Golden Triangle Energy Cooperative Replaces Outdated DCS in Favor of PlantPAx Process Automation System from Rockwell Automation
Most people think of ethanol as an alternative fuel designed only for specialized flexible fuel vehicles (FFVs). While this is partly true -- the more than six million FFVs on the road today are designed to run on E85, a blend of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent unleaded gasoline -- in reality, ethanol is a much more commonly used product. Seventy percent of the gasoline sold in America contains some amount of ethanol. Most ethanol production facilities, such as Golden Triangle Energy Cooperative (GTEC) in Craig, Mo., generate little to no waste throughout the manufacturing process. With $50 million in gross annual revenue, GTEC operates on a continuous basis, manufacturing approximately 20 million gallons of ethanol and over 160,000 tons of wet livestock feed every year. The entire production process is run by just three operators, and until a few years ago, controlled using a distributed control system (DCS) that was installed when the plant was built in 2001. However, just a few years after the plant opened, Roger Hill, General Manager at GTEC, and his colleagues learned from the DCS manufacturer that their system was obsolete. The DCS manufacturer would no longer manufacture replacement parts and GTEC needed to find a replacement provider. They contracted Bachelor Controls Inc. (BCI) of Sabetha, Kan., a Rockwell Automation Solution Provider to replace their now obsolete systems. BCI is a best-in-class systems integrators who provide industry and applications expertise in delivering automation and information solutions to manufacturing companies globally, to replace their now obsolete systems.