Manufacturing Matters – Specialist Publication by DLA Piper

Welcome to Manufacturing Matters, DLA Piper’s specialist publication providing a round-up of legal news, sector updates and commentary for clients and contacts engaged in the manufacturing sector.

In this latest issue:

  • Direct-to-consumer selling – What you need to know about GDPR
  • Keith Warburton, Global Business Culture – UK Manufacturing needs a global mindset
  • Pensions – Key issues for your agenda
  • Collective bargaining stalemate?
  • Brexit – Is the only certainty uncertainty?
  • Transfer pricing
  • Damian Waters, CBI – The future of Industrial Strategy
  • A new duty for large companies

To Download this latest edition please click HERE



To develop their leadership skills the employee-owned Gripple companies are to release several staff to spend weeks as volunteers with a national charity which strives to establish sustainable change in challenging environments overseas.

To provide opportunities for the companies’ youngest employees, GLIDE (Growth Led Innovation Driven Employee Company Limited) – the private company established by Gripple’s founding chairman, Hugh Facey to harness the culture of each member business – has joined forces with Raleigh International – the charity creating lasting change through youth where there are development challenges.

The programme was open to employees from all GLIDE companies – Gripple, Gripple Automation, Loadhog, PMS Diecasting, GoTools and Laser Scanning, with employees submitting applications before a rigorous two stage interview process by members of the GLIDE board. The successful employees, three under 25, Natalia Piekarczyk, Chris Ellis and Joe Goldthorpe, will be in volunteer positions and one over 25, Ewa Smereka who will take up a volunteer manager role, will begin their expeditions in July.

They will set off on 8-13 week-long expeditions respectively to remote communities in Costa Rica, Malaysian Borneo and Tanzania undertaking activities such as building new schools and digging wells to establish water supplies.

GLIDE will fund a considerable portion of the costs for each volunteer, with the remaining being raised by the successful applicants in projects such as leg waxes, BBQs and bake sales, with more inventive events planned.

James Sallows, GLIDE chairman, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for younger people in our businesses to experience life-changing activities and develop valuable skills which will enhance their professional development. We hope this will be the first of many years in partnership with Raleigh International to provide these types of projects for many of our shareholding employees.”



Photo caption l-r Joe Goldthorpe, Natalia Piekarczyk, Ewa Smereka, James Sallows and Chris Ellis


Hallam University designed package wraps up award win

An energy-bar wrapper designed by Sheffield Hallam University’s Design Futures has won an international award.

Yumpa Bars won Best Sustainable Packaging at the International Food and Drink Event (IFE), World Food Innovation Awards for the compostable wrapper of their Cricket Flour natural energy bar, which was designed by the University’s packaging experts and Parkside.

The ground-breaking energy bar made with high-protein cricket flour is the first snack bar in Europe to have a fully compostable wrapper.

John Kirkby, director of Design Futures, said: “Environmental responsibility is a key company ethic for Yumpa. Sustainable packaging materials are therefore vital to the product range and Yumpa’s commitment to achieving solutions that meet this requirement has been very impressive.

“The effort and extra investment required to push through the compostable film for the primary packaging was considerable but makes a real difference to the product. The final design for the wrappers, shelf ready packaging and postal box all illustrate that sustainable packaging solutions can still create a strong brand impact.”

Tony Askins, the entrepreneur behind Yumpa, said: “It’s amazing to win this award. Consumers are becoming more conscious of the environmental impact of both food and packaging. As well as being healthy and tasty, insect protein is more sustainable than other animal protein sources, so the compostable wrapper fits perfectly with that message.

“We worked closely with Design Futures and Parkside on these wrappers and we were delighted with what the team came up with. They have a really forward-thinking attitude towards packaging design.”

L-R: Tony Askins, John Kirkby

Design Futures came to work with Yumpa through the Sheffield Innovation Programme (SIP), which allows small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) from across the region to access academic expertise, facilities and resources to support and develop business growth.

To find out more, please visit

Find out more about Yumpa at



Arconic Foundation, the independent philanthropic arm of advanced materials company Arconic, has awarded a $100,000 (£77,000) grant to the University of Sheffield as part of its Advanced Manufacturing Education Grant Programme.

The scheme is designed to address the “rapid shift” taking place in manufacturing, which is moving from traditional methods to cutting-edge technologies such as automation and robotics.

