Southern Manufacturing is a wide-ranging event that takes in suppliers of: automation and robotics; CNC machining and tooling; packaging and handling; electronic components and enclosures; cable assembly; labelling and marking; electronic subcontract manufacture; PCBs; CAD/CAM/CAE; control and motion engineering; design and rapid prototyping; test and measurement; workstations; pressings; castings and mouldings; fabrication and fastenings; new materials and high precision engineering. Amongst this tally, there are some 80 subcontract metalcutting/forming manufacturing companies and almost 30 manufacturing technology suppliers (see box item). Some attendees have provided details of their attendance. For example, Delcam (0121 766 5544) will show the latest versions of its PowerMILL, FeatureCAM and PartMaker CAM systems. PowerMILL is for high speed and 5-axis machining, while FeatureCAM offers fast and easy-to-use, feature-based programming, with PartMaker providing a dedicated solution for Swiss-type lathes and turn-mill equipment. Delcam will also demonstrate its Delcam for SolidWorks integrated CAM system for SolidWorks. Image: Delcam will be putting its PowerMILL software through its paces Together, these programs allow companies to program virtually all of their machine tools. This broad coverage is one of the reasons why Delcam has been ranked as the world's leading specialist supplier of NC software and services by US analysts CIMdata for 10 years. Of particular note, the 2011 release of PowerMILL makes the programming of fast, but safe, toolpaths easier than ever, thanks to new stock-model-engagement options that protect both the cutting tool and the machine from excessive loading. The ability to optimise tool loading will help overcome a constant conflict for CAM programmers. On the one hand, they want to maximise productivity by setting feedrates as fast as their machines will allow; on the other hand, they need to ensure safe speeds that will not break the tool (see next issue for more on this subject). PROTOTYPE AND LOW VOLUME XYZ Machine Tools (01823 674200), which specialises in metalcutting machine tools for prototype and low volume applications, has recently added the 410 mm spindle bore XYZ Oil Country CNC lathe to its range. Available ex-stock as a 3 m distance between centres machine (options range from 1.5 m to 16 m), the 85 hp/5-250 rpm lathe features Siemens 840D conversational ShopTurn control and a one-piece 544 mm-wide bed with induction hardened and ground slideways. Two of the three machines that will be displayed on Stand M36 – a 10 hp 25-2,500 rpm XYZ ProTURN SLX 425 gap bed CNC/manual lathe (available with either 1,250 mm or 2,000 mm between centres) and a 5 hp variable speed (40-5,000 rpm) head ProtoTRAK SMX 3500 CNC/manual bed mill – are equipped with the easy-to-program ProtoTRAK control. Image: The 410 mm spindle bore XYZ Oil Country CNC lathe The third machine on the stand will be a 20 hp 5-8,000 rpm XYZ 710 VMC, one of four models of vertical machining centre, equipped as standard with the latest generation Siemens 828D control. XYZ also offers the high speed 1060 HS VMC, which is capable of traversing at 43 m/min via the advanced Siemens 840SL CNC and is fitted as standard with a 12,000 rpm spindle. Renishaw (01453 524133) will be highlighting new machine tool touch probes and software for automated setting and on-machine part verification, systems to assess the performance of both 3 and 5-axis machine tools, and a new 5-axis probe head for co-ordinate measuring machines (CMMs) that can give up to a three-fold increase in throughput for touch-trigger measurement. There will also be demonstrations of Renishaw's latest incremental and absolute encoders for precision motion control. For example, the QC20-W is a new wireless ballbar used for the assessment of machine tool positioning and servo control performance, replacing Renishaw's QC10 ballbar, and featuring Bluetooth wireless technology and the ability to produce a representative volumetric measurement of positioning accuracy. Also shown will be AxiSet Check-Up, a new automated solution that allows users of 5-axis and mill-turn machine tools to quickly check the alignment and positioning performance of rotary axes. Image: Renishaw's QC20-W is a new wireless ballbar used for the assessment of machine tool positioning and servo control performance The new PH20 5-axis head offers unique 'head touches' for rapid touch-trigger measurement, plus fast infinite 5-axis positioning to guarantee optimal feature access. RESOLUTELY ACCURATE New encoder products will include the revolutionary RESOLUTE absolute optical encoder that is capable of 1 nm resolution at speeds up to 100 m/s. New additions to Renishaw's TONiC range of incremental optical linear and rotary encoders include 1 nm resolution options, UHV compatible formats and a Dual Signal Interface (DSi) version. Heidenhain (GB) (01444 247711) will focus on the company's iTNC/TNC range of systems that are known for their superior capabilities in milling machines and machining centre applications (both as OEM items and for retrofit), as well as drilling and boring machines. The high-end iTNC 530 CNC analogue/digital system (up to 13 axes), the control lends itself to the production of accurate contours at high velocity - block processing time is 0.5 millisec – and has, for example, 3D tool compensation. Image: Heidenhain's CNC capabilities will be underlined The iTNC 530 hardware option with two processors additionally features the Windows XP operating system as a user interface, enabling the use of standard Windows applications. Also on show will be the TNC 620, a versatile contouring control for multi-axis work. With workshop-orientated programmability using Heidenhain's conversational programming routines - or off-line programming — the TNC 620 is ideal for a wide range of applications, including either one-off or volume production routines. Also designed for milling, drilling and boring routines, the TNC 320 is an entry-level analogue system, ideal for retrofit applications. Heidenhain's turning capability will be demonstrated via the ManualPlus 620, a CNC that features application-orientated cycle programming. Turning to the subcontracting element and Inca Geometric (01227 738565) will be highlighting its investment and capabilities. The company, based at Chartham, near Canterbury, Kent, has just installed latest milling and boring technology, spending some £500,000. The acquired technology has included a Mazak-300C-II travelling-column, vertical machining centre and a Dugard Eagle HMB-4 horizontal borer – each having full 4-axis capability. Both machines complement another recent acquisition, a Dugard 400 heavy duty lathe, and an upgrade to its large volume co-ordinate measuring machine that are installed alongside a wide range of turning, milling, boring and grinding equipment. "The advantage Inca Geometric can pass on to customers is our high level of production and application expertise," explains managing director Michael Cain. "This has been built up over a 50-year history in the design and development, build and supply of special-purpose machine tools, assembly and test rigs, as well as made-to-order multi-heads for drilling, boring and threading." Box item Manufacturing technology suppliers at Southern Manufacturing 1st Machine Tool Accessories ; Aberlink Innovative Metrology LLP; AlphaCAM/EdgeCAM; Bruderer UK; Cambridge Bar Feeds; Carl Zeiss IMT; Carl Zeiss; CMZ UK; Datron Technology; Delcam; Dormer Tools; Faro Technologies UK; Finishing Techniques; Guhring; Haas Automation; Trotec Group t/a Identify Engraving; IndieCAM; LTS Envirosafe; Mapra Technik Company; Metrology Direct; Press & Shear; Radan Software; Roemheld UK; Rofin-Baasel UK; Tesa Technology UK; Thinklaser; Trumpf; XYZ Machine Tools; Yamazaki Mazak UK; YesTek.