Covering the complete spectrum from precision engineering to electronics, Subcon 2014 provides a single-source resource for anyone looking to find contract and subcontract manufacturing partners.

Subcon, which runs from 3 to 5 June at the NEC, Birmingham is the UK’s national subcontracting, advanced manufacturing and technology exhibition.  It covers every aspect of outsourced manufacturing services and technology from design and prototyping, machining, moulding, 3D printing, fabrication, composites, electronic assembly and finishing to software, testing, inspection and metrology.

This year’s event is set to be the biggest yet, with over 300 subcontractors exhibiting and a stronger than ever participation by UK exhibitors.

Electronics has always been a key component of Subcon, but this year it moves up a step with the launch of the Subcon Electronics Zone. This covers electronic manufacturing services, board manufacture and embedded systems, as well as the production of ancillaries such as wiring assemblies and complete product integration.

The Zone builds on the growing number of contract electronic manufacturers at the show and providing a focus for future growth.

Subcon has doubled in size in the last five years and is set to attract over 4000 visitors in 2014. Leading decision makers from all sectors come to Subcon to identify potential manufacturing partners and place business.

High level conference

Following on from the success of last year’s launch, Subcon is again hosting a high level conference focussing on big ideas and innovation in technology.

This year’s line-up of keynote speakers boasts a truly impressive cross-section of international business leaders from across industry. Keynote speakers at the event, which is organised by The Engineer, include top-level representatives of the HS2, Rolls-Royce, Siemens and MAS.

The latest speaker to confirm is Dr Alan Epstein, Pratt & Whitney’s Vice President, Technology & Enviroment who will be speaking on new technologies for today’s cutting edge jet engines. Other keynotes include: Siemens’ Divisional Director for Industrial Automation, Brian Holliday, explaining the what, why and how of Industry 4.0; David Clarke, Chief Executive of the Energy Technologies Institute looking at the options, challenges and prize of energy storage; Stephen Barr, Head of the Manufacturing Advisory Service on Reshore UK and the Technical Director of HS2 Ltd, Andrew McNaughton, who will talk about the engineering challenges of one of the most controversial, and potentially transformative, infrastructure projects on the UK agenda. To finish on a particularly high note, the final keynote speaker is Hamid Mughal, Head of Global Manufacturing at Rolls-Royce.

Alongside the keynotes, ‘show and tell sessions’ focus on inspiring projects including, the design of a new lifeboat, the application of high technology to performance sport and the recreation of a lost iconic aeroplane, the Bugatti 100p.

The time is right

The show is perfectly timed to help visitors get the maximum benefit from the buoyant economic conditions for UK manufacturing.

A survey of visitors to last year’s Subcon showed that UK firms are set to place more work with UK contract manufacturers and have a high degree of confidence in the strength of the economy.

47.3% of visitors to Subcon 2013 show planned to increase the amount of work they placed with UK contract manufacturers in the next 12 months. The growth of this outsourced manufacturing sector reflects the advantages that come from using specialist third-party manufacturers to produce your products.

Asked why they placed work with contract manufacturers rather than doing it in-house, the reasons cited included more flexibility, staying focused on core business, cost, quality and the ability to meet delivery deadlines. As one respondent explained: “We outsource our manufacturing in order to focus on product development and service, while keeping capital costs down.”

To register for your free ticket to Subcon 2014 and to book your conference sessions please visit

Electronics exhibitors at Subcon 2014 include:

Custom embedded boards in 5 weeks

At Subcon Arrival Electronics is launching Mi-embedded, a design solution which gives customers their own semi-customised embedded board. For just £6,000 Arrival will design the board and supply four pieces in just five weeks.

At the forefront of PCB technology

LCL Electronics has invested in a super-fast I-pulse M20 SMT placement machine that allows it to place components of any shape or size on boards up to 1.5m long. The machine offers several unique features and the largest board handling capability on the market.

End-to-end EMS

ADAPT ems (formerly Weedon Electronics) offers an end-to-end electronics manufacturing service, specialising in providing manufacture and test of high-technology, high-mix, low-to-medium volume, high-reliability products where quality and on time delivery is paramount.

Grid simulator launch

ETPS Ltd will be launching its new grid simulator at Subcon. The EAC-ACS-4Q forms a closed circuit with an electrical device under test. This enables behaviour and response of equipment powered by the mains to be evaluated in controlled conditions.

Serving regulatory controlled sectors

Batchbuild provides specialist manufacturing solutions, from concept to fully assembled and tested products ready for shipment to clients, for high technology products in highly regulated sectors – including medical, aerospace and defence, autosport, lighting and cleantech and research.

EMS for wide ranging markets

DVR Ltd offers electronics manufacturing services to a broad range of markets and supports its customers in the design, production of terminated cable and cable-harnesses, PCB assembly and testing, and final product assembly and test.

Bespoke cable assemblies

Cornelius Electronics is a subcontract manufacturer of bespoke cable assemblies and wiring harnesses, serving a variety of industries including amusement machines, medical, military, security, broadcast and automotive.

Catalogue components

Würth Elektronik manufactures and suppliers electronic and electromechanical components. Catalogue items available from stock include EMC components, inductors, RF inductors and LTCC components, transformers, circuit protection, power modules, LEDs, connectors and switches.

Braids and bonding

Cabletec is a leading UK manufacturer of metal braids and bonding leads for applications in the aerospace, defence and industrial markets. It also has manufacturing capabilities to produce complex, high performance, customised electro-mechanical assemblies.

Subcon 2014