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Partner visit to LMUK - JANUARY 2012 During January key staff from our global partners visited Laminar for the Business Partner Summit 2012. The representatives included Ronald Toh and Henri Lee from Aeris Dynamics (Singapore), and Bob Chaisson and David Hebrank from Saf-T-Pak (US). During the week they had a tour of the manufacturing plant and had various meetings to review sales, marketing, technical and manufacturing activity with the management team. They also spent two days visiting our Czech manufacturing plant to meet the Czech team and have a tour of the facility. The feedback we received was that the partners were very impressed with the staff and facilities at both plants, and found the visit to be interesting, informative and enjoyable.



We had another successful Christmas night in December at the Chiltern Forest Golf Club. This year the weather was kinder to us and the night went by without any signs of snow! We had over 75 staff with their partners attending including Daniel Piercy, Suzanne Bryden and our new chairman Chris Turner. The band Soul Desire sung their hearts out and managed to get many of us bopping on the dance floor. Sharon and I are looking again at booking this year’s event mid-December and are currently considering an alternative venue for a change of scenery. So watch this space for further details in the next edition of the Penguin Post. Fiona Knox


ACHIEVEMENTS DURING 2011 A NOTE FROM OUR MANAGING DIRECTOR 2011 proved to be a challenging year for Laminar, a year of transition. I think we were all aware the second half of 2010 saw sales fall from a promising start and it was important we recovered stability in the market and addressed this decline. I am pleased to say we achieved stability in 2011 and eventually we finished the year with upward trending in terms of both sales revenue and order book moving into 2012 and, whilst its early days, indications are that we should continue that growth as we move through 2012.

We’re in this together and everybody’s contribution within Laminar is important and counts towards our success or failure, I am confident within Laminar and our partners we have the people, ideas and initiatives in place to make 2012 and beyond a period of growing success for Laminar - and that has to be good for all of us. Stuart Coomber

So what were our achievements in 2011? It may be surprising to you but in fact there were many, here is a selection:

The Tray Form Fill & Seal machine was fully commissioned in LMCE and is now operational and serving customers not only in Europe but also the US. Laminar’s future is very much tied to this technology and our product is unique. Once qualification is obtained from all our major customers I look forward to seeing machines operational in other parts of the globe in the not too distant future. 2011 saw us complete our 3 year Product Market Strategy (PMS) project and now this range comprises of over 50 new packaging systems covering different service durations, ambient conditions and temperature ranges. As we were aware the PMS was coming to an end we have spent 2011 working on the next developments and I can inform you that we now have teams headed by Senior managers working on 7 New Product Development projects designed to position Laminar to achieve our mission “To be the leading global supply partner for the provision of temperature controlled packaging”. Within LMUK rationalisation of the carton range has resulted in budgeted annual savings of over £30k whilst reducing stockholding and administration and increasing production flexibility and improving customer service capabilities. Investment in new re-cycling machinery in LMUK enables us to recycle products to reduce costs, offer a new service to our customers as well as helping the environment – all great positives for the business and the world we live in. I could go on but I fear I would start to bore you (if I haven’t already!), so my core message to everyone is this – 2011 was a difficult year but we are through it and we are in a great position to move forward.




PROMOTIONAL ACTIVITIES CareFlex have been busy attending the following events:

5th-7th April - Naidex Birmingham – NEC

In our last edition of the penguin post we focussed on FMP (Flexible Medical Packaging) this edition features on CareFlex. CareFlex have designed and produced innovative, specialist pressure management seating in the UK since 1995. The factory based in Newton Abbot, Devon manufactures products of the highest quality that are designed to meet the needs of a wide range of clients. Our painstaking design, trialling and testing means that a CareFlex chair can be prescribed with complete confidence. All chairs have the option of CareFlex WaterCell Technology®, which when used in combination with a correctly set up chair, helps to create an excellent continuous low pressure seating system suitable for clients of medium to high risk of pressure damage. CareFlex also produce a range of Moving and Handling equipment including the ComfyBelt and bed size slide sheet packs. Our extensive range is designed with comfort and safety in mind and is an essential tool for those who are regularly involved with patient movement.

