People keen to find new business opportunities will find plenty of inspiration at Southern Manufacturing & Electronics, the longest running annual engineering show in the UK that next month is celebrating its 25th anniversary. The doors will open at the Farnborough International Exhibition and Conference Centre from 7th to 9th February.

On display will be mechanical, electromechanical, hydraulic and pneumatic components and assemblies, drives, encoders, fasteners, pressings, wireforms, springs, plastic and rubber mouldings, gaskets and more. Industry 4.0 solutions will be in evidence alongside controls, displays, HMIs, data acquisition systems, augmented and virtual reality, robot and cobot machine tending and other automation solutions. Another central feature is coverage of just about every element of electronics production and test.

The UK subsidiaries and agents of multinational machine tool manufacturers will as usual form a significant part of the mechanical engineering side of the show. Attendees include Ajax, AMOB, Bruderer, Chester Machine Tools, Citizen Machinery, Haas, Hurco, Jinan Bodor, MACH Machine Tools, Matsuura, Mills, NCMT, Starrag UK, XYZ, Yamazaki Mazak and YMT Technologies.

Representing the workholding sector will be 1st Machine Tool Accessories, Lang Technik, Thame Workholding, chuck specialist Roehm and Lehmann Rotary Tables. Cutting tools from Guhring and Industrial Tooling Corporation will be displayed, as well as CNC punch press and press brake tooling plus laser consumables from Mate Tooling Solutions.

Additive manufacturing equipment suppliers and service bureaux specialising in this area will be very much in evidence, as befits a technology that is being increasingly adopted by industry. Established names will include Advent 3D, Bowman Additive Production, Boxford, CDG 3D Printers, CREAT3D, Central Scanning UK, Europac3D, GTX Europe, IPFL, Laser Lines, Matsuura Machinery, MHP Industries, Rowan Precision and SYS Systems.

Metrology companies promoting their systems will include Blum Novotest, a developer of in-process measurement solutions for machine tools, and Bowers Group, which will promote its Moore & Wright, Baty, Sylvac, Trimos, Wyler and Gagemaker brands. Alicona, Starrett, Inspekto, Mahr and Vision Engineering equipment will be demonstrated on the Optimax Imaging Inspection & Measurement stand, including the latest AI-guided visual inspection tools, 4K video microscope and video endoscopes. Two Carfulan Group companies, OGP and Vicivision, will display their metrology systems, and so also will Status, which is well known for its PC-DMIS powered co-ordinated measuring machines and optical Chotest flash measuring machines.

The event is also an important destination for sourcing subcontract services. Many companies involved in the production of metal and plastic machined parts will promote their expertise. On the mechanical engineering side, CNC milling, turning, grinding and toolmaking as well as wire and spark erosion are variously offered by numerous exhibitors including AJM Engineering, Axiom Product Development, Canal Engineering, DRN Engineering, Machined Precision Components, Mintdale Engineering, RHH Franks, RMA Precision Engineering, Rowan Precision, and Suntium Co in Taiwan, which specialises particularly in gear manufacture.

In the sheet metal and fabrication sector, Barlow Sheet Metal operates from two factory units in Waterlooville, Biz Engineering offers tube and pipe bending capability, EMJ Metals has sheet metal cutting and bending capacity, Fife Fabrications will promote its electro-mechanical assembly service alongside sheet metalworking, and Wood plc will exhibit sheet metal components, welded fabrications and assemblies that it supplies to the automotive, oil and gas, nuclear, and process and packaging industries.

Further subcontract engineering services include electronics assembly, finishing, test and inspection. To give a flavour of the strength in depth visitors can expect, surface mount technology and PCB assembly equipment and consultancy will be on offer from more than a dozen firms: ASMPT SMT Solutions from Munich, Blundell Production Equipment, Brady, Corintech, CT Production, Electronic InCap Electronics UK, Electronic Manufacturing Solutions, Electronic Technicians Ltd (ETL), European Circuits, Nemco, Top Hex, Trojan Electronics and the Latvian firm, Volburg. Likewise, bespoke connector solutions will be exhibited by several companies including Cembre, CIE Electronics, Coax Connectors, Kanya UK, Selwyn Electronics and Shoal Group.

Custom-made cable assemblies, electrical control boxes, wire harnesses, wiring looms and panels will be promoted by Gem Cable Solutions, while Gen3, a specialist manufacturer of test and measurement equipment for improving electronic circuit reliability, also designs and manufactures conformal coating process equipment and offers a range of test and measurement services. TestEquity is involved in this area as well, being a leading stockist and distributor. Hitaltech will be another prominent exhibitor, showcasing its comprehensive range of wire-to-board connectors, board-to-board interconnect systems, and DIN rail, wall mount, panel mount and embedded enclosures.

The show will co-locate with AutoAero, a specialist theme devoted to the aerospace and automotive industries. There will also be an extensive technical seminar programme over the three days. A regular, free bus service will shuttle visitors between Farnborough’s railway stations and the show. Parking is also free of charge, as is admission to the event. More information regarding entry and a full list of exhibitors are available from