UFA AG was founded in 1998 and has existed as a brand since 1958. The company has been Switzerland’s leading animal feed company for 60 years. Under the UFA and Hypona brands, they produce and sell mixed feed, mineral salts, milk powder, specialties and services.
While UFAG was founded in Sursee in 1965 for the central production of milk powder, mineral salts and specialties, compound feed production continued to be decentralized in the factories of the individual cooperative associations. Starting in 1989, these plants were gradually merged into the newly founded Orador AG, based in Herzogenbuchsee. In 1998 Orador and UFAG merged to form UFA AG.
Animal farming in Switzerland has changed significantly over the past decades. With the increase in the number of stock farmers, demand on animal feed grew as well, and so did UFA AG. Today the company produces around 600,000 tons of mixed feed, around 12,000 tons of mineral salts and concentrates and around 15,000 tons of milk powder.
“The mixed feed site here in Sursee achieved an annual output of 25,000 tons in the past. Today, our annual output in 80,000 tons,” says Urs Kaufmann, the head operator.
UFA AG produces calf milk powder with a high fat content of 20-21%, that contains a lot of lactoprotein. Consequently, the product is quite sticky and poorly flowing. The bagging system that they had before was the bottleneck of the entire plant, resulting in the hourly output of 9 tons. However, with the help of the new system from OMLBF series by Premier Tech, the hourly output reaches 12 tons, as well as bagging leads to less dust development. The screws enable coarse and fine dosing in one step, so re-dosing is no longer required. This plays as a great advantage and saves time and resources.
Furthermore, the new OMLBF equipment from Premier Tech features a dual spout system, enabling to fill two bags at a time. The system has a throughput of 500 bags which corresponds to 12.5 tons. The bags have a volume of 25 kilograms and the bag sizes can be changed very quickly. It takes about ten minutes to set the system to 10-kg or 20-kg bags.
UFA AG produces a special product called “top-form” in 4 production runs every year. The product is extremely greasy and in brown color. It is very important for the company to be able to clean the system efficiently after the production runs.
“Premier Tech helped us find a solution to this problem. They made it very easy to open the dosing tanks, remove the screws and clean the entire system with water,” says Urs Steiner, the production leader.
With Premier Tech’s OMLBF equipment, the time required for external cleaning is as little as 15 minutes per day. This reduces soiling and thus the need for cleaning, which is an important factor in the production process.
UFA AG and Premier Tech have already cooperated previously, as some of the systems at UFA’s plants were provided by Premier Tech. In Herzogenbuchsee, they have installed several bagging systems. At the mineral salts and concentrates plant in Sursee they have two bagging systems. And at their milk plant, they installed a CPL compact palletizer 6 years ago.
“During the evaluation process we visited several plants together with Premier Tech Chronos. These visits were very important to us. We got an impression of the systems and their operation on site. We could also talk to the operators and discuss their experiences,” said Urs Steiner.
“The system was installed with two technicians on site,” added Urs Kaufmann. “All persons involved were able to accompany the project. The machine operators were also involved and were given the opportunity to ask questions. Our understanding of the system already grew as it was being engineered.”
Due to the limited space, installing the system was quite challenging. But fortunately, commissioning went smoothly, and the system ran at full capacity in no time.
“In case of problems that we cannot solve ourselves, we need to find a solution quickly,” explained Urs Kaufmann. “This is not a problem thanks to the online connection. Fortunately, we did not need much support so far. But in the two or three cases we did, it all went perfectly. Which we think is great. We greatly appreciate this good cooperation.”