Mar. 8, 2019
The vegetable nutrition market is one of the disputed segments of the Brazilian agribusiness. According to the most recent annual report of Abisolo (Brazilian Association of Plant Nutrition Technology Industries), it is estimated that this market has 514 companies acting directly. Together, they generate more than R$6 billion per year.
In the face of competition, exceling in this market requires investments in technology and process improvements to achieve the quality that the producer expects in the field. This has been the strategy of Ubyfol, a Brazilian multinational based in Uberaba-MG, which in the last 34 years has developed special macro and micronutrient products for different agricultural crops.
Since the inauguration of its new and current industrial unit, the company has invested more than R$30 million. According to Jorge Henrique, civil engineer of the company, Ubyfol has been growing in the last few years, with the construction of a new factory. "The old headquarters was located in an urban area of Uberaba/MG, which brought about some limitations in operations. The new headquarters in the industrial district, besides being an area, which is three times bigger, expanded the possibilities of production, offering new equipment and more effective processes," emphasized Henrique.
Investment in laboratory
A part of the last investments was aimed at modernizing the company's laboratory, where the quality control process takes place. According to Letícia Alberto, laboratory coordinator of Ubyfol, the quality control process begins with the homologation of suppliers of raw materials and packaging. All these are valued prior to the purchase and tested based on Ubyfol's internal specifications, tailored to customer needs. "Only after approval and proper homologation of the raw material/packaging, the procurement process is carried out by the supply sector," said the professional.
Upon receipt, the quality control evaluates the material prior to its entry into Ubyfol, so that in case of noncompliance, the invoice is rejected and the cargo is returned. In addition, quality control acts in the evaluation of formulated products, in 100% of the batches manufactured, analyzing from the nutrient guarantees to parameters such as pH and granulometry, when applicable. Only the products previously approved by quality control, with their packaging, whose lines need to be released before the beginning of the packaging of all lots, are bottled. After the packaging, employees in charge of quality control still analyze the final appearance of the packaged product, ready to be stored or sent to the customer.
This quality management process has earned the company the ISO9001: 2015 certification. This recognition has led to an increase in customer satisfaction, based on the guarantee of standardization and compliance.
Cutting edge technology
In addition to certification, to improve the quality of its products and processes, Ubyfol recently purchase equipment in Brazil. It is ICP (inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectrometry), whose equipment allows the detection of multi-elements, allowing agility in obtaining the results of nutrient analysis. This new tool costs the company more than one million reals.
For analysis in this latest generation equipment, it is only necessary to prepare the samples (weighing and dilution) that each product needs for the simultaneous reading of all the nutrients present. The reduction in the time of analysis, and consequently, of costs, as well as greater reliability in the obtained results, is one of the benefits of ICP. "Ubyfol opted for equipment that would bring greater speed of analysis, directing its workmanship from quality control to items not yet replaceable by machines," concluded the chemical engineer.