Engineering excellence on show


Southern Manufacturing & Electronics 2024 returns next week to the Farnborough International Exhibition & Conference Centre and showcasing both manufacturing technology and subcontracting services.

This year it will host the highest ever number of exhibitors from overseas, lifting the show firmly onto the international stage. It is the most comprehensive annual engineering exhibition in the UK and a major showcase for new technology. 

The show moved to its present location in 2008 and was the first event to be held in the new Farnborough International Exhibition & Conference Centre when it was built in 2018. Over its long history, the exhibition has grown continuously from a small, regional gathering of engineering firms into a major expo, attracting visitors and exhibitors from all over the world.

There is an almost even split between companies operating in the mechanical engineering and electronics sectors. Although the technologies and industries being promoted are diverse, there is no demarcation between the different disciplines. Visitors are able to move freely around the showground and perhaps discover unfamiliar technologies and services that were not on their original shopping list. Technology Trails grouping exhibitors with expertise in particular areas help to guide people around the event.

It is a must-attend venue for anyone involved in the design, production, procurement or management in manufacturing. The exhibition unites under one roof a comprehensive array of engineering firms of all sizes operating at the forefront of technology. The organisers operate a policy of open access, discouraging larger companies from dominating the space to the detriment of SMEs and smaller vendors. It gives the show a unique atmosphere unlike that of most others, encouraging a wide-ranging exchange of ideas, fostering long-term business relationships and allowing visitors to address multiple sourcing requirements quickly and efficiently. A large percentage of participants are regular returnees and many have supported the show since its inauguration in 1997.

It is the place to see all the latest in machine tools, tooling, workholding and other production hardware, automation and robotics, 3D printing, test, measurement, inspection and metrology, and supply of materials. There will be mechanical, electrical, electronic, electromechanical, hydraulic and pneumatic components and assemblies, surface mount technology, PCB manufacture, box build, cables, connectors, mechatronics assembly, plastic injection and rubber mouldings, sensors, drives, encoders, fasteners, pressings, wireforms, springs, gaskets, and more. 

Automation on both the mechanical engineering and electronics sides will feature strongly, driven by a skills shortage in Britain and across Europe. Manufacturing industry is also facing a battle to recover from the impacts of Brexit, supply chain disruptions and high energy costs. These themes are emerging strongly among the exhibitors at this year’s show in the form of Industry 4.0 interconnectivity, robot, cobot and other autonomous handling, opportunities for reshoring of production, green energy and power-saving machinery. 

Other products and services on offer will encompass business and manufacturing software, production and planning aids, oil and coolant supply, workshop equipment, dust and fume extraction, humidity control, workplace storage systems, bespoke case and foam manufacture, plastic packaging, hand tools, adhesives, industrial flooring, waste removal and recycling, training, freight services and financial consultancy.

Southern Manufacturing & Electronics 2024 will co-locate again with AutoAero, a specialist theme within the exhibition devoted to automotive and aerospace engineering. There is ample car parking at the site, which is well served by road and public transport links. A regular, complimentary bus service runs between Farnborough’s Main and North Camp railway stations and the show. Admission and parking are also free of charge. 

More information and tickets are available from