Fertilizantes Heringer’s laboratories are located in the Paulínia and Paranaguá production units. The laboratory at the Paulínia unit focuses on product and process control at the group’s units, starting from the receipt of raw materials, passing through the production stages, till the product is delivered to the client.
The laboratories are registered with the Regional Chemical Council and authorized by the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Supplies to carry out specialized services. They rely on trained professionals with chemistry background to handle a variety of requests relating to the quality control of products, with the primary objective being client satisfaction. The Paulínia laboratory participates in two programs, viz. interlaboratory and quality control, of ANDA, the Brazilian fertilizer industry association.
Through the laboratory, Fertilizantes Heringer S/A conducts chemical and physical tests of raw materials, creates control lots, control plans and identifies the production unit to guarantee the traceability of the products and the raw materials in order to achieve the best results and the effectiveness of the work done with the focus on the satisfaction of internal and external clients through the continuous improvement and the commitment of all the laboratory personnel.
Concerned about the availability of high quality materials, Heringer relies on a trained team to conduct the physical tests and inform all the departments about the quality of the materials (QM) they will receive. The QM process is as follows:
An identification sheet is prepared for all the products entering the production unit or are in stock. Then, the counter samples are identified and organized for storage. Raw materials are collected at the time of receipt. The process is important to obtain product guarantees.
After this, the granulometric analyses (to define, for the predetermined grain size ranges, the percentage weight of each fraction in relation to the total weight of the sample being analyzed) are done to verify if the product is according to specification, that is, within its physical guarantees.
SPLITTING: the product will be prepared in its final phase at the QM, that is, 250g is allocated for physical analysis (100g), chemical analysis (50g) and counter sample (100g), in the case of granulated products dispatched. For raw materials, a further 50g is added to verify the hardness. The SPRAYER test: This test simulates the on-field application of the product. Every 5 minutes, a sample is taken during 30 seconds till the 200 kg used in the test is used up.
Fertilizantes Heringer’s laboratories comply with the safety and environmental norms, and have the capacity to conduct 400 chemical tests per day (Paulínia Laboratory). They house state-of-the-art equipment, which enables them to conduct all kinds of tests related to mineral fertilizers.
The first step in all the tests conducted at the Laboratory is quartering. Correct quartering, as with the test itself, is fundamental for the quality of both the raw materials and the finished products. This is followed by control of the evaluation of results, control of the samples to be taken and evaluation of the results to be reported.
Employee participation is essential in each stage of the raw material analysis, to determine the actual quantity of phosphorus in the phosphate products and raw material, to determine the quantity of nitrogen in the products and nitrogen raw materials, to control the hardness of the raw materials, and to check if the granules are within the specifications to avoid losses and product returns, thus helping to speed up and optimize production.
In its growing quest for improving the quality of the fertilizers offered to farmers, Fertilizantes Heringer is implementing new models to inspect imported raw materials that reach the ports by ships.
The Company outsources the monitoring of these ships to companies and their quality control agents, called "QMs" of the Port Units. The Port QMs play an important role by collecting and conducting the physical analysis and then passing the information to all the departments about the quality of the raw material they will receive.