Southern Manufacturing & Electronics, returning to FIVE, Farnborough, on February 15th and 16th, provides the perfect showcase for the best the UK has to offer, as well as the chance to meet the engineers and designers driving the UK’s innovation culture.

The clouds of economic uncertainty may have returned, but there seems little sign of pessimism amongst exhibitors at Southern Manufacturing & Electronics 2012.  After three consecutive years of growth, the show looks set to break records once again – the total area of exhibition space booked is already above the final total for 2011, and is expected to grow by another 900m2.

The defining feature of the event – the variety of companies taking part – continues to make it a focal point for designers and engineers, explains the show organisers.

“Engineering design requires vendors to maintain up-to-date knowledge of an ever wider range of products and suppliers,” says show director, Phil Valentine. “The idea behind Southern Manufacturing & Electronics was simply to create a show where visitors could achieve that in a single visit.”

He added: “Smaller, design-led engineering businesses seem to be thriving. We’re seeing some really exciting things happening in advanced manufacturing, medical device technology and precision engineering.”

All of these and more will be well represented at the 2012 event, with new exhibitors making up 20% of the total.

A theme emerging for 2012 is the great advances being made in advanced manufacturing techniques, additive manufacturing and new materials. Visitors to the show will be able to meet not just companies achieving commercial success in these areas, but also key centres of design and research such as the Mercury Centre at the University of Sheffield. Medical manufacturing is also a strong growth area – nearly 20% of visitors in 2011 were involved in medical device technology. This year, a new Electronics Production, Automation and Machine Control area in Hall 2 will concentrate on suppliers of specialist components and subassemblies such as sensors, power supplies, logic controllers and HMIs.

A free technical seminar also runs throughout the two day event, with speakers from the Manufacturing Advisory Service, UKTI, BAE Systems, EDF Energy, NAMRC, Farnborough Aerospace Consortium, University of Sheffield and The Composite Systems Innovation Centre, amongst others. Topics covered this year include: the opportunities presented by advanced materials and composites; the growing opportunities in the UK’s burgeoning medical devices and healthcare technology business; how to sell to the energy sector; and the topic of doing business abroad.


A wide range of companies will be attending Southern Manufacturing & Electronics this February.

Among those exhibiting this year is Harting, which will be featuring its broad range of electrical and electronics interconnection solutions, as well as demonstrating its backplane and sub-assembly capabilities.

Harting produces a range of high-quality electronic interconnection solutions, 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. The company will also be showing its Han heavy-duty connector family.

HepcoMotion will be launching the PRT2 Timing Belt Ring, which is available in six sizes, complete with pulleys and toothed timing belts, and designed to provide a clean and integrated solution for driven rotary motion. With this, high driving force and speed are complemented by accuracy and low backlash. The company will also be launching the LMI Linear Measuring Indicator, an easy to install system that can be adapted for rotary applications where angular measurement is required. On the stand, the LMI will be teamed with the GV3 linear slide system to guide the sensor head in parallel to coded magnetic tape. This demonstration will also show the merits of the company’s carriage locking system.

Nexus GB will be showing the new UFX memory system token – part of the RUGGEDrive range. This connects with a single board computer (SBC) by using specially designed electrical modules, compatible with USB ports. This is likely to find uses in applications ranging from ruggedised and fanless computers to embedded computers such as the PC/104 form factor.

Blum Novotest will be debuting its TC76-DIGILOG, a 25mm diameter touch probe for use in machine tools that combines digital and analogue technology. The company will also be showing its TMAC (Tool Monitor Adaptive Control) tool monitoring solution, which protects the CNC machine while providing valuable information regarding the cutting process. Established products such as the LaserControl NT-H 3D and the

Z-Probe series for tool setting and measurement will also be on show.

The latest innovations in Weidmuller’s PCB portfolio will be displayed, including the CH20M electronic housing system. This is designed to maximise the amount of printed circuit board space and offers multiple levels of input/output density. Other products on show will include the Hybrid Omnimate Power range of high performance connectors.

Also attending the event is Metway, which offers products from terminal blocks to surface mount PCB connectors and transformers. The company, which also has a wiring division, will be using the show to focus on PCB connectors for both THR and SMT technology.

Encoder and bearing supplier, Principle Engineering, will be exhibiting a range of products. Its miniature bearings start at 1mm bore with a 3mm outside diameter and a width of 1mm up to 50mm outside diameter, and can be specified to cope with challenging conditions, including high or low temperatures, and in environments featuring salt, chemicals, food, and even blood. Its encoders can be shaft, through-hole or blind hole with sizes from 6mm shaft and 38mm outside diameter upwards.

As a manufacturer of advanced vibration and shock protection equipment, Stop-choc can design systems that cater for everything from delicate medical and measuring equipment to battle tanks and loads weighing several hundreds of tonnes.

The company uses in-house analysis software with six degrees of freedom to build models of any system and predict the level of protection, equipment displacements during shock exposure, and address potential issues due to space limitations or design constraints. Visit the company to find out more.

DEM Manufacturing will be exhibiting enclosures designed to cope with the toughest environments encountered in marine, food processing, washdown, military and transport applications. The units, which are sealed to IP68 and manufactured from aluminium, have been upgraded to offer enhanced EMI and RFI protection. The EMI/RFI seal maintains conductivity between the lid and box. This allows EMI and RFI screening properties to be unaffected, while maintaining a watertight seal at depths up to 5m for one hour.

Polycarbonate enclosures sealed to IP65 will also be on show.

According to Thinking Space Systems, the range of structural products that can be built from extruded aluminium sections is virtually endless.

The company will therefore be demonstrating that to be successful a system must offer a wide range of sections. This must be matched by a comprehensive selection of accessories and connectors so that alternative sections may be used in different parts of the design.

The company offers sections from 20 to 200mm, with both square and rectangular sections and round tubes available.  The wide selection of connectors permits round and square sections to be mixed.

Also attending the event is IEC, which will be showing mechanical components including bearings, sealing rings, disc springs, locking systems and safety washers. Its laminar sealing rings are used as a non-contact seal on a rotating joint, and prevent the egress of gases or the ingress of contaminants.

Lee Products will be exhibiting recently introduced products including a pressure relief valve that is suited for low flow hydraulic applications, which is just 28mm long and weighs 4.5g. A safety screen is incorporated at the inlet of the valve for protection.

Forward and reverse relief flow configurations can be specified and it is available in a wide range of standard cracking pressures from 80 to 3600 psi. It is constructed entirely of stainless steel for durability and long life. Each valve is 100% tested and inspected to ensure reliable, consistent performance.

Another new series of valves are pressure compensated to provide constant flow rates over a wide range of pressure differentials up to 5000 psi.

Switchtec will also be attending the exhibition. The company operates asa franchisee for worldwide manufacturers of quality components, with product lines including PCB terminal blocks and support systems, switching components including relays, contactors, isolators, pushbuttons and selector switches; as well as switches and components for photovoltaic applications, audible and visual alarms, electronic timers and counters, and sensors.