The annual Southern Manufacturing & Electronics show is a firm favourite on the calendar. Aerospace Manufacturing takes a closer look at what visitors can expect to see at the Farnborough Exhibition Centre from 7-9 February 2023.
The worlds of mechanical engineering and electronics converge every year at Southern Manufacturing & Electronics. Visitors can move freely between the different engineering disciplines and, as a result, often discover things that were not on their original shopping list.
The 2023 show will be held from 7-9 February at its usual venue, the Farnborough International Exhibition and Conference Centre. There will be a specialist theme throughout called AutoAero, devoted to automotive and aerospace engineering.
Exhibitors will highlight a vast array of mechanical, electrical, electronic, optoelectronic, electromechanical, hydraulic, and pneumatic components and assemblies, PCBs, cables, connectors, and sensors, as well as drives, encoders, controls, displays, HMIs, fasteners, pressings, wireforms, springs, plastic, and rubber mouldings, and more. Suppliers of machine tools will be there, along with robot and cobot machine tending and other automation solutions, tooling, workholding, metrology equipment, test and inspection systems, finishing machines, laser cutting and marking equipment, additive manufacturing machines and consumables, and engineering and business software.
A snapshot of the companies attending the show, each serving the aerospace manufacturing industry, gives a flavour of the wide diversity of what will be on offer. Wallwork Cambridge specialises in the development of hard coatings, heat treatment, vacuum brazing and plasma nitriding. The company holds Nadcap approval and operates to AS 9100 Rev D - as does Twickenham Plating Group, which plates to a design specification or will develop a specification or process solution to deliver a desired finish cost-effectively.
Trojan Electronics provides contract manufacturing services including PCB assembly and box build to a global customer base that includes the aerospace and defence sectors. Nemco provides similar from its Stevenage base. TestEquity is a leading distributor of test and measurement systems, electronic production supplies and tool kits. Schurter manufactures components for circuit protection, as well as connectors, switches and electromagnetic compatibility products.
Phoenix Dynamics designs and manufactures cable and wire harnesses and assemblies, as does Gem Cable Solutions. Back in the 1970s, K Lacey identified a gap in the market for cable supply to the aerospace and defence industries, which has remained the company’s core business ever since. Incap Electronic UK’s factory in Newcastle-under-Lyme provides turnkey supply including PCBAs, electro-mechanical assembly, and cable and wire harness assembly alongside a rapid prototyping facility and MRO services. Corintech provides electronics design and manufacturing services from locations in the UK, Hong Kong and the USA.
Consumables, chemicals and tools used in electronics manufacturing are supplied by Conro Electronics, which specialises in the aerospace and defence industry and is certified to AS 9120, ISO 9001, JOSCAR and Cyber Essentials. Chiltern Connections applies protective coatings and potting compounds such as silicones, adhesives and resins. ESI Technology is a leading supplier of bespoke pressure transducers and transmitters. Precision Engineering Plastics manufactures injection moulded components and assemblies. Sempre Group will explain to visitors how to improve their productivity by harnessing automated metrology systems and software. Harald Pihl will be at the show to promote its large stock of nickel alloy and titanium sheet, plate, strip, bar, wire, tube and pipe.
Subcontract machinists serving the aerospace sector will include Axis Precision, AJM Engineering, Rowan Precision, and RHH Franks. MHP Industries produces vacuum formed plastic components such as custom covers and enclosures and offers 5-axis routing and 3D printing. The latter service is also offered by Central Scanning UK, Bromsgrove, together with reverse engineering. ActOn Finishing designs and develops machinery and consumables for surface finishing applications such as deburring, cleaning, smoothening, radiusing and polishing, while also offering subcontract services.
Yamazaki Mazak will return to the show with a stand centred on accessible 5-axis automation for subcontractors. Taking pride of place on the Mazak stand will be its UK-made CV5-500 machining centre, supported with a ‘plug-and-play’, low-footprint MA-20/400 part-loading automation system.
The 5-axis machine, with a 500mm diameter table, is said to be unique in its category due to its high-rigidity bridge construction with a fully supported trunnion table that travels in the Y-axis direction under the bridge, ultimately delivering a highly accurate and extremely compact machining solution.
The model on display at Southern Manufacturing will feature a MA-20/400 fully integrated part-loading solution. Raw material and finished components are exchanged to and from the machine by a 20kg payload robot with a double gripper hand for simultaneous load and unload to minimise the non-cutting time.
Elsewhere, CGTech will attend the event to demonstrate the latest release of its simulation software, VERICUT 9.3. VERICUT is the industry standard in simulating CNC machining to detect errors, potential collisions, and areas for improvement. The software operates independently, but also integrates with all leading CAM systems.
Throughout the event, the CGTech team will give demonstrations of their solutions for verification, simulation and optimisation of NC programs, including the latest features available in VERICUT 9.3, such as the Tool Performance Database and Machining Optimisation Data in Tool Manager, and other improvements to VERICUT’s core functionality.
There will be a free technical seminar programme every day. The regular bus service between Farnborough’s railway stations and the show, parking and admission to the show are all free as well.