As one of the premier ingredients providers within the pet food and ingredient processing industries, ACJ International owns 5 processing facilities strategically placed around the US. With more than 150 ingredients in stock, available by tote, bags or in bulk, ACJ ships via truck or rail, depending on what the customer needs, and when and where they need it.
Quality is priority number one
Many of the ingredients processed through ACJ facilities are either raw materials that come directly from growers or ingredients from secondary processing facilities. No matter what ingredient they’re processing or where it comes from, quality is the top priority for ACJ and what their pet food customers have come to expect.
Scott Witt is the Director of Quality for ACJ International. Several years ago, Scott was in a bind, needing a quick result for measuring protein levels in a widely used pet food ingredient. When raw materials come in from the supplier, natural and other variations result in protein levels varying from 33 to 45%. As a result, ACJ often needs to blend a number of batches to reach the targeted protein level of 38% before the final product is blended and shipped to the customer.
Scott called on the team at Unity Scientific who were able to develop a custom calibration for the SpectraStar™ XT NIR Analyzer within a day, to the tight tolerances (within 1%) that Scott was looking for. With the custom calibration installed, the SpectraStar XT allows ACJ to accurately analyze incoming materials and make corrections in real-time, resulting in a consistent end product that meets specification. As a result of that experience with Unity Scientific, ACJ International now relies on the SpectraStar XT Analyzer for their quality control process
Time and money
With the Unity Scientific SpectraStar XT Analyzer incorporated into the ACJ process, what used to take ACJ 4-6 days – collecting and sending grab samples to a lab for analysis – now happens in real-time. With an average of 80 tons of product going through their facility each week, the rapid analysis saves ACJ a significant amount of time. And keeping the process moving, without the delay, makes the process more efficient and saves them money as well.
Unity Scientific Service is second-to-none
Unity’s ability to get Scott Witt and his team at ACJ International up and running with a custom calibration in such a short timeframe is what made them a customer. What continues to reinforce to Scott and the team at ACJ that they made the right decision is the service and application expertise that Unity customer service personnel deliver on a regular basis.
“Any time we need to contact Unity Scientific – and mind you we have access to anyone there – with a question, problem, or concern,” says Scott, “they take care of our needs with expediency and professionalism. If it can get handled over the phone or with remote access to our analyzer, terrific. But if they have to send someone out, that process is expedited as well. No matter who we talk to at Unity Scientific, they spell out the issue in such a way that it’s easy for any of our team to understand. We don’t feel like a number; they make us feel as though we’re important to them. And we appreciate this level of attention and service more than anything.”