The following news has been taken from the CareFlex newsletter: Technical Updates: HydroFlex Blockers - Analysis of the Custom Made Device requests for the HydroFlex chair showed that there is a significant demand for blockers. For this reason blockers were added to the HydroFlex range of accessories from the end of May 2011. Headrests - From 8th July 2011 all CareFlex headrests are now available on all chairs across the range. Please make sure you use the new order forms that were emailed out on the 8th July 2011. HydroForm Discounted The HydroForm will be discontinued form the 1st September 2011 and replaced with the new HydroCare chair.

Naidex Birmingham was held from 5th-7th of April. Our strategy for the stand this year was to try and encourage more people onto our stand by using colour. The exhibition chairs were upholstered with our bright vibrant fabrics in a range of textures. Having a stand that was open on 3 sides enabled the chairs to be easily seen from the aisles but most importantly it gave great access to our chairs from all angles. The colourful chairs certainly did the trick, people stopped in their tracks as the colours caught their attention and brought them onto our stand.

14th-15th Sept - Naidex Scotland – SECC Glasgow

Following on from the successful exhibition at Naidex Birmingham, CareFlex exhibited at Naidex Scotland held at the SECC Glasgow from September 14th–15th. This exhibition is only held every other year and is the ultimate networking opportunity in the Scottish market. Naidex Scotland is Scotland’s only homecare, disability and rehabilitation exhibition which also enables you to touch, test and compare the latest products to aid independent living.

19th-20th Oct - Naidex South – ExCel London

CareFlex exhibited at the ExCel London were visitors had the chance to see and try new chairs including the HydroCare and had the opportunity to win an iPad. Naidex South is the homecare, disability and rehabilitation exhibition for London and the South East enabling you to touch, test and compare the latest products to aid independent living.


PEOPLE NEWS WELCOME... LAMINAR MEDICA WOULD LIKE TO WELCOME, CONGRATULATE AND SAY GOODBYE TO THE FOLLOWING MEMBERS OF STAFF: WILL PLUMB Will Plumb joined us in October 2011 as a Graduate Sales Executive. Since he joined Will has been enjoying spending time in the different departments at Laminar, seeing how the company works, familiarising himself with the products and getting to know everyone. He is a Nottingham Forest fan, plays football and tennis for his local clubs at weekends and enjoys socialising with teammates in the pub afterwards. Will is now working in the sales department where he will undergo his sales training before working on small business and the Clinical Trial sector in the UK.

MARK CHURCH Mark Church has just completed 20 years’ service in January 2012. Mark Church has been with Laminar Medica since 1992 and has had various responsibilities in the company including logistics, warehousing and waste management, gaining a wide knowledge of temperature controlled packaging and obtaining a diverse range of skills and qualifications. Mark is now the Environmental Co-ordinator for Laminar Medica, putting his interest in environmental issues to good use in ensuring we continue to grow in a sustainable and environmentally responsible way. OTHER NEWS: Last November Laminar offered free Flu vaccinations to all members of staff. The nurse who came into LM for the day used one of our CliniPorters to store the vaccines in. In total 34 members of staff waited patiently whist she stuck a needle in our arm! I hope to arrange this again towards the end of the year.

DID YOU KNOW THAT YOUR PHOTOCARD DRIVER’S LICENSE EXPIRES AFTER 10 YEARS? The photograph on your licence is only valid for 10 years, therefore, the driving licence and photo need to be updated accordingly. The paper part of your licence, however, does not expire until your 70th birthday You will be reminded by the DVLA and sent a photo renewal form D798 and it is your responsibility to renew your licence before your current photo expires. However, you will only receive this reminder if your licence shows your current address, and it is the driver’s responsibility to update the DVLA of any change in name or address. If the address is out of date, not only will you not receive your reminder letter, you could also be fined for not having your correct address on their licence documents.