The University of Sheffield’s allocation will be used to refresh final year projects for Aerospace Engineering (AERO) and Material Science and Engineering (MSE) students, aged 19-29, who will receive an influx of updated equipment and software.

They will also be given the opportunity to undertake learning experiences with local employers.

“The demanding nature of the advanced manufacturing sector requires exceptional talent with skills vital to drive conventional and emerging engineering techniques and technologies, especially in aerospace,” said Harry Klein, UK country manager at Arconic.

“Partnering with the university helps to build a world-leading educational platform.”

Professor Neil Hyatt, head of the department of materials science and engineering at University of Sheffield, added: “We are delighted to have been awarded this grant to improve our graduate’s readiness for the expanding metals and aerospace manufacturing sector.

“The funds will help to invest in our metals processing facilities and modelling software capabilities, even equipping students in additive manufacturing techniques.”

In total there are six educational organisations in four countries benefiting from the $600,000 initiative: Ivy Tech Community College (Indiana), Muskegon Community College (Michigan), Pellissippi State Community College (Tennessee) the Cologne Institute for Economic Research and Obuda University in Szekesfehervar, Hungary.


David Hall, the chief executive who has led Doncaster-based Polypipe since 2005, is to retire with a replacement unveiled by the plastic pipe manufacturer.

Hall will be succeeded by Martin Payne, the group’s chief financial officer.

Payne will take on the role from 2 October, when Hall officially retires.

Hall has been the chief executive since 2005, leading Polypipe’s strategy and overseeing its successful listing on the London Stock Exchange in 2014.

Payne has been the chief financial officer since May 2016 after having fulfilled the same role at Norcros plc, a supplier of branded bathroom products. He has also held senior positions at JCB, and at IMI plc, the British-based engineering company.

Payne said: “I am honoured and delighted to have been chosen to lead Polypipe through the next phase of its development. We have talented and committed people across the Group, and I am excited to be working with them to build on the success achieved over recent years.”

The company has also announced that Glen Sabin will occupy the newly created role of chief operating officer, from 2 October 2017.

Sabin will be responsible for the operations of the group, reporting to Payne, and will sit on the board.

A process to appoint a replacement chief financial officer is underway and Payne will continue to oversee the finance function until a permanent successor is appointed.

Chairman Ron Marsh said: “David has played a pivotal role in building Polypipe into the successful business it is today and, on behalf of the board, I would like to thank him for his invaluable contribution to the business and wish him the very best for the future.

“The board conducted a thorough search for his successor, using third party advisers and including external candidates, and agreed that Martin was the outstanding choice.

“His leadership, financial and operational skills, together with his significant experience of public markets and manufacturing of building products, are a great asset to the company.”

Hall said: “It has been a huge privilege to lead Polypipe over the past 12 years through both private ownership and a successful stock market listing in April 2014.

“I am extremely proud of the people within Polypipe and what they have achieved and am confident that shareholders can continue to rely on their capability and enthusiasm going forward.

He added: “I am delighted that the board has decided that Martin should succeed me as CEO and that Glen will join the board as COO.

“Together they have deep knowledge of the business and the industry, possessing the skills and expertise to drive the future development of Polypipe.”

Source: Joshua Hammond, Business Insider, 24th May 2017


Master’s mission to Dubai a ‘success’

Six firms travelled in a party led by the Master Richard Edwards who chose the gulf stage due to the “uncertainty of our European export markets looming large.”

hey explored new avenues for manufacturers, and had a tour of Doncaster firm Polypipe’s giant factory – but the main aim was to seek opportunities from the global trade fair: Expo 2020.

The event was organised by the Sheffield-based International Trade Forum, one of the few private sector organisations organising overseas missions for members.

Mr Edwards said: “This Cutlers’ Company-led initiative is one of many which shows that we, in this region, are up for a challenge and we need to ensure that this message is passed on continuously, loud and clear, particularly in these uncertain times.

“I am sure there are many who were disappointed at being unable to join us, but we all need to be active and seek opportunities to expand their horizons.”

The group included past Master, Craig McKay of Evenort, Tim Jewitt of Footprint Tools, Jonathan Pankethman and Dan Stephenson of Pryor Marking Technology, Alasdair Boag and Keith Rixon of Dymet Alloys and Ken Torres of Torres Engineering and Pumps.

Even before setting out, Mr Torres made contact with the international oil field services company Weatherfords in Dubai to discuss supplying high pressure pumps.

