Southern Manufacturing & Electronics returns to FIVE, Farnborough, on 15/16 February 2012. While the 2011 show set new records for the numbers of visitors and participating companies, the 2012 event promises further growth and a new Electronics Production area.
Despite the continuing economic uncertainties, there seems little evidence that engineering firms are lacking optimism, according to Southern Manufacturing's organiser, European Trade & Exhibition Services (ETES). Phil Valentine, the Show Director, comments: "We have already passed the total exhibition area for the 2011 event. We are confident that we will fill another 900m2 of exhibition space before the event opens next February."
The Southern Manufacturing show has become extremely popular among the UK's industrial SMEs. Hall 2 – the new area added in 2011 – will host a new Electronics Production area, sited next to the existing Electronics section, which now accounts for 50 per cent of the overall show area. The Electronics section of the show has grown considerably in recent years to become a comprehensive marketplace in the UK for machine building components and sub-assemblies such as encoders, controllers, drives and sensors.
In the other half of the show, visitors can see manufacturers, tool suppliers, subcontractors and suppliers covering a broad spectrum of production needs, from steel stockists to software. The organisers say that Southern Manufacturing is the only annual event in the UK where it is possible to meet such a broad range of suppliers.
In addition, Southern Manufacturing enjoys strong support from its exhibitors, the majority of which return each year. This solid core of support exerts a powerful pull on visitors and prospective exhibitors, with new participants seeing a marked increase for 2012. Valentine states: "Around 20 per cent of the companies taking part this year are new exhibitors. We are glad to see most of the familiar faces returning again in 2012, but we are particularly excited to be welcoming such a large number of first-time exhibitors to the show."
Small and medium size companies account for the majority of the show's 600 exhibitors, and it is this rich variety of businesses concentrated into one venue that is a key factor in the show's enduring popularity. Valentine continues: "One of the strongest features of the show is its accessibility; it is a show for the small to medium-sized engineering businesses that are the backbone of UK industry. Its accessibility allows it to reflect the real needs of business far more accurately than national events, which tend to be biased towards large companies."
Alongside major players such as igus (UK), Fanuc and LG Motion, visitors to the 2012 show will find a wealth of specialists catering for virtually every requirement. Valentine comments: "We have noticed a growth trend in the number of high-tech manufacturers, specialist distributors and suppliers, such as HMI designers. There is also an increasing number of companies providing training services, which is an encouraging trend."
Knowledge transfer has been a big part of the Southern Manufacturing & Electronics Show since its inception. The programme of free technical seminars gives visitors access to presentations from business experts and leading academics. Topics on the agenda for 2012 include:
- Advanced manufacturing techniques and materials
- Designing for commercial success
- Selling abroad
- Lean Manufacturing
- How to market successfully
A full list of seminars is available at www.industrysouth.co.uk, together with a pre-registration form.
Entry to Southern Manufacturing & Electronics 2012 is completely free to business visitors, and FIVE Farnborough offers plentiful free car parking, superb access by road, rail or air, and an excellent selection of local hotels. To register online for tickets, or to find out about exhibiting at this event, go to www.industrysouth.co.uk or telephone +44 (0)1784 880 890. Visitors can follow all the latest news from the show at www.linkedin.com or the blog at blog.industrysouth.co.uk.