SO WHAT COULD HAPPEN IF YOU DO NOTHING? If you are stopped by the Police and are asked to surrender your driving licence (which will mean both the paper and photocard), and one part has expired, you can be fined £1,000 for driving with an invalid licence. In addition to this, if you are driving with an expired Photocard licence, this can invalidate your insurance policy. Driving without adequate insurance cover is an additional offence resulting in a fine and points being added to licence. Your vehicle will be impounded if stopped by the Police.

SO, WHEN DOES YOUR PHOTOCARD LICENCE EXPIRE? The expiry date can be found on your Photocard licence in the section marked 4b. Make a note of the date; watch out for the DVLA reminder and if it doesn’t arrive, pick up a form at your local Post Office. Your driving licence should arrive within three weeks. It might take longer if DVLA have to check your medical or personal details so remember to allow plenty of time before it expires.

Fiona Knox


ON TARGET! ARCHERY 2011 It was a cold winter’s night in November when the folks from Accounts, Human Resources and Customer Services descended upon a deserted industrial estate in the middle of nowhere to fight for the “Silver Arrow”. Well, archery to be precise was the name of the game, and although virgin to some the challenge was on.

To be fair no one embarrassed themselves and not one missed the targets, well the surroundings at least. There were a few laughs along the way with Lynne not sure which way to hold the bow up and then inflicting some nasty bruises on herself but don’t ask where! Maxine couldn’t stop laughing and was just thankful to hit the target, Cherri managed not to break a nail and Nicole pleasantly surprised herself until she burst the balloon. Once Julie had defrosted her glasses she was amazed to win ‘best overall in practise’. Jane managed to do as she was told and escaped injury until the following day. Fiona was a mean lean flying machine once she removed her scarf which could have ended up strangling her! Cool, calm and slick Chris took on Cherri in the finale and with those long arms and fingers nails she pinged her way to victory and also won nearest bull. On to the pub, The Travellers Rest was our next stop. Warm, cosy and inviting we indulged in a 3 course meal, some fine wine and some good old ghost stories told (or dreamed up) by Jane. A pleasant night was had by all especially Chris as he was the only male surrounded by 7 damsels in distress! Lynne Cashen



In 2011 we passed our three yearly recertification audit for BS 25999 Business Continuity Management Systems. During 2012 BS 25999 will become an international standard. We will keep you informed when we have more information. In 2011 we integrated our management systems to combine documents and reduce duplication e.g. quality, health and safety and environment.

EPS RECYCLING From 2012 Laminar Medica (UK) Limited has the facility to recycle waste EPS by mixing it back into its’ products. Recycling of Manufacturing Scrap In the processes used to convert raw EPS bead into polystyrene, there is an inevitable amount of scrap material produced. This results from the start-up and shutdown periods of the processing machinery and rejects. We also receive a large amount of EPS ‘ returns’ from one of our major customers. Material of this type is termed, Industrial Scrap. Almost all plastics moulding companies recycle their own waste, or scrap, in-house.

As part of our ongoing integration programme we will be moving our BS25999 certification from LRQA to BSI during 2012. This will give the auditors a clearer overview of Laminar’s Management Systems.

LM DEPARTMENT TOP FOR ENVIRONMENTAL ACHIEVEMENTS 2011! During the autumn of 2011 regular spot checks were introduced in various departments throughout Laminar Medica’s site in the UK, to monitor the amount of waste that currently is sent to landfill which could be recycled. In this short space of time, efforts made to increase the amount of waste that could be recycled has been very encouraging. Indeed results from the Cut Shop spot check in December were exceptional! Between Colin, Karen and Keith they have managed to achieve a 99.9% recycling rate!

Recycling plant, Mould Shop We are hoping to be able to recycle approximately 27 tonnes of EPS waste per year. The majority of this waste will be made up of the returns. Benefits to Laminar Medica of recycling EPS: • Raw material cost savings. £35K p.a. • Less oil used for raw bead production

In addition to this, great efforts have been made to save energy too! When conditions allow lighting in the Cut Shop is either switched off, or the amount required reduced. This is achieved through control of lighting circuits, or zones, by individual light switches.

• Less energy consumed in production

A big thank you to Colin, Karen and Keith.

