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Southern Manufacturing & Electronics 2012

01 February 2012

Last year saw the largest ever Southern Manufacturing and Electronics show - more than 500 exhibitors - which was quite an achievement, given the state of the economy. As far as the economic climate goes, things have not changed that much, which makes it all the more impressive that this year will see a further 20% growth, with around 600 exhibitors forecast to be at the 2012 show. Les Hunt picks a few of the highlights

If you want to see one of the biggest gatherings in the UK of companies serving the manufacturing and electronics sectors you should mark February 15 and 16 in your diaries and head down to FIVE Farnborough where you will not be disappointed. The increasing popularity among visitors of the Southern Manufacturing & Electronics show is reflected in the growing numbers of exhibitors, which is expected to reach around 600 for the 2012 show. We can only bring you a sample of what’s on offer, so, in no particular order, here are some of the editor’s picks.

Supporting its claim to be the one-stop-shop for all things electrical, electronic and fastener-related, Anixter Component Solutions (, will be using the event to launch its new 2012 catalogue and to feature new ranges of terminal blocks, fuses, fuse holders, crimp connectors, indicators, push-buttons and DIN rail enclosures from CamdenBoss, including Camden’s flagship products, fused terminal blocks and modular control switches. Alongside these will be new energy saving electrical switches and sensors, aluminum enclosures, silicone and rubber based potting compounds and a whole host of new fasteners and PCB accessories.

Visitors to the Aerotech ( stand can see the new MotionPAC integrated motion and machine controller as well as a fully working demonstration of the A3200 Nmark SSaM (Synchronised Scanner and Motion). The A3200 MotionPAC brings together sophisticated machine control and advanced multi-axis motion control in a single development environment that can include IEC61131-3, PLCopen, .NET, AeroBasic, G-code and many other programming languages.

The A3200 Nmark SSaM synchronises a galvo scanner with multi-axis servo motion in a single programming environment for laser marking and engraving parts or producing large scale graphics without stitching multiple scans together. Limited only by the size of the positioning mechanics (which can be produced in metres of travel), the SSaM effectively expands the scanner's field of view without sacrificing its pixel resolution.

Henkel ( will have a comprehensive range of Loctite engineering adhesives and sealants on display, and will demonstrate its abilities in the field of low pressure over-moulding of delicate parts. See a broad selection of Loctite anaerobic, cyanoacrylate instant adhesives and epoxies for general bonding, thread locking, thread sealing, retaining and gasketing.

Stand visitors will also see Henkel MacroMelt in action on two demonstration stations, as give-away USB memory sticks (which have been preloaded with technical and application data) are over-moulded whilst visitors look on. MacroMelt is an ideal choice for electronics assembly as it only requires low pressure to create the moulding. It is also inexpensive to set up and is viable for small batch work.

MiniTec's ( Profile System and Linear System machine framing and modular positioning components will once again be showcased. With complete machine base and structural framing systems for OEMs, machine builders and system integrators, the range boasts exceptionally fast assembly and system design, and is made even more straightforward with the recently launched iCADassembler software that allows users to conceptualise, plan, design and cost their machine frames. No CAD platform or specialist CAD knowledge is needed; the free software allows straightforward menu selection with drag & drop manipulation of individual profiles, connectors and ancillary components - and you can fully assemble these elements on-screen to realise your designs.

In addition to its own positioning stages, including the LG series high precision linear, rotary and vertical lift stages for multi-axis positioning, LG Motion ( will be showing moving coil actuators from SMAC Europe and a range of high performance distributed motion controls from PMDi. In addition, there will be a selection of products from its distribution partners, including linear bearings from Schneeberger, specialist motors from Empire Magnetics and high precision linear and rotary position encoders from Heidenhain.

Highlights of the Bollhoff ( stand will include the company's Snaploc reusable push-on/pull-off fasteners and Flexitol tolerance compensating fixings, the former allowing quick and easy ‘snap-fit’ installation and disassembly, and the latter enabling precise alignment of parts during assembly. Snaploc's simple two part design enables online assembly times and fastener parts requirements to be reduced. Meanwhile, the Flexitrol alignment aid can be supplied with a mechanical insertion tool (hydraulic-pneumatic drive optional) for setting the system.

PCB portfolio innovations will feature on Weidmuller's ( stand, including the company's CH20M electronic housings, Hybrid Omnimate power connectors and what is claimed to be the most extensive 3.81 pitch family on the market. The CH20M modular electronics housing system offers a variety of custom features in a standard product offering, and is designed to maximise both the printed circuit board and input/output densities.

While on the subject of PCB connectors, Harting ( will be featuring a range of high-quality electronic interconnection products, including D-Sub, 2mm metric, DIN 41612 and IDC types as well as MicroTCA card edge connectors that are capable of handling the high-speed and ultra-high-speed data rates employed in mobile telecommunications networks. New electronics products include the har-flex connector series: a space-saving, rugged and flexible PCB connector for the widest range of board-to-board and board-to-cable applications.

Want to see a brand new alternative to traditional gauging systems? If so you should hurry along to Renishaw’s ( stand where the company will be showing its latest gauging product, Equator. This patented low-cost design, completely novel in terms of its construction and method of operation, is capable of high-speed comparative gauging for the inspection of high-volume manufactured parts. It is a fast and highly repeatable gauge that operators can use with ‘push-button' simplicity. Equator can switch between parts in seconds, which is perfect for flexible manufacturing processes or when parts are delivered from multiple machines.

HepcoMotion's ( PRT2 precision ring track, elements of which will form the main working exhibit on the company's stand, offers the system designer the means to create circuits of limitless variety. The latest variants will feature at the show, including the PRT2 timing belt ring, which is introduced in six sizes, complete with pulleys and toothed timing belts, to provide clean and integrated driven rotary motion.

Southern Manufacturing will also see the launch of HepcoMotion's LMI linear measuring indicator. This easy-to-install system can also be adapted for rotary applications where angular measurement is required. On the stand, the LMI will be teamed with HepcoMotion’s GV3 linear slide system to guide the sensor head in parallel with coded magnetic tape. LMI can also be used with HepcoMotion’s SL2 range of standard stainless steel linear motion components.

CompAir ( will be offering visitors practical advice on some of the latest technologies that can improve compressed air efficiency, offering free air audits and practical advice on compressor maintenance. Among these offerings are a free leak test audit and advice on heat recovery from compressor plant for water or space heating.

In addition to its laser product marking systems, this year's event will see examples of Trumpf's precision bending machines on show, including the TruBend 7036 press brake. This machine is precise and easy to use, and features high backgauge acceleration, which makes it particularly suitable  for high-speed manufacturing operations.

Several Trumpf TruMark laser marking machines will feature at the show: the 5020 with diode-pumped fibre laser combining high power, high repetition rates and variably definable pulse duration, and the Station 1000 desktop laser system with a TruMark 3130 marking laser. Available with three different laser wavelengths to suit a wide range of applications, the TruMark 6000 Series for marking metal components completes the line-up.

Entry to Southern Manufacturing & Electronics 2012 is completely free to business visitors, and FIVE Farnborough offers plentiful free car parking and easy access by road or public transport. You can follow all the latest news from the show at, or on its blog page at

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