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Case study

Meat Industry Case Study

September 30, 2022

Case study: a leading UK meat producer.


This large abattoir processes over 2000 lamb and 200 cattle every working day, employing over 30 engineers on 26 production lines. The Engineering Management identified their top 4 supplier criteria as food safety, control, availability and fit for purpose for the aggressive production environment.

The site has had issues with a unoptimised lubrication culture, using over 20 products from 6 manufacturers at the time of engagement with Activate, and the situation has not been helped by the engineers themselves.

With at least 6 nationalities on site, the inconsistent storage and inventory keeping has introduced difficulties for those who don’t speak English as a first language. Also, the engineers have traditionally resisted change, pushing against management when they have tried to make positive changes.

The Engineering Management really liked the idea of colour coding and performance lubricants, and would particularly like to use a single source for their lubrication needs.


Firstly, all 10 fluids the site was using were non-Foodgrade, as were some of the aerosols, posing a huge potential risk in audit situations.

The lack of consistency due to multiple lubricant brands on site was causing a headache for engineers and purchasers alike, posing risks of mis-selection and misapplication.

With the current situation, the Stores Manager’s desire for food safety and control was impossible to achieve, and there was a continual danger of a serious and sudden breach of the required standards.


We ran a four week, no-obligation trial of Activate products housed in a dedicated storage unit, with integral supporting application and compliance materials.

All products use a Group 4 fully synthetic base and have a wide operating range, which allowed us to rationalise the inventory from 20 lubricants (from 6 different manufacturers) to 15 Activate lubricants - all Foodgrade / NSF Registered to the required category, ensuring audit compliance.

Our visual management dispensing process made it simple for operatives to select the right product for each application with enthusiastic buy-in to a system design for engineers, by engineers. The Stores Manager enjoyed the peace of mind of an optimised oil store, more resilient application controls and guaranteed BRC audit compliance.


“We were extremely positive and optimistic about the Activate trial from the start, having understood the potential from our conversations with the advisors that carried out our initial site visits.

Two years down the line we are very happy indeed, with respect to the levelling up of our compliance, performance and systemisation that using the Activate system has enabled. Our sprockets and chains are lasting longer and the support is second to none.

All the SDS and Allergen paperwork is readily available in the Compliance Manual and on Activate’s website customer portal. Delivery is excellent!

We have gone from a random situation with regards to lubrication to one that we feel on top of. We absolutely love the colour-coding which prevents the mis-selection of lubricants that could cause expensive mistakes.

Our most stringent audit is BRC (others include Sainsbury’s, Lidl and Asda) and it’s an extra layer of peace of mind to know that we compliant from the start. We have never failed an audit since using the Activate system and products.

We are likely to need another system once we update our Primary Workshop later in the year and we look forward to expanding with the Activate offering.”



Changing the game
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“Thank you so much for your help we cruised through the audit nicely thanks to your swift response! I don’t think there is anything we need at the minute but thank you again for the support - times like that show which suppliers truly deliver support and you do!”

Engineer - Leading UK Meat Producer

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“Thanks to you and the whole Activate team for your assistance this year, it has been great working with you.”

Chief Engineer - Global Snacks Producer

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