• Thermal system performance maintained

Keep up the great work!

The funding of the above installation was made possible through a capital expenditure programme. The installation was carried out in-house by LM’s Facilities Department.

• Reduction of transport in the supply chain • Lower CO2 emissions • 5% ratio mix



In September 2011 the Technical Department took themselves off for an afternoon of Rage Buggy Racing. All started well with couple of practice laps each around the grass track, where it became obvious that Phil was the man to beat. Then came the time trails, Scott flew around the track in an impressive 57.05 seconds beating Phil by 0.3 seconds, nail biting stuff. However if there were points awarded for style, Mikes dust churning slides would surely have come first. We then moved onto “SnookerKart” where speed and agility came into play, drivers had to manoeuvre between different coloured cones to score points. The scores were very close on this task however Chloe’s nimble racing saw her achieve top position. Gee would have also been a contender for pole position if he hadn’t decided to drag one of the cones across the field under his buggy! The last challenge was a test of team work. The department was split up into two relay teams, each member of the team had to complete three laps of the race track then make a quick driver change over in the “pits”, the team with the quickest time won. There wasn’t much between the two teams when Mike and Scott both over shot the pit box and had to be pushed back in before their next team member could start racing, costing them vital seconds that in the end lost them the relay. Team Phil, Jonathan, Gee and Chloe were crowned relay champions.

Chloe Hales 8

NVQ 4 IN SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGEMENT Like a lot of people I have never been a big fan of exams, I put the hours in and do the work but I always seem to just manage to scrape a pass (if I am lucky!). I needed to find a more vocational way of completing my studies to become a Full Member of the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply and achieve a recognised professional qualification.

of Purchasing and Supply in November 2011. I think people were a little stunned at how quick I completed the course, but I was very focused on my goal and it really was a culmination of ten years work finally finding an outlet.

I approached a training company called Qube Vocational Development who ran an NVQ 4 in Supply Chain Management; I passed the entrance test, got the relevant funding from Laminar and started the NVQ qualification in April 2011.

• More confidence in negotiating price reductions, improving service and quality based on analysis of my suppliers and their market position.

To complete the course I had to submit ten reports, five of which were mandatory, the other five were carefully selected by my tutor and me to ensure improvement to the Supply Chain function at Laminar.

• Selecting the best suppliers to work with to improve current materials and introduce new products.

The modules completed covered a range of subjects relating to the Supply Chain as follows: develop operational relationships; propose and introduce improvements, procurement of supplies, supplier selection, specifications for supplies, capability of suppliers to meet specifications, supplier performance and provide leadership in your area of responsibility.

The main things that I gained from the course were:

• Applying the right supplier relationship techniques to obtain the best performance from suppliers.

• Having the opportunity to promote the Supply Chain function within the company, highlighting its relevance and importance to our business performance.

I found the going tough to start with; juggling work, studying and essay writing was out of my comfort zone, but my Qube Tutor Rob Canning was really supportive. I got the hang of things after a couple of module’s, I found it easier to focus, complete work quicker and produce reports that were more precise and relevant to the set task. The NVQ 4 is mainly evidence based. I have been involved in a number of projects at Laminar that could be used as examples in my essays and with our comprehensive processes, procedures, ISO certifications and experienced workforce readily available to tap into, all helped to impress the Qube Assessor. The course finished with the Leadership Module, which included a presentation to the Sales and Marketing Teams, Stuart Coomber and Peter Barrow entitled: Measuring the Level of Competition - Porters Five Forces that Characterise the Level of Competition within the Supply Chain.

Paul Johnson MCIPS 27th January 2012

I was impressed with the relevant questions I was asked during the meeting and thanks to Mike Hickey for inviting me to do this, organising accordingly and kindly suggesting that the presentation was both interesting and informative. I managed to complete the course in six months, finally being accepted as a Full Member of the Chartered Institute


E H&S FOCUS ON... There are some production areas where the noise levels are high enough for the law to say we must act. These areas are;

Hearing protection is available in each of these areas and everybody is responsible for ensuring they wear it (where it is mandatory).



