Southern Manufacturing & Electronics returns to FIVE Farnborough on February 13th and 14th 2013 with a larger venue, more exhibitors and more reasons to visit.

Despite its unusual location next to Farnborough Airport, and its eclectic blend of exhibitors, it’s clear that Southern Manufacturing & Electronics works very well. Well enough, in fact, to now be attracting major international manufacturers from across the globe in increasing numbers as well as designers, buyers and engineers from every corner of the UK.

The show has now seen nine years of consecutive growth. Last year was a record breaking event; 2013 will see those records tumble yet again. Exhibitor numbers are close to passing 750 for 2013 – a remarkable achievement considering the economic difficulties faced by industry in recent years. The floor area of the show has expanded to 15,000 square metres. As a result, Southern Manufacturing is now a show of huge importance to UK manufacturing generally, and designers and engineering professionals in particular.

Show director, Phil Valentine, attributes the continuing success of the show to its ability to accurately reflect the needs of the industry it serves. “Manufacturing in this country is now defined by design, innovation and ingenuity more than by massive heavy industry. Consequently, agility, responsiveness and up-to-date market knowledge are key survival factors for today’s manufacturing firms. The Southern Manufacturing show delivers the ability to meet new suppliers, see the latest products and manufacturing technologies all in one visit.” Squeezing maximum benefit into the smallest possible timeframe has been the secret of the show’s popularity. “Time is perhaps the most valuable commodity of all,” says Valentine, “Our aim has always been to deliver as much value as possible in return for the time visitors invest at our events.”

Despite being now universally regarded as an event of international importance, the show has retained its accessibility to the smaller, more specialised exhibitor. This results in a rich spread of exhibitors, drawn from every level of the manufacturing eco-system. At one show, visitors will find the latest machining centres from companies such as Yamazaki Mazak, Haas Automation, Hurco, CMZ and others, sharing space with far more modestly-sized ventures offering an incredible range of specialities from the latest high-tech sensors used by NASA to the humblest plastic spacer.

For the engineering designer, this is an extremely fertile hunting ground for new ideas, new products and new contacts. The show’s upbeat, lively yet informal atmosphere has won it enduring support from legions of long-standing exhibitors that return year after year. Continuity and reliability are counter pointed by the steady influx of new exhibitors to spice the mixture with the new and unexpected. Some of the new names for 2013 include Amphenol, Kawasaki Robotics, Mouser Electronics, Active Sensors, the Paragon Electronics Group, Blakell Europlacer, MYDATA Automation and many more.

The free technical seminar programme at Southern Manufacturing & Electronics is another one of the key aspects of the show, drawing hundreds of delegates each year. The programme is a complementary blend of technical and business topics covering a wide range of issues facing manufacturing businesses today. From exporting to emerging markets, to eliminating counterfeit components and designing for commercial success, the sessions genuinely deliver something for everyone.

In the Engineering Theatre, Tim Scurlock from Automotive Lean Consulting will look at Lean Concepts and what they mean for the practicalities of waste elimination. Bang Creations’ Stefan Knox returns with an update to one of the biggest hits of 2012; Designing for Commercial Success and New Product Development. Sergey Putintsev from TUV Rheinland presents an invaluable insight into Selling to Emerging Markets –  in particular, the BRIC countries and the Middle East.

David Kilroy from Manufacturing Insights will examine Best Practice and World Class Manufacturing. Mike Harrison from ATOL Business Services will look at Supply Chain and SC21, while Ian McKay, former quality executive with BAE Military Aircraft will discuss Improving the Manufacturing Process. Paul Laidler of TÜV SÜD Product Service will deliver an Introduction to Machine Safety.

The Electronics sessions begin with a look at Exporting, Distributing and Selling Electrical Products, with Sergey Putintsev and Jon Jones from international consultants TÜV Rheinland. The legendary Bob Willis will present an unmissable presentation on Eliminating Counterfeit Components. Bob returns for a later session to look at Package on Package Design and Assembly – an increasingly important technique being employed in mobile, medical and military applications.
Sylvain Brand of Surface Technology International presents two sessions. In Continuously Improving Quality on an SMT Line, the Lean and 6-sigma Black Belt practitioner looks at how a simple 6-Sigma approach can be effective in reducing waste. His second session, Increasing Output of Electronic Box Assembly looks at how Lean principles can be applied to a production cell to achieve positive transformation in output.

Nick Wainwright, CEO of York EMC Services, examines the implications of the latest EU EMC Directive with particular reference to obligations under the Declaration of Conformity. Richard Poate of TÜV SÜD Product Service guides delegates through the requirements for CE Marking for Consumer Products and Professional Electronics. Peter Grundy of the Altus Group takes a look at the pros and cons of automation in To Automate or Not To Automate. Closing the Electronics Sessions is a fascinating look at Fusion Means Business  – how UK companies can win business on new fusion energy projects, delivered by Dan Mistry from the UK Atomic Energy Authority.

Participation in the technical seminars, as well as entry to the show itself, is completely free. However pre-registration for the seminars is strongly advised as spaces are limited.

At the event venue, FIVE, Farnborough, on-site car parking is free, and there will be free shuttle bus servicebetween the show and both North Camp and Farnborough Main railway stations.

Visitors can keep up with all the latest news on the show blog site: or by joining the Southern Manufacturing & Electronics group on LinkedIn.