A market survey is being conducted to determine if there are adequate Small Business, SBA certified HUBZone, SBA-certified 8(a), Women-Owned, or Service Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) contractors available for a proposed project who meet the specific criteria outlined below.

This is a SOURCES SOUGHT NOTICE ONLY. This is not a solicitation Announcement or Request for Quote. It does not constitute any commitment by the Government. No award will result from this notice. The purpose is to conduct market research to gain knowledge of potentially qualified sources and to determine the capability of Small Business and/or Large Business companies to provide the supplies/services described below. Responses to this Sources Sought Notice will be used by the Government to make an appropriate acquisition decision. Department of Agriculture (ARS) requests responses from ALL socioeconomic categories in order to gain a more complete understanding of the market for these products and service.

The USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) will not award a contract on the basis of responses or pay for the preparation of any information submitted. Respondents will not be notified of the results of this notice. After completing an analysis of the responses, the Government will determine whether to limit competition to 8(a), HUBZone, SDVOSB, Women-Owned, or other small business firms, or to proceed with issuing an unrestricted solicitation, inviting full and open competition.

The NAICS code for the expected acquisition is 334516, with a Size Standard of 1,000 employees and the PSC Code is 6640. Any subsequent procurement will be conducted as a commercial item purchased in accordance with FAR Part 12 and as a Simplified Acquisition Procedure in accordance with FAR Part 13.

The Department of Agriculture (ARS) has the need for the following products:

001) Pour, Cloud and Freeze Point Analyzer

Scope of Work:

The USDA-ARS National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research (NCAUR) in Peoria, IL is seeking sources for a pour, cloud and freeze point analyzer.

Background:

Develop technology for converting low-cost agriculture-based raw materials to biodiesel and value-added bioproducts with applications in multiple markets. Bioproducts developed from this research include biodiesel with improved performance, oils for environmental remediation of heavy metals from soil and wastewater streams, household and industrial cleaners, surfactants and detergents, biobased lubricant additives and base oils, fire-resistant polymers and plasticizers. A bench-scale instrument for analyzing the cloud point and pour point of biodiesel and biobased lubricants is necessary in pursuit of this research project’s goals and objectives. To facilitate the testing of large numbers of samples, this instrument must be fully automated and capable of delivering results within 8-10 min. Furthermore, available quantities of some biobased fluids may be limited such that small sample sizes (less than 1 mL).

The instrument is designed to measure the cloud point of fuels or lubricants by rapidly cooling a small liquid sample, optically scan for the formation of small solid crystals, and report the temperature where the crystals begin to form. The same instrument can detect the pour point by determining the temperature where the liquid “gels” and fails to show motion as it is cooled below the cloud point. The selected automatic cloud and pour point detector will replace a similar instrument that was acquired 20 years ago. The older instrument was purchased from Phase Technology (Richmond, BC, Canada) and has reliably served the research needs throughout its lifetime. However, the instrument is out of date and servicing is no longer technically supported by the manufacturer. Repairs may not be possible owing to difficulties in finding available replacement parts.

Technical Requirements:

Contractor will provide an automated cloud point and pour point tester with the following required features:

  • Integrated cooling system
  • Temperature range between −80 °c and 60 °c
  • Programmable temperature ramping and cooling
  • Touch-screen control/interface
  • Internal memory for data storage
  • External printer capable
  • Usb ports for external data backups and peripherals
  • Automatic temperature calibration

The instrument must meet the following technical specifications:

  • Cloud point measurements resolution = 0.1 °C
  • Pour point measurement resolution = 1, 2 or 3 °C
  • Yields results within 8-10 min;
  • Simultaneous measurement of cloud and pour points
  • Small footprint (maximum depth = 22 in) to fit on bench
  • Light weight (maximum = 55 lb)
  • User-friendly high resolution touch-screen control/interface
  • Graphical results viewed on screen in real time
  • Cloud and pour point measurements in compliance with ASTM standard test methods
  • Repeatability (maximum) ≤ 2 °C.

Security Requirements:

A copy of an official government photo ID (State-issued driver’s license or ID card, passport, green card, etc.) must be provided before secure access to the NCAUR facility will be provided.  Freight drivers must comply with NCAUR COVID-19 pandemic guidelines to include the wearing of face masks and maintaining six-foot social distancing.

Evaluation Factors: 

Lowest price, technically acceptable. The government intends to award a firm-fixed price award based on the lowest price technically acceptable product. The lowest priced product will be evaluated first; if not found acceptable, the next lowest priced product will be evaluated, and so on until an acceptable product is identified. The government will not review higher priced products if the lowest priced product is determined to be technically acceptable. For a vendor’s products to be considered technically acceptable, they must meet all of the technical requirements identified in the solicitation.

Key Deliverables:

  • Pour, Cloud and Freeze Point Analyzer
  • Touch Screen Protectors
  • Delivery
  • Service Plan

Delivery:

Delivery is to be made to USDA-ARS NCAUR located at 1815 N University Street, Peoria, IL 61604 by no later than 120 days after award.

The vendor shall provide all items F.O.B: destination. Location of the Government site is aboard USDA-ARS Peoria, IL and will be identified in the contract. The Government anticipates award of a Firm Fixed Price contract.

Capability Statement:

Companies who have the experience, as well as an interest in doing business with ARS, should submit a Capabilities Statement which, for this notice, is not expected to be a proposal, but rather short statements regarding the company’s ability to demonstrate their expertise and experience in relation to the areas specified in this notice.

Companies should also indicate whether they are a Small Business, SBA-certified HUBZone, SBA-certified 8(a), SDVOSB, or Women-Owned Small Business.

To be eligible, all vendors must be registered in the System for Award Management (SAM) with a current and active registration. A DUNS (Dun and Bradstreet) number is required in order to register in SAM. A vendor can contact SAM by calling 1-866-606-8220 or e-mail at www.sam.gov. NO EXCEPTIONS. Vendor must include their DUNS# on their capability statements.

Finally, to be eligible, all vendors must be NDAA 889 Certified. If they do not currently have a NDAA 889 Certification, then they must complete the attached NDAA 889 Certification form and submit it to aaron.dimeo@usda.gov so that they can be added to the list of NDAA 889 Certified vendors.

Submitting a Capability Statements:

Responses should be submitted via email to aaron.dimeo@usda.gov by Thursday, September 16, 2021 at 5:00 p.m. CST. Telephone inquiries will not be accepted.

Disclaimer:

This notice does not obligate the Government to award a contract or otherwise pay for the information provided in response. The Government reserves the right to use information provided by respondents for any purpose deemed necessary and legally appropriate. Respondents are also advised that under no obligation to acknowledge receipt of information or provide feedback about any of the information received.  After review of the responses received, the Government may issue a pre-solicitation synopsis and solicitation. No proprietary, sensitive, confidential or classified information shall be included with your response. The Government reserves the right to use any non-proprietary technical information in any resultant solicitation.