Catalyst, a premier manufacturer of microbial blends, vitamin and mineral premixes and specialty products for the feed industry, will invest nearly $1 million over two years to modernize its facility in Urbandale, Iowa. “Demand for product from our plant is growing rapidly, and we need newer, faster equipment moving forward,” said Jim Zamzow, company owner.
The investment is part of an ongoing partnership with Clear View Enterprises, a major poultry products distributor based in Tontitown, Ark.
“We can sell everything Catalyst can produce at this juncture, so we started working together on a plan to expand production capacity last fall,” said James Thompson, managing partner of Clear View. “In more than 40 years of involvement in this industry, we have watched our competitors move from distribution into manufacturing, and history has proven there is a definite loss of focus on customer service on the distribution side of the business. This is the main reason we chose to partner with the people at Catalyst on the packaging of our products. This allows Catalyst to do what they do best, and Clear View to do what we do best.”
In the past year, Catalyst has invested in new dock-levelers for the shipping area, repaired and replaced roofing, purchased new forklifts, and made major investments in truck-loading and transit areas around the Urbandale facility. The most recent purchase is a small-pack machine designed to handle the fastest-growing part of the business.
“Small pack, premeasured products for the poultry industry are a really big deal,” Justin Toler, key account manager for Catalyst, said. “Food safety concerns have pushed farm managers in this direction. They prefer them because employees don’t need to measure or weigh the ingredients. They just tear the pouch, dump it and move on.”
While there were a number of small-pack machine vendors to choose from, the team at Catalyst ultimately decided on a vertical form-fill-and-seal machine from GammTech Corporation, based in Palmetto, Fla.
Catalyst’s selection of a GammTech machine was based on a number of criteria: robust design; suitability for high-dust environments; reliability despite wide seasonal temperature variations; presence in North America, including parts and service; fastest machine cycle-time; and quickest manufacturing turn-around and delivery time. In addition to these advantages, GammTech’s offering included readily available and affordable options for future products like square-bottom, stand-alone packages, custom labeling and vacuum packaging.
Given these advantages, the decision to select GammTech as Catalyst’s supplier was an easy one. “We accepted competitive bids from a variety of U.S., Asian and European suppliers, but GammTech offered the best solution for our needs locally, given our customer base. Our new machine will be significantly more efficient than our old one, as well as offer improvements in reliability and capabilities,” said Zamzow.
“We were thrilled that Catalyst opted for such a capable machine, because the additional capacity will allow us to explore and penetrate markets in the Midwest and northern United States,” Thompson added.
Catalyst’s owners have been involved in the animal feed and premix business for over 85 years. The company offers products for companion animals, retail feed and fertilizer distributors, and the agriculture industry worldwide. Headquarters are in Nampa, Idaho, and manufacturing facilities are in Idaho and in Des Moines, Iowa.