(Packing and mould machine areas)


(But only when using the router) and:

NEW EPS RE-GRINDER (When in use)

How are we acting?

First of all we have measured the noise levels in each of these areas. From the results, we have been able to say what hearing protection is needed in these areas. For the Mould Shop (packing and mould machine areas), hearing protection is advised. For the other areas, then hearing protection is mandatory (i.e. must be worn), shown by the sign (opposite).


If you are hosting visitors, please advise about this. If their/your plan is to visit any of these areas, you must offer hearing protection.


Fill out both puzzles to be in with a chance to win a £20 M&S voucher. All entries are to be handed to Hannah in the Sales & marketing office

GUESS WHO? ______________________________ 1. Where is your ideal holiday destination? Somewhere hot with white beaches 2. What is your favourite meal? Thai food 3. If you had to describe yourself in three words which three would you use? Organised, thoughtful, dependable 4. What fashion trend you followed was very cool then but ridiculous now? Shell suits in the early 1990’s! 5. If you choose to have a tattoo what would your tattoo look like and were would it be? I already have one, a stylistic sun design on my back, don’t think I’d have another one 6. If you had to choose a super power which one would you choose? The ability to read people’s minds and know what they are thinking 7. If you made a movie of your life what kind of movie would it be and who would be cast as you? Is your life an adventure, drama, romance or horror flick? Erm someone tall with dark hair, Liv Tyler or Julia Roberts. Would have to be a rom-com or adventure, definitely not a horror! 8. If you won the lottery what would you do with all the cash? Probably something boring like pay of my mortgage and my families. Then start building THE best designer shoe & bag collection! 9. If you could have taken a different path in life, what would you have chosen to do, knowing what you know today? Bit boring I know but I wouldn’t really change much, I’m quite happy with the way things have turned out!

Barry Price and Dave Dreamer jointly entered into our last competition and received a £10 M&S voucher each!




















1. Large house (7) 5. Pieces of information (5) 8. Profits (5) 9. Gruesome (7) 10. Retaliated (7) 11. Form of transport (5) 12. Hostility (6) 14. Stick (6) 18. Permit (5) 20. Sincere (7) 22. Creatures (7) 23. Doctrine (5) 24. Ledge (5) 25. Sweet (7)









1. Tycoon (7) 2. Dissonance (5) 3. Perceptiveness (7) 4. Wanderers (6) 5. Aspect (5) 6. Vegetable (7) 7. Austere (5) 13. Discomfort (7) 15. Mocks (7) 16. Pull out (7) 17. Stopped (6) 18. Accumulate (5) 19. Dock (5) 21. Bird of prey (5)




In January we launched a Saf-T-Pak compliance training email campaign to 1,000 contacts in the UK, Spain, France and Switzerland for Health & Safety Officer, Clinical Research Assistant, Clinical Research Associate and Microbiology contacts. Future email campaigns are planned for the pharmaceutical and clinical trials markets in the UK, France, Germany and Switzerland.

We have updated our print advertising with articles and adverts in the November issue of Pharmaceutical Manufacturing and Packing Sourcer (PMPS), and the February issue of International Clinical Trials (ICT). Future portal advertising is planned in 2012 with LinkedIn and Pharmaceutical Business Review.


SOCIAL MEDIA During the late part of 2011 the Marketing team started to explore social Media and what it could do for LM. As a result of this we plan on launching a company page on LinkedIn by March 2012 with a view to having more active participation in groups and potentially creating our own group in the future.

PENGUIN POST ARTICLES We have purchased a new exhibition stand and new banner stands for industry events in 2012. The first two events are IQPC Cool Chain Europe (Basel) 31st – 1st February and Cold Chain Distribution (London) 21-22nd February in which we will be presenting a white paper on a recent Global Temperature Mapping Study.


If you have anything you would like to see featured in the next edition of penguin post please contact Hannah in the Sales and Marketing office. Articles do not have to be work related they could be activity or hobby related. Issue 36 due out in September 2012.


Penguin Post Jan  

Staff newsletter Jan 12

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