Introduction to Aspen DMC3 Builder - Modeling and Building Controllers for Industrial Processes

This course will help you prepare for the certification exam and the exam fee is waived with this course.
At the end of this course, you will be able to explain the characteristics of linear, dynamic, and empirical models. You will identify a process model using APC Builder and decide whether to use FIR or SubSpace Modeling. You will be familiar with Aspen DMCplus controller functionality as well as calculation modules and sequences.

This course is equivalent to the final 3 days of APC105: Introduction to Aspen DMC3 Builder for APC Engineers.


  • Engineers who are designing or implementing new Aspen DMC3 controllers
  • Engineers who are maintaining existing Aspen DMC3 controllers
  • Operating supervisors and console operators who are involved in Aspen DMC3 control projects

Training Details

  • Course Id:


  • Duration:

    3 day(s)

  • CEUs Awarded:


  • Level:



  • Acquire the skills and knowledge required to participate on or lead a team charged with the development and deployment of an Advanced Process Control application.
  • Know how to use Aspen DMC3 Builder to identify a controller model before implementing the controller online
  • Increased effectiveness in troubleshooting and maintenance of Aspen DMC3 controllers
  • Increased awareness of the operating characteristics and capabilities of Aspen DMC3 controllers


  • Introduction to basic concepts behind  multivariable control 
  • Description of the theoretical concepts that form the basis of the Aspen DMC3 products
  • Demonstrations of the ways in which the offline tools are used
  • Hands on workshops that allow controller development concepts to be applied to typical plant processes
  • Concept review quizzes reinforce learning


  • Background in chemical process engineering and/or process operations
  • Some familiarity with Microsoft® Windows operating systems

Subsequent Courses

This course serves as a prerequisite for many of the more advanced courses.
  • APC170 Introduction to Aspen Inferential Qualities - Developing and Deploying Inferential Soft Sensors for Industrial Processes
  • APC210 Aspen Watch Performance Monitor - Real Time Monitoring and Maintaining Controllers Online
  • APC240 Aspen DMCplus - APC Project Step Testing and Commissioning Using a Virtual Plant
  • APC250 Aspen DMC3 - APC Calibrate and Aspen Adaptive Modeling


