Southern Electronics 2014 – Bigger and better

Southern Electronics, the UK’s longest-running electronics show, returns to FIVE, Farnborough on February 12th and 13th. With an incredible diversity of suppliers gathered in an exhibition space larger than five of the halls of the NEC combined, the show is arguably the key event for UK electronics.

This year’s show will again be significantly larger than the one that preceded it, with the number of confirmed exhibitors expected to nudge 800 for the first time. Show Director Phil Valentine is confident of delivering another record-breaking show. “Overall, the 2014 show will be the most significant gathering of industrial technology firms ever held in the south.”

With just over half the show dedicated to electronics, a large percentage of that increase has come from electronics-related activity.

Originally a relatively small regional electronics event, Southern Electronics has developed into a show of national significance. But it’s “national” status has come about not so much by becoming one giant event, but by actually becoming two shows, with the launch of the Northern Manufacturing & Electronics Show in 2013.

Valentine comments, “With the launch of Northern Electronics we have established a new model for electronics shows in the UK – a credible, international-scale event that comes to the visitor, rather than the other way around.”

Many exhibitors are participating in both events, finding it a cost effective way of building both national profile and grassroots business in new territories. The combined profile of both shows is attracting more and more international firms too – with companies from Germany, Italy, Spain, India and Japan all taking part next year.

With a visitor count which may conceivably hit the magic 10,000 in 2014, the show is clearly doing something right. One reason is Southern Electronics’ co-location with Southern Manufacturing and the precision engineering show, Auto Aero, which means that visitors can encounter an amazing range of suppliers in one place. Together, the shows take in the comprehensive array of design and production, covering anything from the simplest connector to the most advanced automation solutions. It’s no exaggeration to say that pretty much every kind of industrial endeavour is represented. And this, coupled with the fact that it’s easy to see it all in a single day or less, gives the show immense appeal. Like its Northern sibling, easy accessibility allows local visitors to incorporate a visit to the show within their usual daily schedule. But it’s the sheer variety of businesses that visitors can see, even during a brief visit, that really sets Southern Electronics apart.

Hall 2 is devoted to Electronics Production, Test, Automation and Machine Control and provides a natural home for many electronics vendors. But these comprise just a small selection of the products and services on show this year.

Important exhibitors include Anglia Live, RS Components, MYDATA Automation, Finder, Blundell Production Equipment, REO UK, Hirose, Spirit Circuits, Eurotech, Wavemar Electronics, Briton EMS and Eurocircuits.

Nearly 100 firms will be exhibiting for the first time in 2014. From its manufacturing facility in India, Parker Overseas designs and manufacturers wound magnetic components like transformers, coils, inductors, chokes, modules; Takachi Electronics Enclosures is one of Japan’s leading enclosure manufacturers offering numerous, high-quality enclosures, both standard and bespoke and from Germany, Optris will be exhibiting its range of IR thermometers which can be used to identify faults in electrical circuits. In addition to these companies are literally hundreds of vendors delivering countless sub-assemblies, mechanical engineering components, machine vision systems and components.

Besides the exhibition and demonstration zones, the show’s free seminar programme is always a particularly popular attraction. Two programmes will run simultaneously, aimed at manufacturing and electronics respectively, and covering issues such as design, business management, marketing, CE Marking and the latest EU EMC regulations.

In the Engineering Theatre, Tim Scurlock from Automotive Lean Consulting will be looking at how Lean Concepts can be applied to the elimination of waste in manufacturing and service industries, while Bang Creations’ Stefan Knox returns to reprise his presentation on Designing for Commercial Success and New Product Development.

David Kilroy and Ailsa Kaye from Manufacturing Insights will examine Best Practice and World Class Manufacturing, while Mike Harrison from ATOL Business Services will look at the Supply Chain and SC21. David Banks-Fear, managing director of Southern Springs & Pressings, is presenting the intriguingly titled Springs, Pressings, Hi-Tech Design & Glamour. Patents and trademarks are demystified by Hugh Dunlop of RGC Jenkins & Co. while current and future CE marking legislation is outlined by Peter Evans from the CE Marking Association. Closing the Engineering sessions, Stephen Ashcroft looks at Identifying and Managing Procurement Risk.

The Electronics sessions begin with a look at Selling to Emerging Markets, with Sergey Putintsev of TÜV Rheinland. Nick Wainwright, CEO of York EMC Services, examines Declarations of Conformity (DoCs) for the EU EMC Directive and why so many DoCs become invalid over time and how to prevent this happening.

Mark Penton, Retail Laboratory Manager at TÜV SÜD Product Service guides delegates through the requirements for CE Marking for Consumer Products and Professional Electronics. Peter Grundy of the Altus Group takes a look at the pros and cons of automation in To Automate or Not To Automate. Finally, Stephen Ashcroft invites delegates to Sharpen their Commercial Negotiation Skills with a look at six techniques of persuasion.

Entry to Southern Manufacturing & Electronics and taking part in the technical seminars is free. Simply register at

FIVE Farnborough is readily accessible by road or public transport. On site car parking is free and a free shuttle bus services operates between the show venue, Farnborough Main and North Camp railway stations.

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