Case Study: Deadline drives creative solutions in DCS installation for Elkhorn Valley Ethanol

There’s nothing like a critical deadline to spark creative engineering solutions. Trident was given only 3 days to install and startup a new DCS for Elkhorn Valley Ethanol plant. The project had more than 1,500 I/O connections that would require hours of painstaking installation and testing. Trident’s teams estimated it could take about a week to wire the system—and they only had a little over two days.

That’s when inspiration hit Trident founder Jerry Wenzel. “There were literally thousands of wires and if we had to unscrew each of the 64 wires on the dozens of termination panels, it would be arduous,” Wenzel said. He and his team designed a migration cable with proprietary wiring schematics and customized connection points that allowed them to connect as many as 32 devices in minutes.

Connecting a new system to an old DCS is not unique. However, Trident could apply this technology to connect a new and old system from different manufacturers and have it all function correctly.

“We didn’t want to go through the work of installing a new control system and connecting it with a limited lifetime product,” Wenzel said. “So we went through extensive testing prior to installation.” Wenzel says rigorous quality checks have resulted in good acceptance during installation.

Trident has used this solution in several DCS conversions and each install takes an average of 60 cables, each handing 32 channels of I/O. The solution decreases installation time and, most importantly, gets the customer back into production.

For information on this approach to system migration, please contact us at [email protected] or [email protected].

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