Compact high performance connectors from Amphenol

Contrary to what you may have heard, size does indeed matter – especially when it comes to designing compact electronic equipment. In this area at least, the smaller the better.

Southern Manufacturing exhibitor, Amphenol, is a world-leader in connector design and is continually updating its range of interconnect products to match trends towards the reduction in connector size and weight. The latest range includes miniature sealed connectors, filtered connectors, lightweight connectors and blind-mate connectors.

Amphenol now offers a broad range of circular and rectangular miniature connectors that combine high density interconnect  in a compact form.  Excellent electrical characteristics enable the latest high speed data protocols to perform perfectly even in high vibration or blind mate conditions.

Connector shells are offered in a variety of materials to suit the requirements, including aluminium and composite materials, brass and aluminium bronze. Numerous contact designs and termination methods are available dependent on the product application and environment, including closed face, Winchester slot, twist pin and tradition split tine contacts. Amphenol can also provide connectors fully populated with pre-tinned contacts ready for loading straight onto PCB boards thus offering increased reliability and time saving.

Amphenol’s range of miniature interconnect products allows the designer to optimise the size and weight of equipment whilst retaining the highest levels of system functionality and signal integrity. To see the latest products in the range, visit


Are exhibitions still relevant for manufacturing industry?

Marketing has come a long way in the seventeen years since Southern Manufacturing first opened its doors. Thanks to the internet, Twitter, LinkedIn and the rest, we now have so many ways to research and connect with products, services and suppliers, that the good old-fashioned exhibition could seem in danger of becoming a bit archaic. Well-established shows like Southern Manufacturing claim to provide the best way to meet new customers, reinforce existing relationships and network with others. But can the exhibition still deliver tangible results in today’s digital age?

image For all the instant information now available at the click of a mouse, there is still no real substitute for getting out and meeting companies face-to-face and getting hands-on with their products. Business, after all, is about people as much as it is hardware. The huge growth of Southern Manufacturing & Electronics and the launch of Northern Manufacturing & Electronics later this year demonstrates the value that companies still see in exhibitions. Examples from this year’s event provide some compelling evidence to support the theory.


imageTenkay Electronics has been supplying contract manufacturing services to customers all over the world for more than 30 years.  For the last nine of them, the firm has exhibited at Southern Manufacturing & Electronics. Tenkay’s Sue Brown says, "We evaluate exhibitions on a number of levels; location, quality of visitor and support from the organiser. Southern Manufacturing ticks all the boxes and more." Tenkay has good reason to be upbeat. "As a direct result of exhibiting at Southern Manufacturing," says Sue, "Tenkay secured considerable new business from Eastern Europe." Over the last seven years, the company has built and exported over 2,800 panels, generating over £15m in revenue. "Do exhibitions work? – we think so," says Sue.

XYZ-SMAN2013-PIC2-tmb Exhibitors on the manufacturing side of the show enjoyed similar success this year. XYZ Machine Tools has been a long-time supporter of Southern Manufacturing and has been a key attraction of the show’s machinery demonstration area for many years. No less than five machines were sold directly from the show this year – orders totalling in excess of £200k. The company received requests for visits and quotations from a further 64 companies. Speaking to Production Engineering Solutions magazine, managing director Nigel Atherton commented, "The interest shown by visitors indicated that very serious levels of business were on the cards and we are anticipating further significant orders will be taken over the next few weeks as a result of the show.”

So the answer to whether exhibitions are still worth the effort – for two major players at least – would appear to be a resounding "Yes!"

Global Connections success for Brandauer

Southern Manufacturing exhibitor, Brandauer, has been announced as a winner of HSBC’s Midlands Regional Global Connections initiative to find the UK’s most innovative and forward-thinking companies. The company was amongst six regional finalists and will be awarded up to £6million in lending, plus a financial reward of up to £120,000 (2% of its borrowing paid back).  

“British manufacturing can compete at a global level. We must never underestimate that"

Rowan Crozier, Sales and Marketing Director at Brandauer

Brandauer’s Sales and Marketing Director Rowan Crozier accepted the award from ITV News presenter Katie Derham on behalf of the company after a day of presenting to the Global Connections’ panel of judges. Over 1,500 companies in the UK entered the Global Connections initiative, 400 of which were based in the Midlands. Two Midlands Regional Winners will now go on to compete in the national Global Connections Final against eight other companies from around the UK in June. The overall winner of Global Connections will receive a financial reward of up to £240,000.

Brandauer is a world-class manufacturer of precision stamped components to exacting requirements, exporting 75% of what it manufactures to China, India, USA and the Middle East.  Brandauer supplies into diverse markets including electronics, telecoms, medical, automotive, renewables and mil-aero. With a history built on precision, Brandauer is a specialist in the development and manufacture of innovative component solutions in difficult materials and the company recently celebrated its 150 year anniversary.

