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The world of engineering on your doorstep

02 February 2017

Southern Manufacturing and Electronics 2017 returns to FIVE, Farnborough, from March 21 to 23.

Once again, the UK’s industrial technology show brings together an array of engineering suppliers in a single venue, offering plenty to interest anyone involved in electronics, manufacturing or engineering design.

The site of the show, alongside Farnborough Airport, has seen some significant improvements over the last 12 months making access much easier, which the organisers are confident will help visitor numbers top last year’s record-breaking 8,600.

Southern Manufacturing 2017 is on track to deliver its customary broad spectrum of exhibitors covering manufacturing, production, components and design. At the time of writing, the show’s 18,000m² venue is practically sold out. While uncertainty hangs in the air over the Brexit vote, it appears that the mood, in manufacturing at least, is generally positive. The Markit PMI figures for January 2017 showed a strong bounce back in manufacturing, driven by stronger export performance. For engineering firms looking to up capacity to capitalise on a more competitive export market, Southern 2017 presents an opportunity to evaluate what’s on offer.

Besides being the largest annual manufacturing exhibition in the UK, it is also the first of the New Year, giving firms contemplating new machinery the earliest chance to see and evaluate the most up-to-date products from multiple popular manufacturers and suppliers. A large number of those machinery vendors see Southern as their leading annual showcase, ensuring that the variety of hardware on display is really quite impressive. 

Continuous live displays allow visitors to get a feel for the machinery in operation. Furthermore, it’s not only the high-end, high price tags dominating the event; a great feature of Southern Manufacturing is that it offers the opportunity to see a wide selection of vendors. Not just metal cutting machinery, but electronics production, test and inspection as well. The range of production hardware on show is vast and covers just about every type of manufacturing activity. Names to look out for include Haas Automation, XYZ Machine Tools, CMZ, Yamazaki Mazak, Blundell Production Equipment, Zeiss, Nikon and Faro amongst many others.

Alongside the hottest machinery and tooling, the show is a key event for sub-assemblies, sensors and components, both electronic and mechanical. Variohm Eurosensor showcases its new non-contacting range of rotary sensors along with combined pressure & temperature sensors and load transducers from its portfolio. Connector manufacturers exhibiting in 2017 include Coax Connectors, Lemo UK, Molex and ODU, which is highlighting the recent major expansion of its ODU-MAC modular connector range, developed originally for military applications. Also returning for 2017 is Yamaichi Electronics, showcasing its range of circular connectors with a unique push-pull locking mechanism. 

The areas of motion control, fluid power, controls, sensors, HMI’s and electromechanical components are once more comprehensively covered. Long-term supporter igus UK returns with its latest drylin W curved rail system and Compact Rotation Module. HepcoMotion showcases its range of linear, track and ring motion systems, and Kabelschlepp Metool highlights its cable management solutions. KNF Neuberger UK and MB Air Systems will be demonstrating a variety of compressed gas applications and Bernstein returns with its comprehensive range of machine safety devices.

Subcontracting is also a major part of the show, again covering a wide range of activities. On the Electronics side, multi-award winning ByteSnap Design, returns for 2017. UKAS test laboratory, Product Assessment and Reliability Centre (PARC), highlights environmental test services such as vibration, shock, temperature, humidity, corrosion, altitude and IP testing. Electronics assembly and manufacturing services are represented by firms such as Hammond Manufacturing, Briton EMS, Corintech, DJ Assembly and JJS Manufacturing among many others. 

The full range of exhibitors and a searchable product database can be found at to allow visitors to plan their visit more effectively. Pre-registered visitors also get a free Show Catalogue, and a copy of the Official Show Preview magazine, profiling over 100 exhibitors.

Also worthy of note is the free technical seminar program that runs over three days in two theatres. The program for 2017 provides presenters drawn from industry, academia and commerce. A total of 28 sessions over three days will address a wide range of technical, business and regulatory topics; subjects that will appeal to everybody involved in engineering enterprise. Some of the hot topics covered in 2017 will include an in-depth look at advanced manufacturing and 3D printing, enclosure design, Industry 4.0 and the regulatory implications of the Brexit vote. All of the sessions are free of charge, although pre-booking is definitely recommended. A complete listing of sessions and the online reservation form is available at

Entry to the show and the technical seminars is free, and FIVE Farnborough has plenty of free on-site parking. There's easy access by road from the M3 or by rail. A free shuttle bus connects the show and both of Farnborough's railway stations. To sign-up for tickets, simply go to Exhibition visitors can stay informed with the current show and exhibitor info by visiting the event's official blog,, by following @industry_co_uk #southmanf on Twitter or by signing up to the show's official LinkedIn group at LinkedIn at

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