Modeling Terminology
  • Differentiate between Real Time Optimization and Advanced Control
  • Discuss the characteristics of an independent variable and a dependent variable
  • Review the definitions of a Unit Response Curve, Time to Steady State and Steady State Gain
  • Review the defining characteristics of a DMCplus Controller and the components comprising an Aspen APC Suite
  • Introduction to DMC3
APC Project Overview
  • Review the process for implementing an APC project
  • Discuss available alternatives and proper documentation procedures
Dynamic Modeling of Linear Systems
  • Review the definition of a dynamic, empirical, linear model and the technology of Finite Impulse Response (FIR) Modeling
  • Discuss the strengths and drawbacks of an FIR model
Model Identification in Aspen DMC3 Builder
  • Familiarize with the Aspen DMC3 Builder interface
  • Use the vector import tool to bring data into Aspen DMC3 Builder
  • Review vector quality and perform data processing
  • Define and run model identification cases
  • Workshop: Fractionator Controller - Build a finite impulse response model for a simple fractionator
Model Analysis in Aspen DMC3 Builder
  • Define and Run Predictions
  • Understand and use model analysis tools
  • Workshop: Fractionator Controller - Evaluate and assemble the model
  • Workshop: Fractionator Controller - Fix collinearity issues in the model
Variable Transformations
  • Configure built in transforms to deal with non-linear data
  • Configure transforms to rescale data
  • Workshop: Fractionator Controller - Apply variable transformation
SubSpace Identification Technology
  • Review modeling technology for MPC control
  • Subspace Identification: fundamentals and features
  • Aspen DMC3 Builder - guidelines for Subspace modeling
  • Workshop: Fractionator Controller - Build a subspace model for the fractionator 
Open Loop Prediction
  • Learn how Aspen DMC3 Builder uses the dynamic model to predict the future behavior of controlled variables
  • Learn how Aspen DMC3 Builder accounts for differences between the prediction and the actual measurements
  • Learn how Aspen DMC3 Builder corrects predictions for ramp variables
  • Learn how prediction errors can be used to assess modeling errors
  • Workshop: Fractionator Controller - Configure prediction error filter options
Steady-State Feasibility Check
  • Introduce the Aspen DMC3 Builder Steady State Optimization features
  • Recognize how Aspen DMC3 Builder uses the Steady State Predictions in Projecting the Optimum Operating Point for the Process
  • Differentiate between a Linear Program and a Quadratic Program
Economic Optimization
  • Determine how MV Costs can be used to drive the Process to an Economic Optimum
  • Determine how an external Optimizer can affect the Aspen DMC3 Builder Steady State Solution
  • Workshop: Fractionator Controller - Calculating Steady State Cost and configuring the Steady State Optimizer
Minimizing Dynamic Errors
  • Introduce Aspen DMC3 Builder Dynamic Move Calculations features
  • Discuss how computing multiple future moves improves control
  • Make tradeoffs between move aggressiveness and error minimization
  • Explain how ramps are controlled dynamically
  • Review details of the Move Calculation
  • Review the tuning and simulation workflow in Aspen DMC3 Builder
  • Workshop: Fractionator Controller - Dynamic Tuning to adjust move suppressions to achieve smooth control
Calculations and Gain Scheduling
  • Configure input and output calculations to modify controller data
  • Configure gain scheduling to modify model gains on the fly
  • Configure and manage model switching
  • Workshop: Fractionator Controller - Configure custom built controller calculations
External Targets
  • Identify and explain the application of External Targets:
  • External Target Definitions
  • RTO and IRV Style External Targets
  • External Target Attributes
DMC3 Builder Plant Connection and Tuning Configuration
  • Use the Aspen DMC3 Builder to:
    • Connect the controller to the plant
    • Enable SmartStep and Composite participation
  • Workshop: DemoCol Controller - Configure plant connections
  • Identify and explain subcontroller concepts
  • Discuss MV and CV memberships in Subcontrollers
  • Subcontrollers and shedding
  • Introduction to Composites
Ramp Variable Techniques
  • Learn how to deal with process ramp variables by using one of the following types:
  • Balanced Ramps
  • Ramps with allowed Imbalance
  • Program Imbalance Ramps
  • Pseudo-ramps
  • Discuss the effects of the ramp horizon on ramp calculation
  • Workshop: DemoCol Controller  -Observe the effects of changing tuning parameters on ramp behavior
New Features in Aspen APC Suite
  • Review the new features available with Aspen DMC3 controllers
  • Workshop: DMC3 New features
  • Workshop: Nonlinear CV – Review the nonlinear Hybrid controller in DMC3
Appendix: Controller Variable Validation
  • Learn how to deal with the Controller's variable validation process:
  • General Variables
  • Manipulated and Feedforward Variables
  • Subcontrollers and Composite

Register for a Class

Date Class Type Location Price Language
Date(s): 09/14/2022 - 09/16/2022 Type: Public Classroom Location: 1 Fusionopolis Place, #04-20/23 Galaxis (West Lobby),
Singapore , Singapore 138522
Price: (SGD) 2400.00 Language: English Register
Date(s): 09/14/2022 - 09/16/2022 Type: Public Virtual Location: Virtual-APAC Price: (USD) 900.00 Language: English Register
Date(s): 10/3/2022 - 10/5/2022 Type: Public Virtual Location: Virtual-Americas Price: (USD) 2400.00 Language: English Register
Date(s): 08/24/2022 - 08/26/2022 Type: Public Classroom Location: B8, Wison, No 699, Zhongke Road, Zhangjiang High-Tech Zone, Pudong
Shanghai , China 201210
Price: (CNY) 4200.00 Language: Chinese Register

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.