The Southern Manufacturing & Electronics Show returns to FIVE, Farnborough, on 16/17 February 2011. Having apparently weathered the worst of the recession, recent figures from the Office of National Statistics show that UK manufacturing is now growing at the fastest rate since 1994, with machinery and equipment sales in the vanguard of this resurgence. Against the backdrop of this increasing activity, the 2011 Southern Manufacturing show has experienced a significant upswing in demand from companies wishing to have a presence at the event.
Show director Phil Valentine states: "We had already exceeded the final number of exhibitors for the 2010 show by mid-September. The level of demand has been unprecedented." Another 750m2 of exhibition space has been added to cope with extra demand, and the total number of exhibitors is expected to pass 600 for the first time. Valentine comments: "Southern Manufacturing 2011 will be the biggest event we have ever staged."
A major factor in the Southern Manufacturing show's popularity is the diversity of companies taking part. Its co-location with Southern Electronics – now said to be the UK's longest-running electronics show – means that in one visit it is possible to see suppliers from virtually every aspect of manufacturing industry, from packaging supplies to the latest machine tools. Valentine says; "The appeal of the show is very much that visitors can address a broad range of needs in a single visit. There is not another show that allows you to source such a wide variety of components, services and production equipment in one venue. The diversity of products and activities represented make it a very useful event for machine builders, in particular."
Another characteristic of the show is the fact that it features a blend of both large and small companies. Alongside major players such as igus, Yamazaki Mazak and Haas Automation, many of the smaller specialist firms at Southern Manufacturing do not exhibit anywhere else, which creates another compelling reason to visit.
Free technical seminars
Along with the impressive array of engineering hardware on show, the Southern Manufacturing show is also well-known for its free technical seminar programme. Last year's sessions drew attendees in record numbers, with the most popular sessions filling both lecture theatres to capacity on both days of the show. Again, diversity of content means that there is something of interest for everyone.
The most popular topics covered in 2010 will return in next year's programme, including designing for commercial success, how to succeed at product development, Lean, Six Sigma and many more. Highlights of the 2011 programme will include presentations on additive layer manufacturing by Dr Phil Reeves, lead consultant with Econolyst Ltd and the GTMA, and an examination of quality issues by David Hutchins, consultant and fellow of the Chartered Quality Institute.
Entry to Southern Manufacturing & Electronics 2011 and participation in the technical seminars is completely free to business visitors. FIVE Farnborough is located within Farnborough Airport, just off the M3 in Hampshire, and is easily accessible by road or public transport. To register online for tickets and seminar places, simply go to www.industrysouth.co.uk or call +44 (0)1784 880 890. Visitors can also keep up to date with all the latest news from the show by visiting the official blog site at blog.industrysouth.co.uk.