NDMA awards recognise the importance of collaboration for innovation

Posted by Dulcie on May 25, 2018
Posted in: News, STEM

TDK-Lambda UK achieved highly at this year’s North Devon Manufacturers Association (NDMA) awards ceremony. Recognising its collaborative approach to innovate, the company received the ‘Team of the Year’ award for product design and a special award for ‘outstanding achievement’ for its work with Ilfracombe Academy.

Team of the Year
Martin Coates, Engineering Project Manager at TDK-Lambda UK, led the 17-strong team responsible for QM modular power supply product. Engineering design and development work for this flagship medical product range focussed on three target criteria – high efficiency, low audible noise and design for easy installation. Working in a supportive manner, conducting peer reviews of designs, developing test report templates, and improving existing modification tracking sheets assured team success in achieving these goals.

NDMA Awards Dinner 2018
Team of the Year award presented by sponsor Barry Lessiter of Handelsbanken (Back Row Left) to Martin Coates, Engineering Project Manager at TDK-Lambda UK (holding award). Other members of the team include: Andrea Palmieri, Brian Casey, Ian Wilson, Darren Burgess, Sam Curtis, Marcello Maccarini, Kamil Nowacki, Marcin Gradalski and Jon Rogers.
Photo by Jo Moulton

“During the design process, strong team collaboration was paramount,” says Coates. “Many designs for modules, approaches taken for conducting tests, and solving problems have been shared across the TDK group and with other design groups. Consequently, this is reducing design time for other projects within the R&D departments in Ilfracombe and Bristol.” Coates added that the attention paid to ‘design for manufacture’ has eased production in both TDK’s UK facility and Far East manufacturing site, which is especially important as this product platform is expected to run in production for in excess of 15 years.

Close collaboration with Ilfracombe Academy
‘Save Our World’ is a collaborative project between TDK-Lambda UK, Ilfracombe Academy and the Young Enterprise (YE) initiative. It started in Sept 17 with year 12 students who were challenged to come up with a viable business initiative. TDK-Lambda provided funding to the team and Paul Swan, Finance Director, acted as business advisor.

NDMA Awards Dinner 2018
Winners of the Outstanding Achievement Award presented by Claire Gray, University of Plymouth (left) & Janet Phillips, Anew South West (centre) to TDK-Lambda and Ilfracombe Academy
– from left to right Paul Swan (TDK-Lambda), Lucien Holloway (Save Our World) and Richard Vale (Head of Drama).
Photo by Jo Moulton

The team chose an environmental theme, creating a book to help parents educate young children about the danger of plastic pollution within the oceans. The first book published follows the adventures of Peter the Puffin, who saves the world one day at a time by raising awareness about the environment. With this project, the team won the Young Enterprise trade fair, held in December 2017. The team’s second book, which features Simon the Seagull, sees the team going to the YE regional final in June 2018.

“Receiving a special award for outstanding achievement from the North Devon Manufacturers Association is phenomenal,” says Swan. “We believe this scheme has highlighted to students and teachers at Ilfracombe Academy the potential career opportunities within North Devon, which will help retain talent within our area. Through this collaboration young people are now more aware of the availability of both apprenticeship schemes and the NDMA undergraduate sponsorship programmes on offer.”

Local manufacturers celebrate success
Celebrating the achievements of manufacturers throughout the North Devon region, the NDMA Awards ceremony, which took place at the Barnstaple Hotel on 10th May, brought together more than 180 members, guests and regional industry services. The judging panel was highly complimentary of the standard of entries this year.

Other award winners included SR Furniture for ‘Manufacturer of the Year’, Accord-UK for ‘Best Environmental Project of the Year’ and Helitune for ‘Best Innovation of the Year’. Eaton, Anglo Krempel and Condition Monitoring Group (CMG) were also award winners, as well as individual awards for ‘Best Apprentice’ and ‘Best Trainee’. Students from local primary schools, secondary schools and colleges also received awards.

The close of the event saw Phil Scotcher, Joint Managing Director at TDK-Lambda UK and Chairman of the NDMA, present a cheque to the Calvert Trust, a local charity that challenges disability through outdoor adventure, for £1447 from the raffle proceeds.

Anyone wishing to find out more about the ‘Save Our World’ team or to purchase books, please visit: For more information about the NDMA undergraduate sponsorship scheme, please visit: or email Janet Phillips, NDMA undergraduate co-ordinator, at: For more information about careers TDK-Lambda, please contact Anne Sutton at: or call TDK-Lambda directly on +44 (0)1271 856600 or visit the TDK-Lambda website at: