High-Quality machines, first-class technologies, smart solutions for industry 4.0 – Baden-Württemberg is the centre of German mechanical and plant engineering.
Out of the 30 largest mechanical engineering companies in Germany, one third come from the southwest. In addition to the big players in this industry, a large number of globally successful small and medium-sized enterprises are located in Baden-Württemberg. Many of these companies are world market leaders in their particular field of endeavour.
With over 348,000 employees, mechanical engineering is the largest industrial employer in Baden-Württemberg. In 2018, the sector had a turnover of 85.4 billion euros, just under one third of the turnover of the German mechanical engineering industry as a whole. Machines and technical plants "made in Baden-Württemberg" are in demand world-wide, whereby the state's overall export ratio is just under 80 percent.
High-tech is a primary focus of mechanical engineering companies in Baden-Württemberg. They invest about three percent of their turnover in innovation, thus consolidating their position as a leader in cutting-edge technology. Another reason for the success of the industry is its abundance of well trained and highly motivated employees. In order to be able to comply with the highest technical standards, the mechanical engineering companies spend five percent of their turnover on employee training and qualification.
Not other region of the world provides such a strong concentration of innovative machine and plant manufacturers, highly efficient parts suppliers and excellent research and educational institutions. Another special feature of Baden-Württemberg is the close economic networking of companies in the production-engineering supply chain in addition to their geographical proximity to each other.
This close-meshed network of industry and science in the southwest is complemented by numerous clusters and effective state-wide networks. They are an active driving force for innovation, bundling diverse forms of competence and synergies in order to improve the international competitivness of this industry. The German Engineering Federation VDMA is the nodal point between the industry in Baden-Württemberg and nation-wide activities.
Exemplary industry institutions:
With more than 70 universities and over 100 non-university research institutions, Baden-Württemberg is one of the top science locations in Germany. Teaching and research are conducted on the very highest level in the southwest, a situation from which the mechanical engineering sector also profits.
In Baden-Württemberg, the mechanical engineering industry employs more than 55,000 engineers and depends on the availability of young highly educated and well trained specialists. The state's institutions of higher education offer many courses of study in the area of mechanical engineering such as materials and production engineering, mechatronics, thermodynamics and robotics, thus ensuring a reliable supply of highly qualified engineers. Moreover, around 60 research institutions and facilities at universities in the state are concerned with future issues of mechanical and plant engineering. Their basic research and development of applications thus contribute to the industry's leadership in innovation. This intensive collaboration as well as the smooth transfer of knowledge between industry and science are important success factors of Baden-Württemberg's mechanical engineering companies.