UFA AG is the leading animal feed producer in Switzerland. In their four plants they produce over 100 different feeds, mainly for poultry, pigs and cattle. UFA AG, which is certified according to ISO 9001, has a strong focus on quality and technical expertise, both in their production and in the technical advice they give their customers. When UFA AG set out to improve their efficiency while maintaining product quality, they turned to Perten Instruments and its local partner Impana for help with analytical solutions.
Being aware that costs and quality are very much determined by your ingredients, and how you use them, UFA AG was interested in rapid methods for quality testing of ingredients and finished feeds. Perten proposed the DA 7200 NIR Feed Analyzer, which is widely used in the feed industry globally. An evaluation followed, where UFA AG tested analytical performance, handling and other practical aspects.
Perten and Impana established a close cooperation with UFA AG during the evaluations and after some time UFA AG decided to make the investment. Today, the benefits are very clear and have a direct impact on operations. Ingredients are tested before they are even unloaded from the trucks, and all batches of finished feed are quality checked.
‘The rapid analysis allowed time savings, and time savings are cost savings. In purchasing, poor quality is recognized a lot earlier. In formulation and production, you can mix significantly closer to the target value. With the rapid analysis, you can react more quickly to the next batch’, says Mr Daniel Wieland, Head of Quality Management and Security/at UFA AG. Another very tangible benefit was the time and cost savings from reducing wet chemistry analysis, where Mr Wieland foresees savings of up to €50,000 yearly.
As the benefits of NIR became evident, discussions started regarding the use of online NIR in the process. UFA AG wanted to analyze the current batch in the mixer, to be able to optimize immediately rather than wait with changes until the next batch. Perten’s DA 7300 Online NIR was an obvious next step. It was installed directly in the mixer, where it continuously measures moisture, protein, fat and more in the feed mix during mixing. It is integrated with the process control system, and automatically feeds measurement results into it, which allows for instant optimization of the mixture, and decreased safety margins versus specifications.