A Ford-based innovator is celebrating its largest ever export order after he sealed a contract with a major supplier to the Dutch care sector.
iDry, which was founded by Gary Seale in 2021, is shipping 75 of its wall-mounted, full body air dryers to Lavicta in a bid to improve care for elderly residents and, importantly, free-up time for staff who no longer have to perform the drying task.
It comes at an ideal time for the business, who is expected to ramp up production to 220 units per month, as demand also increases from clients in domestic care and for hotels and luxury properties.
The company is now looking to attract additional investment to maximise this opportunity, as well as bringing its Model 2 to market, a model that will be controlled remotely by an app and features 14 different heating and drying functions.
“A switch has definitely been flicked overseas and the care sector really get us and what we are trying to do with our technology,” explained Gary Seale, Managing Director of iDry.
“In the last three months, we have secured our biggest export order that is heading to Holland, as well as kickstarting new pilot schemes or shipping units to clients in Scandinavia and the ‘No White Flags’ charity in the US.”
He continued: “We’ve been talking about the cost savings and the environmental impact of iDry for some time and we can now quantify this thanks to lots of customer feedback and our own performance surveys.
“By putting in 20 of our body dryers, a client is saving more than 117 care hours every week, vital hours that can be spent delivering what elderly patients or residents really require.
“It has also been proven that to launder one towel costs 28p, whereas a 5-minute session with our body dryer is less than 2p. A major financial, and importantly, environmental saving.”
First developed by Michael Godwin in 1991, iDry uses air outlets positioned at different heights along the dryer leg to push warm air out to the user.
The current production and assembly process is a truly West Midlands affair, with Birford Cable & Harness, Heelman, Tooling 2000 and PJS Mouldings providing electrical, precision parts and plastic mouldings.
Gary concluded: “The Europeans and even the US get what we’re trying to do, and we’d love to start having the same impact in our home markets, starting with care specialists on our doorstep in Shropshire for example.
“Talks have taken place, but they seem more reticent to press the button on new technology than their international counterparts.
“2023 is going to be a milestone year for the business and we are now actively seeking external investment to help us scale up production, introduce our Model 2 and maximise a strong pipeline of opportunities.”
iDry made its first appearance on DIY SOS recently when Nick Knowles and his team used its technology to help futureproof the home of a family who had two children with progressive disabilities.