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New Grain Facility Yields Access to Global Markets with PlantPAx DCS

Midwest Farmers Coop engages Wachter for quick deployment of Rockwell PlantPAX DCS


Syracuse, NE


Six Months




Midwest Farmers Cooperative (now Frontier Cooperative) is a grain and fertilizer cooperative with 28 locations in eastern Nebraska and a customer base of more than 4,100 patrons.

MFC invests in innovative technologies in order to drive success for coop members.


Design & Engineering + Automation & Controls
  • Project startup & commissioning

  • Engineering & DCS design

  • Software development

  • Industrial Networking design

  • Virtualization & infrastructure design

Physical Security


Electrical installation

Network infrastructure installation


MFC envisioned a strategically-located central hub facility with rail service. At launch the hub would include a storage capacity of 2.75 million bushels, with the ability to double if needed.

With a loop track over 9,000 feet, two receiving lanes, and automated inbound and outbound scales, the new facility would be able to dump a 1,000-bushel truck every two minutes — or 300 trucks a day.

A fully-automated Distribution Control System (DCS) platform was key to achieving these goals.


Wachter, a Rockwell Automation Solution Partner, provided a turnkey automation solution. Wachter designed, developed, and delivered a PlantPAx DCS, built on a robust and secure IP network.

The distributed network architecture consists of Layer 2 Stratix switches and Layer 3 Cisco switches. Wachter virtualized six server operating systems and combined them into one centralized physical host server using VMware’s ESXi / vSphere suite.

Wachter developed and delivered the MFC project in record time through a modern, modular DCS approach.

The Wachter team kept the process relevant to all of us by having solid product knowledge, presenting it in a clear and concise manner, and by providing system capability and value.

Their intuition around our process and design, along with the PlantPAx Process Automation System proved to support our facility goals; Safety, Speed, Efficiency, and Ease of Operation.

Eric Werth
MFC Syracuse Terminal Manager


MFC’s new Syracuse Rail Shuttle operates at full capacity, and Wachter maintains an ongoing relationship with the client.

Operational costs were also decreased by reducing the number of phone lines required in each building.