Pace setters

The Southern manufacturing and Electronics exhibition is set to showcase thousands of technology products and services. Siobhan Wagner reports.

Engineers can get a first-hand look at the manufacturing technology and services that will be setting the pace in 2009 at the FIVE exhibition centre in Farnborough on 11 and 12 February.

The Southern Manufacturing and Electronics exhibition, which is hosted by European Trade and Exhibition Services, is the UK’s largest regional manufacturing technology, electronics and subcontracting exhibition. The doors open at 9am and close at 4.30pm.

The event will showcase thousands of manufacturing and electronics solutions from companies such as CAM software specialist Edgecam, electronic components producer Tyco Electronics, precision component manufacturer Precision Micro, optics expert Carl Zeiss and metrology leader Renishaw, among many others.

Companies such as Yamazaki Mazak are regulars at the annual event. This year, the Worcester-based machine tool builder will display its Hyper Quadrex 150MSY, the latest in its twin-turret, twin-spindle, turning-centre technology. The machining centre has the potential to machine parts from bar stock up to 65mm diameter and it can cut two workpieces at the same time to dramatically reduce cycle times.

The maker of the Hyper Quadrex 150MSY claims it is extremely versatile. Both of its 12-position turrets can move on the Y-axis, which creates dozens of machining options such as balanced cutting, upper and lower turrets operating on independent spindles or the simultaneous machining of one component – all of which helps increase productivity.

While the Southern Manufacturing and Electronics exhibition will include many technologies designed to increase and improve production, it will also display an array of new equipment for improving the health and safety of factories.

Air Cleaning Systems, for example, will exhibit the OMF1000 media air cleaner, one of the company’s selection of airborne particulate removal systems. The Cardiff-based manufacturer claims its systems have the potential to solve a wide range of filtration problems such as oil and coolant mist, an increasingly problematic issue in modern high-performance machine tools. These particulates are reportedly a breathing hazard to operators and they can perilously affect computers and peripheral plant.

The OMF1000 media air cleaner is a free-standing unit designed for direct attachment to most machine tools. The media air cleaner has been developed for machining applications where high- and low-pressure coolant is used. With an air volume of 600 cubic feet per minute/1,000m cubed per hour and a 520W motor that generates a noise level below 68dB, the 120kg unit has the potential to fit into any machine shop or tool room with minimal disruption. The OMF1000 has a two-stage filtration system designed for continuous operation. The first stage comprises a cartridge that captures the mist particulate and releases the collected coolant, allowing it to drain from the sump of the unit to the drain pan supplied. The second stage of the machine comprises a HEPA cartridge that removes submicron particulates with a claimed efficiency of 99.9 per cent. The result is cleaner air being returned to the machine shop. Both filter sections are monitored by pressure gauges and have a pre-filter life of up to two years, so the unit has the potential to operate almost maintenance free.

The Southern Manufacturing and Electronics exhibition also includes free technical seminars supported by bodies including MAS-SE.

This year’s seminar programme attempts to combine practical advice for businesses during troubled economic times with insights into new trends and ideas that may help electronics enterprises survive the worst effects of recession.

Marketing expert Clive Lewis will explain to manufacturers in a speech entitled ‘Smart Marketing in a Downturn’, that customers are more likely to switch suppliers during a recession to seek better value. Lewis will give advice on how effective marketing can help manufacturers win this new business.

Kelvin Clayton and Nigel Palmer will jointly present ‘Design for Manufacture and Test’, and demonstrate how design and production teams working together can improve process yields and reduce cost.

Other seminars will include reviews of the current CE Marking legislation, a closer look at Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) regulations and an update on recent EU directives for electronics manufacturers and suppliers.

Southern Manufacturing and Electronics will also include specialist areas such as a subcontracting zone, where visitors can meet suppliers from a variety of industrial branches.