As an engineering discipline, machine building is more reliant than most on a healthy ecosystem of suppliers to support its activities. This diversity is well represented at Southern Manufacturing & Electronics, which returns to FIVE, Farnborough on 13/14 February 2013.
The diversity of suppliers and disciplines represented under one roof makes Southern Manufacturing & Electronics one of the most important shows for machine builders in the UK. And, given the growing numbers of companies exhibiting from continental Europe and beyond, an increasingly important international marketplace too.
It is easy to see why the show is so popular: its venue - a purpose-built temporary structure next to Farnborough airport in Hampshire - makes access relatively easy compared to other major exhibition centres in the UK. Although grouped into areas such as Machinery, Production and Electronics, the show does not restrict itself to just one sector, meaning that it is possible to meet companies from a wide variety of engineering-related industries and resolve multiple production issues in a single visit. The show is now big enough to attract major international companies, yet it has retained its accessibility for smaller firms - many of whom do not exhibit anywhere else. Last but not least, the show - including car parking and participation in the excellent technical seminar programme - is completely free.
The fact that it has delivered nine years of consecutive growth against the backdrop of perhaps one of the most turbulent economic periods for a generation is a measure of the show's continuing popularity. Exhibitor registrations for 2013 are up 30 per cent compared with the same period last year. The total number of confirmed exhibitors has already exceeded the final total for 2012. To accommodate them, the exhibition area has been expanded by a further 35 per cent. With a floor area of 5350m2, the 2013 show will be the largest Southern Manufacturing event ever staged, as well as the most international thanks to companies from the USA, Austria, Germany, Latvia, Italy and the Netherlands among others, alongside a remarkable cross-section of suppliers from all over the UK.
Many of the regular exhibitors will need no introduction. Igus (UK), HepcoMotion, LG Motion, Fanuc, RNA Automation, Raster Vision, Finder and Lee Springs are among hundreds of well-known names taking part. Among some of the interesting new faces for 2013 are companies such as connector specialist Amphenol, consultants TUV Rheinland, relay and switch distributor TTI inc/Mouser Electronics, precision component manufacturer Farsound Engineering and cable management provider Kabelschlepp Metool.
The enlarged Electronics Pavilion is an area of particular interest to machine builders looking for components and subassemblies. Regular exhibitors such as Spirit Circuits, Eurocircuits, RS Components, Anixter Component Solutions and hundreds of others are joined by a considerable number of first-time exhibitors, including insulation provider Croylek, wound component manufacturer REO (UK), DP Seals, Eclipse Magnetics, Manutech Europe, MegaDyne UK and many others. Display and HMI suppliers include membrane keyboard specialist Mekall, EG Electronics and EAO.
Sub-contract services are also a hugely important aspect of Southern Manufacturing & Electronics, with almost every conceivable engineering or manufacturing activity well represented, from PCB assembly to castings, machining and fabrication. Some notable new names in this sector include the Paragon Electronics Group and SIC Limited. Other areas of advanced manufacturing are also on show, including composites, engineering plastics and additive manufacturing. The learning opportunities continue through the ever-popular free technical seminar sessions, running in two lecture theatres over both days of the show. The presentations cover a broad range of business and technical topics, each delivered by expert speakers in their respective fields.
Entry to Southern Manufacturing & Electronics is completely free. To register, simply visit www.industrysouth.co.uk. Registered visitors can also reserve a place at any of the 24 free seminars using this site. FIVE, Farnborough is easily accessible by road and public transport. On-site car parking is free, and a free shuttle bus service operates daily between the show and both North Camp and Farnborough Main railway stations. Visitors can keep up with all the latest news on the show blog at blog.industrysouth.co.uk or by joining the Southern Manufacturing & Electronics group on LinkedIn.