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 6630. 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) Viscometer

Scope of Work:

The USDA-ARS in Peoria, IL is seeking sources for a viscometer.


A bench-size instrument for analyzing the viscosity and density of biodiesel and biobased lubricants is necessary in pursuit of this research project’s goals and objectives of developing technology for converting low-cost agriculture-based raw materials to biodiesel and value-added bioproducts with applications in multiple markets. The selected viscometer-densitometer is an upgrade of a similar instrument that was acquired 15 years ago. The older instrument was purchased from Anton-Paar USA and has reliably served the research needs throughout its lifetime. However, the instrument is out of date, servicing requires extra surcharge and soon may be discontinued by the manufacturer.  Repairs may not be possible owing to difficulties in finding available replacement parts. The new instrument offers faster measurements, extended temperature range, better reproducibility of the density and cheaper service. In order to meet ARS needs, the instrument must have meet many technical requirements and be designed to maintain the temperature of the sample with high precision (less than 0.03 °C variation) and measure the viscosity and density of the sample with high reproducibility. The instrument should be able to perform a scan of programmed temperatures and automatically measure the viscosities and the densities. The temperature range should be 20 to 100 °C, or wider. To facilitate the testing of large numbers of samples, this instrument must be able to be programmed to run a range of measurement on a sample in an automated manner. Due to the limited availability of some samples, a small (<5 ml) sample size is also required.

Technical Requirements:  

Contractor will provide an automated viscosity- and density- meter with the following required features: The Contractor will deliver, install and service the instrument within ten (10) weeks from the receipt of the purchase order. The Contractor will service the instrument upon delivery and again one year after the installation.

  • Integrated automatic temperature-control system;
  • Temperature range between 0 °C and 100 °C or wider
  • Temperature reproducibility (20-100 °C) = 0.03 °C or better;
  • Capable of simultaneous measurement of density and viscosity
  • Density and viscosity measurements in compliance with ASTM (D4052 and D445, D7042 or equivalent) standard test methods;
  • Capable of measuring in viscosity range 0.5-3 000 mm2/s or wider
  • Viscosity reproducibility = 0.5% or better;
  • Capable of measuring in density range 0.6-2.5 g/cm3 or wider
  • Density reproducibility 0.0001 g/cm3 or better;
  • Sample volume requirements ≤ 5 ml.
  • Programmable viscosity and density measurements scanning through multiple temperatures
  • small footprint (W×D×H=<20”×<25”×<15”) to fit on bench;
  •  USB port for exporting the data.

The contractor should provide maintenance records within two (2) weeks of the services.  


A contractor’s specialist will visit the Lab for servicing the instrument. The costs associated with the travel are included in the overall cost of the service and will NOT be further reimbursed by the Government.

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. Visitors must comply with NCAUR COVID-19 pandemic guidelines to include the wearing of face masks and maintaining six-foot social distancing.

Government Furnished:

The government provides the trade-in Viscometer instrument (Anton-Paar SVM3000G2); and access to the laboratory and relevant laboratory space where the new Viscometer will be installed. The lab will also provide reagent-grade solvents (three solvents, ~1 L each) for cleaning the instrument during the services.   

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:

  • Viscometer
  • Delivery
  • Installation
  • Low-temperature adjustment to viscometer
  • Second one-year follow-up service on viscometer
  • Trade-in viscometer instrument (Anton-Paar SVM3000G2)


Delivery and future maintenance of the instrument is to be made to 1815 N. University Street, Peoria, IL 61604 within ten (10) weeks of the purchase. The second service of the Viscometer to occur one year after initial adjustment.

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 Monday, September 13, 2021 at 5:00 p.m. CST. Telephone inquiries will not be accepted.


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.