The Northern Manufacturing show opened its doors this morning at EventCity in Manchester, kicking off the two-day event. As the slightly smaller counterpart to Southern Manufacturing, this show serves as a regional hub for the northern manufacturing and engineering industry. Attracting those who are based within this locale, as well as businesses who are looking for a stronger presence in the region, Northern Manufacturing certainly has a lot to offer both exhibitors and visitors alike.
Although I’ve written about a lot of major industry events over the years, including Subcon, TCT Show, Advanced Engineering and, of course, Southern Manufacturing, this was my first time attending Northern Manufacturing. Qimtek’s presence at 2019’s show gave me the opportunity to see how it stacks up against other manufacturing events - and I certainly wasn’t disappointed.
Small Show, Big Presence:
Having had a sneak preview of the hall the night before, I was surprised as to how much bigger the show seemed on the day itself. With stands occupied by large machine tool manufacturers such as Haas and XYZ, through to smaller subcontract shops and engineering services companies, there was a vast array on offer for visitors. Qimtek’s own stand started drawing attention very quickly upon opening and I’m certain that our team will find their time at the show worthwhile.
After spending some time in the seminar theatre, I couldn’t believe how busy the show had become by late morning. The corridors in amongst the stands were chock full of visitors, while exhibiting companies were busy greeting and talking to those who stopped by.
Northern Manufacturing is a little show that packs a big punch.
I spoke with Ben Yeardley from CIE Electronics about his experiences at Northern Manufacturing. Established for 53 years, CIE Electronics is a manufacturer of custom-built cables, connectors and mouldings, which are used in a wide variety of products ranging from fruit machines through to cars.
‘This is our fifth year at Northern Manufacturing,’ Ben told me. ‘We exhibit at Southern Manufacturing, so it’s a natural progression for us to look at this particular show.
‘We’ve got some great customers off of the back of this show in the past, so it’s definitely a worthwhile way of getting in touch with companies based in the north of England.’
Ben was also impressed with this year’s offering. ‘We’re very pleased so far - it’s quite a compact show but we’ve got some great leads out of it and we’ll definitely be coming back next year.’
CIE Electronics weren’t the only company to have become interested in Northern Manufacturing after success at its southern counterpart. Philip Heine, sales & marketing manager of cloud-based T-card systems provider T Cards Direct, explained that they too had also exhibited at Southern Manufacturing previously.
‘It’s our first year here at Northern Manufacturing,’ he explained. ‘We decided to exhibit here because Southern Manufacturing was such a busy show, but it’s also important that we look for opportunities in the northern areas as well.
‘We’re predominantly looking to speak to companies from the automotive, pharmaceutical and aerospace sectors - I’ve already spoken to around fifteen people today and at least half of them have been good contacts to make.’
It seems that Northern Manufacturing is a little show that packs a big punch. Although smaller in stature than Southern Manufacturing, there is certainly no compromise on footfall within the first day of the event. In fact, this seems to be a great place to access a concentrated target audience and the size of the show perhaps works in favour of those exhibiting, giving each company a little more airtime than at larger events.
Northern Manufacturing features a range of interesting and informative conferences given by industry experts.
Although Northern Manufacturing’s seminar programme lacks some of the variety offered by other shows, it still features a range of interesting and informative conferences given by industry experts. With many of the seminars centred around topics such as lean manufacturing, as well as available support and developments within the North West’s manufacturing industry, these conferences would be invaluable to those who have an active interest in these fields.
I attended two of the conferences offered by Northern Manufacturing on the first day of the show and can safely say that I found them both to be engaging and packed full of useful information.
CE Marking 2019 and Beyond: How the Changes Will Affect All Manufacturers - Tim Harrison, Engineering Manager at The CE Marking Association:
CE Marking is a topic close to the hearts of many manufacturing companies, which was evident by the sizeable audience that Tim Harrison’s seminar attracted. As engineering manager of The CE Marking Association, Tim is a go-to source for all things CE Mark-related, making him the best person to explain how our pending political climate could influence the future of the European conformity mark. Although CE Marking does address safety, it also covers environmental and performance compliance of products manufactured, imported and distributed within EU member countries. Tim’s seminar focused on the steps that need to be taken to be awarded the CE Mark, as well as making his audience aware of the possible changes and scenarios that could surface as a result of Brexit.
Staying Lean - Gary Griffiths, Partner at SA Partners LLP and Author of Staying Lean:
With an award-winning book under his belt, Gary Griffiths is the creator of the Lean Iceberg Model and a well-respected expert on lean practices. His seminar was a standing room-only affair, having enticed a huge audience of visitors and exhibitors who were keen to benefit from his wisdom. Gary walked us through the challenges faced by companies in the process of implementing lean, peppering his conference with case studies and real-life examples of setbacks and how these were overcome. His approach focuses on ‘sustainable lean’, which - although slower to give tangible results - provides manufacturers with a better long-term outlook. Once Gary reached the end of his seminar, he spent time answering a number of questions from attendees - a surefire sign of successful audience engagement!
If you’re attending Northern Manufacturing Day 2, then don’t forget to pay us a visit - Qimtek is on stand E67. Stay tuned for tomorrow’s review!