Set for biggest Southern yet

29 Jan 2019

Engineering capacity news posted by Andy Sandford

The Southern Manufacturing & Electronics show lands at Farnborough International next week for what promises to be one of the biggest yet.

The annual engineering show entered a new phase in its two-decade history last year when it moved into the brand new £35m venue developed on the site of the illustrious Farnborough Airshow. With nearly a quarter of the UK’s aerospace businesses located the South East, the show has always been an important one for engineering subcontractors and the aerospace supply chain in particular.

For 2019 those ties have been considerably strengthened with the involvement of several influential industry bodies, namely the Farnborough Aerospace Consortium, the Confederation of British Metalforming, The British Gear Association, Composites UK, the SMMT and the GTMA.

Visitors to Southern Manufacturing 2019 can expect to be putting a lot of mileage on their footwear over the three days of the show, with the event at full capacity of around 800 exhibitors. As usual, the show features exhibitors covering every aspect of commercial engineering enterprise, from the latest machinery to subcontract services; from consumables to state-of-the-art Industry 4.0 wizardry. Exhibitors are drawn from all over the UK, complemented by a substantial contingent of firms from continental Europe and beyond. Encouragingly, bookings from overseas firms spiked 26% for 2019, providing much-needed reassurance that the engineering sector has retained its keen eye for opportunity in the post-Brexit world.

Southern Manufacturing is one of Europe’s pre-eminent marketplaces for engineering subcontracting. The directory of these kinds of enterprises available at Southern 2019 is impressively extensive and includes names such as Smith & Jewell, Jenks & Cattell, HEC Precision, Jota Advanced Engineering, GW Martin and Machined Precision Components among many others.

Manufacturing technology

Given its location and significance for the subcontract precision engineering sector, Southern Manufacturing is an important show for the major machinery manufacturers and is widely acknowledged as one of the prime marketplaces for machine tools and accessories in the UK. For visitors, Southern is a rare opportunity to witness the latest offerings from many of the world’s top brands cutting metal in live demonstrations. 2019 will be no exception, with the return of many familiar faces plus a few notable names that haven’t been seen at Southern for quite some time.

As exclusive distributor of Doosan machine tools in the UK and Ireland, Mills CNC will showcase the DVF 5000 simultaneous five-axis machine at Southern Manufacturing 2019. A demonstration will machine a complex, high precision aerospace component live at the show.

Additive and subtractive five-axis CNC machine tools and 3D printers can be seen working in harmony on the Matsuura Machinery stand to demonstrate the production strategies now available to UK manufacturers. The show will also mark the first appearance of the MX-850, the largest capacity five-axis CNC machine the company has ever demonstrated, using fixtures and work-holding printed on the company’s HP Multi-Jet Fusion 580 colour 3D printer.

Bystronic will demonstrate its Xpert 40 press brake with Mobile Bending Robot. The robot is available for feeding the press brake, turning it into a compact, automated bending cell for producing 3D sheet metal components. Retrofittable to any Xpert 40 press brake, the robot is suitable for subcontractors, as it allows automatic production for larger runs of components, or rapid access for manual bending of smaller batches and one-offs by quickly setting the robot module aside

Citizen Machinery returns to Southern Manufacturing for the first time since 2008, highlighting two leading manufacturers of CNC automatic lathes. It will highlight Low Frequency Vibration (LFV) – a technology designed to increase productivity that has been taken up by many leading subcontract machinists.

Advanced manufacturing is well represented at Southern Manufacturing 2019, with leading hardware vendors such as Laser Lines and Creat3D, and specialist services providers such as Industrial Plastic Fabrications and Digits2Widgets (D2W), a manufacturer of quality models, functional prototypes, time-sensitive short runs and end-use engineering components en masse.

Free lecture programme

Running in two lecture theatres on all three days of the exhibition, the 2019 programme features a notable roster of speakers and addresses a wide range of topics. Highlights this year include several aerospace and automotive-related sessions, giving fascinating insights into the advanced manufacturing techniques being employed in these sectors, as well as the latest developments in new composite materials, such as Senior Technology Analyst Richard Collins’ look at the uses of “Smart” polymer composite applications. The benefits of incremental sheet forming (ISF) processes are explained by Roger Onions, Business Development Director of the GTMA.

Stewart Williams, Professor of Welding Science and Engineering at Cranfield University will discuss the large-scale additive manufacture of engineering components using Wire + Arc Additive Manufacture (WAAM). Peter Harris and Joseph Bellis of Matsuura Machinery will also take a look at some applications in 3D Printing and Component Post Processing using the HP Multi-Jet Fusion.

Two of the most consistently popular speakers return for 2019. Tim Scurlock, Director of ALC, takes a detailed look at Porsche’s Lean journey.  Ailsa Carson of Onsite Insights looks at some of the world’s greatest manufacturers and draws from them 10 practical steps to improve business efficiency that delegates can take towards implementing these ideas in their own enterprise.

Farnborough International Conference and Exhibition Centre offers free car parking for 3,500 vehicles and is well-served by road and public transport links. A regular free shuttle bus service operates from both of Farnborough’s mainline railway stations directly to the show. The venue itself offers a high standard of facilities including a free WiFi service in the foyer area and high quality catering outlets.