Roy Harris, HSBC’s Midlands Regional Commercial Director, said:   “The day leaves you feeling proud of business in the Midlands. They’re all great businesses with some great stories to tell and choosing two winners was an extremely challenging task.

Rowan Crozier, Sales and Marketing Director at Brandauer, said: “I am surprised and very proud. Winning this award is down to the hard work of the entire Brandauer team. We’re constantly punching above our weight and there were some real heavyweights around us last night, all of them worthy contestants. For us to win this on the back of our 150th anniversary really is the icing on the cake and it shows that British manufacturing can compete at a global level. We must never underestimate that.”  

Steve Price, HSBC Head of Business Banking UK, added:   “Global Connections is fundamental to the work we are striving to do to support the best in British business. As a direct consequence of this programme we build some fantastic new partnerships with some of the most exciting SMEs across the UK.”

Hurco reaps rewards of a successful Southern Manufacturing 2013

Hurco reports stunning success at Southern Manufacturing 2013

"A record attendance was reported for this year’s event. This was clearly reflected by the packed car parks and brimming aisles. The show was a huge success for Hurco, recording more than 50 potential customers as visitors to our stand over the two days.  We were overwhelmed by the general level of interest and quality of enquiries. Two orders to the value of £96,000 were actually booked on the stand. This was an unexpected bonus at the end of a successful week.  We have already pre-booked our stand for next year"

The firm will be holding a major Open Day event in April at its High Wycombe headquarters, where it will be unveiling a series of major product enhancements. For more information, visit the Hurco Europe website.

Strong interest at Southern Manufacturing for Fanuc’s LR Mate 200iD

Fanuc introduced visitors to Southern Manufacturing 2013 to its incredible range of industrial robots, among them the latest version of its successful LRMate 200. The new LRMate 200iD is ideally suited for integration into special purpose machinery, offering and increased payload and larger work envelope from a more compact footprint.

image At 25kg the new model is 2kg lighter than its predecessor and has an arm width slimmed down by 15mm. Payload is increased from 5kg to 7kg, with an up-rated wrist assembly making longer tool offsets possible. 25% increased joint speeds on all six axes together with wrist movement and wrist inertia improvements have resulted in the LRMate200iD being able to perform the industry standard bench test with a 1kg payload 35% faster, at .32 seconds or 187.5 cycles per minute. The new Fanuc LRMate 200iD is controlled by the new R-30iB controller, which was also showcased at Southern Manufacturing. Packed with smart features, the new compact controller can be stacked to save space.

Fanuc enjoyed a successful Southern Manufacturing 2013. Speaking at the show, Fanuc’s Angela Ridley said "The show’s been the best yet – very busy from the word go. This is probably the best exhibition we do as far as quality of leads is concerned. We’ve already booked for next year."

Find out more about the Fanuc range at

Harting expands family of modular industrial connectors

Harting unveiled the latest addition to its established Han-Yellock(R) family of modular industrial connectors at Southern Manufacturing & Electronics 2013.

The availability of 25 different contact inserts means that the Han-Yellock(R) 10 can be adapted to a wide range of applications from energy supply to data transmission. The universal modular design of the connector means that a single unit can reliably transmit power of up to 40 A at 690 V alongside sensitive data signals, as in Ethernet applications. This universality is extended by the availability of multipole varieties incorporating up to 21 contacts, including inserts for optical data transmission.

The key features of the Han-Yellock(R) family – notably its ease of handling and operation – are embodied in the Han-Yellock(R) 10. The locking mechanism integrated in the housing locks both housing halves reliably during the connection process. Unlocking is a similarly intuitive process. A brief push on the activation button is all that is required. The robust stainless steel locking mechanism is then deactivated, allowing the connector halves to be separated from each other.

The new connector also helps to ensure reliable data transmission by offering a high degree of protection against electromagnetic interference. This is provided in the Han-Yellock(R) family by the nesting of both housing halves and the direct electrical connection between the housing and the adjacent surface. Large-diameter sheathed cabling is also enabled via an M25 cable input.

More information at

Electrox leaves its mark at Brandauer

Southern Manufacturing exhibitor Electrox recently helped fellow exhibitor, Birmingham-based precision engineering firm Brandauer, to expand into a new market sector.

Brandauer commissioned a bespoke Scorpion Rapide laser for integrated inline component identification as well as a stand-alone Raptor laser for offline process development from Electrox to support its move into the power generation sector. Brandauer, which specialises in the supply of specialist metal stampings and progression tooling, had already invested more than £750,000 on two new high-speed Bruderer presses to allow it to accommodate larger modular tools with more complex operations.

