Southern Manufacturing & Electronics becomes truly international


In early February, the Southern Manufacturing & Electronics show will return with an even greater international flavour, following a remarkable upturn in interest from overseas companies and strong repeat stand bookings by previous exhibitors. 

All exhibitors at the Southern Manufacturing & Electronics show will be keen to show their latest products and services to thousands of visitors from the UK, Ireland, continental Europe, and beyond. It is undoubtedly the premier domestic annual trade show serving the engineering sector, with a roughly equal split between mechanical engineering and electrical/electronic.

The show has come a long way since its inception in 1997, evolving from a regional gathering of local companies into a globally significant show, a process that accelerated once it moved to the Farnborough International Exhibition & Conference Centre in 2008. It is an essential venue for professionals who are involved in design, development, production, or procurement to visit. It offers a comprehensive platform to explore the latest in machine tools and tooling, workholding, metrology equipment for both tactile and non-contact measurement and quality control, finishing machines, laser cutting and marking equipment, 3D printers and consumables, and industrial hardware.

On display also will be a vast array of high technology mechanical, electrical, electronic, optoelectronic, electromechanical, hydraulic and pneumatic components and assemblies, as well as PCBs, connectors and sensors, control systems, drives, rotary encoders, linear scales, fasteners, pressings, wireforms, springs, mouldings, gaskets and more. Industry 4.0 solutions will be in evidence alongside controls, displays, HMIs, data acquisition systems, augmented and virtual reality, and robot/cobot machine tending. Automation solutions on both the mechanical engineering and electronics sides will be prominent this year, as they help to alleviate the increasing shortage of skilled labour in Britain and across Europe.

The event also presents a useful opportunity to source subcontract services. Skilled practitioners will present components they have machined from a wide variety of materials, including aluminium billets, iron castings, exotic alloys, sheet metal and engineering plastics. Traditional subtractive machining companies will be joined by others specialising in additive manufacturing, and all will be available to discuss the work they can undertake. Further subcontract engineering services include electronics assembly, finishing, test and inspection, while providers of business consultancy services will similarly be able to outline how they can help industrial companies to thrive.

The Southern show organisers operate an inclusive approach when it comes to stand bookings, ensuring that smaller vendors have a significant presence and are not overshadowed by the major manufacturers. It creates a vibrant atmosphere that fosters a welcoming and collaborative environment, distinguishing it from most other events in the trade show calendar.

Although the industries and technologies represented are diverse, there is no separation between the areas, allowing cross-over between the different disciplines. Visitors often comment that it is a facet of the show that is particularly useful, as it encourages a wide-ranging itinerary through the exhibition hall, leading to the discovery of firms specialising in related technologies that would otherwise probably be missed. Technology Trails grouping exhibitors with similar expertise in particular areas help to guide visitors around the event.

There will be a strong line-up of machine tool companies taking stands, with Ajax, Bruderer, Chester, Colchester, Hurco, Matsuura, Mazak, Mills, XYZ and YMT already confirmed attendees. Additive-X, Creat3D and Matsuura will be among those promoting 3D printing, 1st MTA, Bison and Thame are three of the firms offering workholding, and Aberlink, Keyence, LK, Mitutoyo, Optimax, Vision Engineering and Zeiss will be there to promote inspection and measurement.

Visitors will see the latest developments in power supplies and display technology, with Relec Electronics launching groundbreaking additions to its range. Its classic line-up remains an integral part of the company’s activities, offering versatile AC-DC power supplies and DC-DC converters along with many display options like TFT, HDMI, IPS and Panel PCs. Customisable screen enhancements set the firm apart, making it a clear choice for applications in sectors like rail, instrumentation, medical, marine, military and telecoms.

New power products from Vox Power set new standards in efficiency and reliability to address demanding applications. The exhibition will also feature Mactron’s rugged tablets and panel PCs, built to withstand harsh conditions while delivering top performance. Cembre is at the forefront of electrical compression connectors and tooling, cabling accessories and marking systems. The Markingenius MG4 represents the company’s newest solution for identification and labelling requirements. It is designed to offer high-quality and long-lasting printing capabilities for text, logos, electrical symbols, QR codes and various vector images.

Jauch Quartz specialises in battery power supplies for mobile devices, offering primary (non-rechargeable) lithium batteries – including the energy-dense lithium thionyl chloride range. The company’s expertise extends to frequency control products, including crystals designed for RF applications and AEC-Q200-qualified crystals for automotive use. Electrolytic, polymer and film capacitors, as well as inductors, transformers and wireless charging solutions, will also be presented.

An important part of the show is the extensive technical seminar program. Presentations will provide valuable learning opportunities, with topics spanning advice for small manufacturers looking to improve their relationship with customers, how to enhance a sales team’s performance, CE and UKCA marking compliance, sustainable practices in manufacturing, management skills coaching, including how to address the challenges of hybrid working, and digital process management.

Southern Manufacturing & Electronics 2024 co-locates with AutoAero, a specialised theme within the exhibition focusing on aerospace and automotive engineering. The venue is easily accessible by road and public transport, and there is a complimentary bus service between Farnborough’s Main and North Camp railway stations and the showground. Parking is free, and so is entry to the show.


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