He met their engineering manager to finalise the purchase soon after landing.

William Beckett, chair of the International Trade Forum, said: “The presentation at the British Centres for Business on the Sunday morning gave us an insight into the unique services they offer companies to set up a base, which are more extensive than those offered by traditional British embassies and chambers of commerce in foreign markets.


“Polypipe took us to their technical centre where they told us about how they had established themselves in the UAE. They also took us to their new manufacturing facility and we were in awe of the scale of their operation.

“Their hospitality and interest in supporting the companies on our mission was exemplary and reinforced the benefit of going as a group which organises such meetings. “Of equal importance is the networking and support from fellow travellers which for many was a steep learning curve in this exciting market.”


Source: David Walsh, Business Editor, Sheffield Star

Images: International Trade Forum


Sheffield-based manufacturing business Macalloy is using funding from Barclays to support its expansion with a new trade deal for work on stadia set to host matches at next year’s World Cup already secured.

With roots dating back to 1948, Macalloy is headquartered in Dinnington and designs, manufactures and supplies high strength bar and cable systems.

Chief executive Peter Hoy said: “We’ve been trading successfully overseas for some time now but we’re always looking for new projects and the funding from Barclays has enabled us to finalise an exciting deal working on Russia stadia in time for the World Cup 2018.

“We are delighted to be involved with five of the stadia and we are now planning ahead to 2022 and Qatar. We have already completed the refurbishment of the Al Khalifa stadium where we were first involved with the renovation in 2006 and the Asian games.

“We are now seeing enquiries for the remaining stadia both refurbishments and new builds and are hoping that our experience working on the 2018 stadia will be an excellent reference for future work.”

Barclays has provided both term debt and working capital to Macalloy who employ more than 90 staff. Turnover for the current year is expected to exceed £11m.

Neil Bradburne, Barclays relationship director, said: “With the recent exchange rate movement, UK manufacturers now have a worldwide appeal and it’s good to see a local company taking advantage of market conditions and expanding for the future.”

Source: Laurence Kilgannon, Business Insider

Working with Robots: Human-Robot Co-working Workshop

As part of the Sheffield Innovation Programme, robotics experts from both of Sheffield’s universities are collaborating to deliver an innovative workshop to inspire collaboration between the Sheffield Robotics Institute and industry. This is an opportunity to exchange ideas and learn about the possibilities offered by the emerging field of Cobotics technologies. We aim to engage with industry and workforce stakeholders, businesses eligible to attend should be based in the Sheffield City Region.

The workshop will explore where robots share tasks with humans making manufacturing more flexible, allowing for bespoke manufacture and creating more opportunities for split operations (where robots and humans share tasks according to strengths and cognitive capabilities). This event will provide an opportunity for industry to understand how to adopt and implement robot-human co-working in real settings.

DATE AND TIME: Wed 7 June 2017, 09:00 – 17:00 BST

LOCATION: Factory 2050, Europa View, Sheffiel, S9 1ZA



A Barnsley-based health supplements firm is targeting sales of more than £5m in the financial year.

BetterYou supplies a range of supplements including oral vitamin sprays and transdermal magnesium to independent retailers, health stores and pharmacies across the UK.

It now supplies high street names such as Holland & Barrett Fortnum & Mason, Liberty London and Lloyds Pharmacy.

The business employs almost 30 staff at its base at Shortwood Business Park and exports to more than 30 countries, accounting for 35 per cent of its business.

Finance Yorkshire has invested a total £225,000 in the company.

Robin Whitbread, chief executive of BetterYou, said: “The investment support from Finance Yorkshire has been very timely, providing us with the working capital to invest in a number of areas including recruitment and new product development, which is the lifeblood of our business.

“When Finance Yorkshire first invested in 2012, we had 12 staff and now we have 28.

“We have also recently taken on a second unit at Shortwood to increase our warehouse capacity and create more office space.”

BetterYou has recruited a new product development manager Greg Weatherhead and moved manufacturers in the UK to ensure production of its supplements is fully automated.

Chief executive of Finance Yorkshire Alex McWhirter said: “BetterYou is a fantastic example of a business which has developed and grown through research and innovation to become a multimillion-pound international brand.

“Our investment support has been pivotal for the company at crucial stages in its growth strategy and it is very pleasing to see its expansion, including the creation of jobs in the Yorkshire region.”

Source: Joshua Hammond, Business Insider, 23rd May 2017