMC3 Builder - APC Project Step Testing and Commissioning Using a Virtual Plant

Introduction and Prerequisite Review

  • Present a roadmap for the course
  • Review DMC3 concepts critical to achieving the best learning experience

Overview of APC Project Step Testing
  • Learn how to conduct a Plant Step Test with or without an Automated Tester
  • Identify and explain the process information for the Virtual HYSYS Gas Plant (HGP)
  • Workshop: Setup from Pretesting: Perform necessary pretesting activities.

Aspen DMC3 Builder
  • Use Aspen DMC3 Builder to Add Transforms to Deal with some types of Nonlinearities
  • Workshop: Spreadsheet exercise to determine valve transformation

SmartStep Fundamentals
  • Explain how DMC3 running in SmartStep mode significantly improves the process of step testing a process
  • Use MVs, CVs, test groups and modes
  • Recognize and understand why SmartStep needs a seed model
  • Set up a seed model
  • Use SmartStep in various modes
  • Workshop: Building Controller Configuration File - Populate the SmartStep parameters and begin to perform basic step-test commissioning

Using Process Control Web Viewer
  • View Current Controller Data
  • View History Data
  • Modify Controller Tuning Parameters
  • View Aspen Watch Historical Plots
  • Workshop: Step Testing and Refining the Seed Model
  • Workshop: Converting a SmartStep Controller into DMC3

Adaptive Process Control using Aspen Smart Step, Calibrate and Adaptive Modeling
  • Learn how Aspen Adaptive Control can help improve performance of the controller through generating and deploying updated models
  • Use Adaptive Modeling
  • Use the Test Agent
  • Workshop: Adaptive Modeling

Move Suppression and Dynamics ECEs
  • Discuss the features of the DMC3 Dynamic Move Calculations
  • Learn how to make tradeoffs between move aggressiveness and error minimization
  • Summarize Equal Concern Error Effects
  • Workshop: Move Suppression and Dynamics ECEs
  • Workshop: Post Commissioning Changes

Controller Validation
  • Summarize the variable validation performed by DMC3
  • Recognize the standards DMC3 applies to reject bad or suspect data

Course Quiz and Conclusions
  • Review and solidify the concepts presented in the course

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.