Southern Manufacturing & Electronics is just one week away

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The doors of Southern Manufacturing & Electronics 2023 will open from 7th to 9th February at the Farnborough International Exhibition and Conference Centre. If previous years are anything to go by, close to 10,000 people will visit to see around 600 companies highlighting the very best in mechanical and electronic engineering.

Mixing two different disciplines at a trade show is unusual but has proved highly successful over the last 25 years. In that time the exhibition has grown from a small gathering of local firms to become a showcase for industry and engineering across the UK and Ireland, continental Europe, the Americas and Asia. There is no demarcation between the different areas of technology, allowing visitors to walk freely between stands and perhaps discover things that they were not expecting. Firms with similar expertise are grouped together, allowing technology trails to guide visitors logically around the show.

Products and services will include machine tools and tooling, workholding systems, metrology equipment, finishing machines, 3D printers, laser cutting and marking equipment, controls, displays, HMIs, data acquisition systems, robot and cobot machine loading and other automation solutions. On the electronics side, surface mount technology (SMT), PCB manufacture and assembly, cables, connectors, and test and inspection systems will form a big part of what is on offer.

In addition to capital equipment, a host of firms will promote a vast array of mechanical, electrical, electronic, optoelectronic, electromechanical, hydraulic and pneumatic components and assemblies, as well as such items as drives, rotary encoders, linear scales, sensors, fasteners, pressings, wireforms, springs, plastic and rubber mouldings, gaskets, and more. Engineering and business software will also feature prominently.

Other products and services will encompass oil and coolant supply, workshop equipment, dust and fume extraction, humidity control, workplace storage systems, plastic packaging, injection moulding, hand tools, adhesives, industrial flooring, waste removal and recycling, training, freight services and financial consultancy. All exhibitors will be keen to explain how they can help industrial companies maintain momentum and profitability throughout 2023, despite the well-publicised headwinds they are encountering.

The event is also an important destination for sourcing subcontract services. Leading practitioners will show examples of parts they have machined from a vast array of materials, from exotic alloys through castings to composites and plastics. Traditional subtractive machining specialists will be joined by bureaux specialising in 3D printing. Further subcontract engineering services will include SMT, PCB production, and electrical and electronic equipment assembly, while providers of business consultancy services will similarly be able to outline how they can help industrial companies to prosper.

The theme of safety in the workplace will emerge on various stands. Ecotile, for example, offers UK-made interlocking floor tiles that solve damaged industrial flooring problems in manufacturing facilities, warehouses and environments where there is heavy forklift use. Fully recyclable and fire retardant, the tiles enhance workplace safety and can be fitted easily over any hard sub-floor. Ecotiles are also available as an electrostatic discharge solution to protect electrical and electronic products and personnel.

Health, safety and sustainability guidance is offered by machining coolants, oils, lubricants and greases supplier Oemeta UK, which is always seeking to place itself in the forefront of meeting regulatory requirements and is constantly developing new technologies in response to customer requests. In the area of training, Advanced Rework Technology is one of the longest-running IPC certification centres in Europe, offering all levels of IPC training that plays a key role in bringing safety as well as value to the electronics industry.

Looking at the safety of products rather than personnel, JPT is one of the UK’s premier protective case and foam specialists, manufacturing instrument and transit cases to multinational standards, with 3,800 different designs to date. The company will introduce at the show its new Vivax case for protecting tablets and laptops. Peli Products (UK)’s watertight, crushproof, dustproof cases with foam inserts will be on display, while Protechnic will promote its patented EXOcase with an exoskeletal frame that protects instrumentation and sensitive equipment.

Alongside the exhibition and demonstration areas, over the three days there will be an extensive technical seminar programme, which will be particularly strong this time. It will give visitors and exhibitors alike valuable learning opportunities, with a particular focus on the technical, managerial and environmental issues facing manufacturers today.

Presentations 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.

Southern Manufacturing & Electronics 2023 co-locates with AutoAero, a specialist theme within the exhibition devoted to aerospace and automotive engineering. There is a regular, free 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 entry and a full list of exhibitors are available from