Dry Lube Ltd provides water-free conveyor lubrication technology and services to the global food and beverage industry. Their technology applies optimum volumes of concentrated lubricant by brush onto conveyor belts to help balance the packages as they proceed along the conveyor belt. Their technology replaces the traditional method of spraying a soap and water solution.
The machinery and lubricant was developed in Scotland and marketed from Dry Lube’s global headquarters in Edinburgh.
The Environmental and Clean Technology Award reflects how new technologies can promote sustainable consumption, reduce environmental impacts and create new business opportunities. The VIBES Judges felt that the new product developed by Dry Lube is an innovative technology that has proven environmental and business benefits.
Dry Lube have an exceptional commitment to the environment and their product, developed 10 years ago, has improved over time and used primarily in beverage packaging facilities, can help businesses reduce their waste and improve productivity. The VIBES Judges were impressed by the potential of the business and the technology they use. They felt Dry Lube is an excellent product, providing significant water savings and added environmental benefits including reduced energy, wastewater treatment, less production waste and transport movements creating a win-win for the environment and cost reduction.
Dry Lube’s products result in significant environmental benefits compared to their competitors which consume a lot of water which produces volumes of effluent to be treated. As the product does not use water there are significant savings made in the packaging process. As well as water reduction, their conveyor lubrication system uses proprietary food safe lubricant oil. Optimum volumes are set by Dry Lube’s service engineers to ensure there is no excess. The lubricant minimises friction, in turn reducing the electricity usage of the motor by between 7-10%, equating to significant CO2 reductions. There are additional savings such as a reduction in primary container waste through improved package stability by controlling coefficients of friction and no waste-water treatment required from conveyor lubrication.
The VIBES Judges were impressed by the all round benefit of the products to Dry Lube’s customers and their own business. Their products save customers money on: waste, effluent, energy, lubricant and waste product (bottles, cans etc). Turnover in Dry Lube grew around 20% in the last year with 98% of their product being sold out with Scotland, even though this is where their head office is and where they develop the products. They have recruited two new members of staff this year and are looking at taking on more engineers in the future. The judges liked that the company actively promotes the environmental benefits of their products, along with the associated cost reductions when marketing.
Dry Lube’s products are state-of-the-art in the food and drink industry and, although other competitors are trying to develop dry lubrication systems, currently other products on the market still offer silicone based lubricants which are problematic concerning water treatment and by-products. There is scope for the business to expand into other sectors and businesses although they are currently focusing on their primary market. Dry Lube is also continuously developing their products to stay ahead of their competition.
The VIBES Judges felt that Dry Lube is an excellent example of an original company with an innovative system which can reduce environmental impacts and increase cost savings, thus, improving the commercial viability of the products for their business and their customer.
Sarah Davenport, head of marketing at Dry Lube said: “We are delighted to win the Environmental and Clean Technology Award at this year’s VIBES Awards and to have been a named finalist in the Hydro Nation Award and the Circular Economy Award. It’s a huge achievement for our small company which has grown and expanded in the past few years as a result of the environmental rewards our customers receive from our innovative technology.”