The draw of the annual Southern Manufacturing & Electronics show is almost irresistible. Anyone keen to find ways of growing their business in 2023 and to look for new business opportunities should head to the Farnborough International Exhibition and Conference Centre any time between February 7 and 9.
At Southern Manufacturing & Electronics 2023, There will be a tempting array of technological excellence on show from more than 600 companies, split roughly equally between production/mechanical engineering and electrical/electronic engineering. It is the go-to place to address multiple sourcing requirements efficiently, especially in times when supply chains are under pressure as they are at the moment.
Having under one roof the best of both these engineering disciplines operating at the forefront of technology and innovating across a multitude of sectors gives Southern a unique character. Finding ones way around is helped by an absence of demarcation between the different areas, allowing visitors to roam unhindered between the stands. Many people say this is one of the show’s greatest assets, as it can lead to the discovery of new companies that would not normally be on a person’s radar. Technology trails grouping firms with related expertise help to guide visitors around the showground.
Exhibitors will highlight a vast array of high technology mechanical, electrical, electronic, optoelectronic, electromechanical, hydraulic and pneumatic components and assemblies, PCBs, cables, connectors and sensors. Also in evidence will be controls, drives, rotary encoders, linear scales, displays, HMIs, data acquisition systems, augmented reality and a plethora of fasteners, pressings, wireforms, springs, plastic and rubber mouldings, gaskets and more.
As usual, there will be suppliers of production and planning aids, engineering and business software, machine tools, robotic and other automation solutions, tooling, workholding, metrology equipment, test and inspection systems, finishing machines, and laser cutting and marking equipment. A particularly strong cohort of firms will be present offering 3D printing machines and consumables, as befits a technology whose popularity is increasing exponentially in the manufacturing industry. All exhibitors will explain how they can help industrial companies maintain momentum and profitability throughout 2023, despite the well-publicised headwinds they are encountering.
Other diverse and no less essential products and services on offer will encompass oil and coolant supply, workshop equipment, dust and fume extraction, humidity control, workplace storage systems, bespoke case and foam manufacture, plastic packaging and injection moulding, hand tools, adhesives, industrial flooring, waste removal and recycling, training, freight services, advice on IP and financial consultancy.
The event is also an important destination for identifying services from subcontractors. Leading practitioners will show examples of parts they have machined from a vast array of materials, from billets of exotic alloys through die castings to composites and plastics. Traditional subtractive machining specialists will be joined by bureaux specialising in additive manufacturing, and all will be available to discuss the broad range of skills they offer. Further subcontract engineering services include box build and other electronics assembly, finishing, test and inspection.
Alongside the exhibition and demonstration areas, over the three days there will be an extensive seminar programme, which will be especially strong this time. It will give visitors and exhibitors valuable learning opportunities, focusing on the technical, managerial and environmental issues facing manufacturers today. There will be two programmes, one covering mechanical engineering and the other electrical and electronic engineering.
They will span such topics as lean continuous improvement, design for test, marketing, team motivation, additive manufacturing, business succession planning, management techniques, CE and UKCA marking, the role of IP in commerce, social media for lead generation and other marketing strategies, commercialisation of ideas, and testing.
The customary AutoAero exhibition theme will return this year, devoted to the automotive and aerospace engineering sectors. There is a regular, free shuttle bus service between Farnborough’s railway stations and the show. Parking is also free of charge, as is admission to the show. More information regarding registration for tickets, as well as lists of exhibitors and seminars, are available from the event website.