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Southern Manufacturing & Electronics 2016

29 December 2015

Southern Manufacturing and Electronics returns to FIVE, Farnborough, February 9-11 2016. The show retains its popular three day format, making it easier to plan a trip to one of the most popular annual engineering events in the UK.

Southern Manufacturing and Electronics is the pre-eminent engineering show south of the Midlands, if not the whole of the country, and is increasingly coming to the attention of European firms seeking to access the UK manufacturing sector. At around 18,000 square metres, and hosting more than 800 exhibitors, Southern 2016 is a significant event by any measure, providing the first, and for many visitors the best, opportunity annually to experience the hottest products and technologies. 

The 2015 event introduced the three-day format, which proved very popular, bringing a substantial escalation in visitor numbers. This will be retained for 2016, making it easier to plan a call into the show, and helping to make the event much more attractive to exhibitors from a wider geographic area, including continental Europe.

The show is organised into three main event areas – Manufacturing, Electronics and the specialist aerospace and automotive engineering area, AutoAero. Areas such as Subcontracting, Electronics Test & Measurement, Machinery & Tooling help visitors orient themselves, while Technology Trails provide another convenient method for visitors to find their way around the show. With an event this size, a degree of forward-planning is certainly advisable, and the comprehensive Show Guide available to all pre-registered visitors is an indispensable aid.

As an important event, Southern has no problems attracting the big-league exhibitors such as machinery firms Amada, Haas, Yamazaki Mazak, Matsuura, GF Machining Solutions amongst others, production hardware vendors such as Nikon, Faro, Renishaw, and major OEM and component suppliers such as Igus, Delta Line, ODU, Molex, Hirose and RS Components. 

Amada will showcase its recently launched Quattro Laser with AMNC control:
With a continuous laser output of 2,500W, the Quattro laser is an entry-level machine with an exceptionally compact design and very low operating costs. Paired with the AMNC control this laser is both efficient and user-friendly. The unit is easy to operate via a large touch screen.

While the large firms are certainly a big attraction for many visitors, the show also continues to be genuinely accessible to small to medium size enterprise, making it highly popular with specialist vendors, a large number of whom usually do not exhibit elsewhere. If you’re trying to find a vendor for that hard-to-find part or specialist service, there is a good possibility that you’ll locate it at Southern Manufacturing.

Qualitetch provides flat and formed metal component parts into sectors such as aerospace, medical devices, electronics, automotive, creative arts, scientific, defence, telecommunications, renewable energy and instrumentation. Services offered include photo/chemical etching, metal stamping/punching, EDM wire erosion, CNC machining, tool-making, laser cutting and associated services such as 3D component forming, spot-welding, finishing and plating, soldering, spark drilling and assembly work. 

But it’s not just parts and machinery. The show also features expertise in design, and a growing number of firms specialising in advanced manufacturing techniques and materials. The award-winning Bytesnap Design will be highlighting the latest edition of its Linux OpenGL SnapUI user interface framework, which supports the iMX6 processor. Now, Linux developers and graphic designers can build software for an embedded device directly on a Linux or Windows PC even before hardware development of the device has been completed.

The software can be demonstrated on the PC and when the user interface has been agreed, it can be recompiled and installed on the embedded device to reduce dependencies between hardware and software work streams. Other interesting projects on show include a customisable LoRa demonstration with a ruggedised data logger and 10km remote monitor, designed for use in remote locations, such as along rail tracks. 

First time exhibitor IPF is another interesting company, specialising in plastics machining and fabrication, including 3D printing. Established in 1969, IPF combines ‘traditional’ machining expertise with the very latest manufacturing capabilities. It offers the largest capacity Polyjet 3D printers in the UK, and last year became the first to offer colour 3D printing. Projects have included work on blockbuster Film and TV productions, as well as mainstream industrial applications.

Free seminars
Together with the exhibition and demonstration areas, the show's free seminar programme is also hugely popular. Two programmes run in tandem in two theatres, focusing on manufacturing and electronics respectively, and encompassing discussions on technical advancements, business management, marketing and recent commercial regulation.

Highlights include the return of Stefan Knox of Bang Creations, together with his hugely popular look at Good Design and How To Generate Good Ideas. Nick Statham of Fasturns UK looks at the possible cost savings derived from the automation of flexible manufacturing, while Ben Murphy discusses power conserving strategies illustrated with case studies.

3D printing comes under the spotlight when Sav Jeyendran of Canon UK talks about this rapidly emerging technology, while further advanced manufacturing techniques and materials are examined in An Introduction to 3D Print and Future Applications of Advanced Materials.

Ailsa Kaye returns with her popular look at the current thinking in Best Practice for World Class Manufacturing. The topics of Lean and 6 Sigma are considered in workshops with Tim Scurlock and Barry Byrne. Nick Wainwright of York EMC reviews the most recent EU Directives and their significance, and returns for a second session taking a look at how to make sure products remain compliant. Jonas Haterm of Mobius UK looks at the newest thinking for effective CRM for manufacturers. Further sessions deal with Supply Chain Analytics, Sales & Operations Planning.

Eco-design and the ErP Directive are examined by Alistair McLaughlin of TUV SUD Product service, while Alastair Morris from Pryor Marking Technology – who are also exhibiting at the show – will look at Error Proofing and Traceability.  Further sessions cover CE Marking, Patents & Trademarks and more. A complete list of sessions can be found here. Entry to the seminars is free, but pre-booking is strongly advised as popular sessions fill up quickly.

Admission to the event itself is free and FIVE Farnborough offers ample complimentary car parking and easy access by road or public transport. To register for tickets, click here.

Show visitors can keep up to date with the latest event and exhibitor news by visiting the show's official blog by following @industry_co_uk #southmanf on Twitter or by joining the show's official group on the popular business networking site, LinkedIn.

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