However, to deliver the new contract it needed to be able to undertake precision permanent marking to ensure the traceability of components. The firm had originally looked at another supplier, but concerns over its ability to provide the support required led Brandauer to investigate alternatives. Rowan Crozier, Sales and Marketing Director at Brandauer, said: “We were very happy to be referred to Electrox who quickly established that they could deliver the high spec custom-designed lasers, with the vital after-sales support we needed.

Electrox supplied a custom workstation to house a Scorpion Rapide and two Keyence SR650 cameras, featuring specially positioned air knives to ensure dust generated from the tooling being marked never comes into contact with the laser.

This is complemented by a Raptor laser with a stand alone D-Box workstation, which is used to create customer specific 2D traceability codes on specialist power generation products and bespoke components for low volume and prototype applications. Since taking delivery of the machine Brandauer have developed a customer friendly standard pricing matrix for bespoke laser marking which can be accessed via their brand new website –

Electrox lasers offer a wide range of laser application solutions including ablation and coating removal such as for automotive displays, coding for traceability and identification and labelling and for decorative design and personalisation.

For further information about Electrox telephone +44 (0) 1462 472400 or visit

JNDC showcases its Kwikbolt fastening system

Engineering design consultancy JNDC showcased a number of innovations at Southern Manufacturing 2013, among them Kwikbolt – a unique new fastener system designed for the aerospace industry to enable wing production to become fully automated.

kwikboltThe product was designed and developed through a series of prototypes which were tested to validate the initial stresses with FEA calculations. The refined designs were rapid manufactured using a mixture of maraging steel and titanium alloy, with the intention that the final design would be metal injection moulded. Made up of three parts, the key features include a revolutionary patented fastener system that allows a quick, reusable automated fastening, which increases quality reliability and production speed in the assembly process while reducing labour, complexity and cost.

Originally designed for Europe’s largest aerospace company, the Kwikbolt range has developed into a complete single-sided temporary fastener solution with applications in a wide range of industries.

The Kingston-based consultancy enjoyed a very successful show at Southern Manufacturing 2013 – read all about it and the expertise on offer at

Hurco Europe unveils product additions and fresh new look

Southern Manufacturing exhibitor Hurco Europe will herald the arrival of Spring (it’ll be along anytime now, I’m sure!) with a host of new product developments and a fresh new look for its range of advanced machining centres.  The firm will introduce these innovations at a two day Open House, to be held from 23-25 April 2013, 9am until 5.30pm each day, at Hurco’s High Wycombe showroom.

Hurco 1126-1 No less than four vertical machining centres will be introduced. High speed models, VMX24HSi and VMX42HSi, sport an 18,000rpm, 47hp (35kW), motorised spindle, 45m/minute rapids and four second chip-to-chip time. The new VM10UHSi is a compact, high speed, 5-axis machine with 30,000rpm spindle, 30m/minute rapids and direct encoding on the rotary tilt table. The VMX42SRTi has a flush rotary table to facilitate easy switching between 3- and 5-axis work.

All machines bearing a new logo and livery to be unveiled in April, will incorporate Version 9 WinMax software. The latest enhancement includes Ultimotion software with up to 10,000 blocks variable look-ahead. This is now a standard feature on Hurco machines, giving up to 30% faster cycle times and improved surface finish. Ultimonitor networking allows remote diagnostics functionality. Hurco will demonstrate how lights-out operation can be monitored via the Internet, giving real-time visibility of the control screens and live video via webcam.

Hurco Europe had a tremendously successful Southern Manufacturing 2013 – the highpoint of which was securing two orders valued at £96,000 at the show itself! The firm will return for 2014. But in the meantime, you can see all the latest developments at the company’s Open Day in April. Visit the Hurco Europe website for more information

TDK-Lambda opens Advanced Technology Centre in Bristol

TKD Lambda used its presence at Southern Manufacturing & Electronics 2013 to publicise the opening of  its new EMEA Advanced Technology Centre (ATC) in Bristol.

Located at the Bristol and Bath Science Park, the Advanced Technology Centre has been set up to accelerate TDK-Lambda’s current and planned power supply technology developments.

Leading the Advanced Technology Centre 6-strong team is TDK-Lambda’s Chief Technology Officer Andy Skinner: “The opening of the Advanced Technical Centre is a natural progression for TDK-Lambda and part of our plans is to bring more new leading-edge products to market faster. We will focus on all aspects of power supply development, including algorithms for digital control, new topologies and innovative thermal and mechanical design techniques.”

The Bristol and Bath Science Park is equidistant between Bristol and Bath and in close proximity to 12 major universities all with a focus on Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM) subjects. One of three strategic national sites for technology, the park operates a Gateway Policy to enable development of a vibrant research community.

With 412 technology companies within 20 miles radius of the Bristol and Bath Science Park, the area boasts one of the highest concentrations of PhD graduates in the UK. “By basing our Advanced Technology Centre here, we have access to a wide pool of highly skilled technology professionals,” concludes Skinner.

For more information, visit TDK Lambda at