BRANDT has just completed the construction of a new 2,000 square foot formulations lab in its Pleasant Plains, IL production facility. The new lab will serve as a hub for new formulation development and testing, as well as quality control.
The new lab is over six times larger than the previous lab and was built to support the growing needs of the business. The new lab includes several new instruments to help ensure that customers continue to receive high quality products as new formulations are introduced and production expands.
“This expansion almost doubles our formulation space and capabilities in the U.S.,” said Brian Haschemeyer, Director of Discovery and Innovation for BRANDT. “A lot of proprietary new formulation development work and QC is done in Pleasant Plains. The lab expansion will allow BRANDT to develop better, more advanced products; to screen and produce new formulations more efficiently; and be able to run quality control tests faster.”
Some of the new lab features include an ICP-OES machine and Nitrogen Analyzer, which allow BRANDT to do full fertilizer analysis and heavy metal screening. It also includes a high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) machine, which analyzes the presence and concentration of Plant Growth Regulators (PGRs) and bio-stimulants as well as sugar derivatives, organic acids and chelates. A new UV Vis dye analysis instrument was also added to screen the quality and concentration of dyes and colorants.
“New products are our lifeblood,” said Bill Engel, BRANDT Executive Vice President. “We continue to make significant investments in our business to ensure that we are able to bring innovations to the market our customers want. And it goes without saying that we are committed to always delivering high quality products.”
The Pleasant Plains, IL lab is one of five labs that the company operates, including labs in Fresno, CA, Logan, UT, Carmona, Spain and Londrina, Brazil. The Fresno, CA lab is approximately the same size, with the same capabilities plus a full spectrum of adjuvant and water quality testing. Construction of a sixth BRANDT lab is currently underway in Visalia, CA and is expected to open in April.
BRANDT chemists review analytical data from quality control measurements performed on the ICP instrument. This data confirms the Guaranteed Analysis of the product as indicated on the Certificate of Analysis (COA).
BRANDT chemist preparing samples for quality control measurements, including pH, density, and nutrient analysis
Samples of BRANDT formulations ready for HPLC (high performance liquid chromatography) analysis, which measures organic materials, such as sugars, organic acids and plant growth regulators (PGRs).
BRANDT chemist working on new product development testing done under the fume hood
A leading agricultural company, BRANDT consists of three divisions—Specialty Formulations, Retail Agronomy and Dealer Support—serving growers around the globe. Founded in 1953 by Glen Brandt and his sister Evelyn Brandt Thomas to help Illinois farmers adopt new and profitable technologies, the company has experienced aggressive growth under the leadership of President and CEO Rick Brandt. Innovation, technology and strong customer service are a few of the core beliefs that drive BRANDT today. BRANDT’s focus is providing the products and services that give growers the best opportunity for maximum return while building a stronger, healthier and more abundant food supply.