Case Study: Total DCS Migration in under 60 hours

In just 60 hours, Trident Automation delivered a new operating system for the largest dry-mill ethanol facility in the country. Marquis Energy was constructing a second 100+ million gallon unit and owners wanted to have both units on the same, most advanced system. The plant was operating on a Siemens APACS DCS legacy system with Wonderware HMI, but needed to modernize the plant and leverage the advanced control strategies Siemens PCS 7 offered. Over twelve weeks, Trident teams rewrote code, […] Read More

Case Study: New system in and running in four hours

Louis Dreyfus Commodities operates an ethanol plant in Norfolk, Nebraska. The plant needed a new operating system, but could not afford to lose any production time. Trident worked with plant managers to design a system and process that could be installed during a scheduled 3-day outage. For 12 weeks, teams did pre-engineering work in Wisconsin with installation designed to take hours instead of days. On site, engineers removed an APACS DCS, then installed a customized cabling system to use existing […] Read More

Parts are parts? Except in an emergency!

It’s Murphy’s Law: when you least expect it, something will break. In a highly customized production environment, broken or missing parts cost time and money—and could jeopardize a customer relationship. Increasingly, we are working with customers to identify critical path components and build a spares list on the most needed items. “Looking at the issue in greater detail, reveals just how costly unplanned downtime can become,” said Jason Hurst, CEO of Trident Automation. “Besides the direct expense of having a […] Read More

Trident’s innovative e-store for previously used DCS hardware

In order to better support customers, Trident Automation is providing a service—an online e-store featuring previously used hardware. The Trident e-store has been open as of Oct. 3, 2017 and provides hundreds of replacement parts for businesses currently running APACS, Foxboro and other control systems. Siemens announced it will discontinue support for the APACS system in 2020; as an independent integrator and Siemens solution partner, Trident will continue to offer replacement parts and system service. Foxboro announced the FCP270 Field […] Read More

Why upgrade?

The distributed control system (DCS) is the brain of any manufacturing plant, providing the intricate knowledge and responsiveness needed to keep production running smoothly. For many plants, the decision to upgrade a DCS is often made well beyond the life of the system, when operations are starting to fail or falling behind current technology. So how do plant managers know when it’s time to upgrade? Here are some key points to consider. Success with Partners: The best DCS upgrades are done […] Read More

Advanced simulation allows DCS installation in under 36 hours

In just a little longer than one full day, Trident Automation installed a new operating system for Commonwealth Agri-Energy. The unprecedented speed was due to advanced planning and help from a simulation program. The firm wanted to increase ethanol production, which meant replacing its APACS system with Siemens PCS 7. The upgrade would allow Commonwealth to take advantage of upgraded HMI and more advanced controls, sequencing and model predictive control systems, along Trident’s value adds such as trend object.   But […] Read More

How to determine when an alarm is really an emergency

In a quest to better manage production, high alarm rates have a negative outcome: information overload. When all systems are triggering alarms, how does any critical information get through to an operator? When Golden Grain Energy upgraded from APACS to Siemens PCS 7, Trident Automation worked with the plant to create the most customized alarm management system possible. “Our process helps the customer to better organize alarm systems,” said Nate Nutter, PCS 7 Certified Engineer, at Trident Automation. “When customers […] Read More

Trident Tips: create a system that’s easy to use

When you consider upgrading or installing a DCS architecture, here are some quick tips from our engineering experts. Rick Tenor is a project manager and controls engineer on our team and is experienced in creating new control systems and upgrading existing systems. Tips for creating a system that’s EASY TO USE: At Trident, we build systems on an open platform and don’t lock down code so our customers can easily trouble shoot on their own. If you’re considering building a […] Read More

TRIDENT TIPS: create a reliable DCS architecture

When you consider upgrading or installing a DCS architecture, here are some quick tips from our engineering experts. Rick Tenor is a project manager and controls engineer on our team and is experienced in creating new control systems and upgrading existing systems. Tips for creating a RELIABLE system: Size the system right: Many manufacturers design a system to meet today’s needs and don’t consider expanding it as processes grow or evolve. Make sure you are building a system that can […] Read More