Machinery and Equipment

The German engineering tradition moving forward: the M&E industry is driving innovation

Germany is a leader in providing customised products to the global manufacturing industry via small- and mid-sized companies. As a leader in digital automation technologies, Germany’s M&E industry is at the forefront of the fourth industrial revolution.

The German machinery industry in numbers


Germany ranks third in terms of worldwide M&E industry turnover (China No. 1, USA No. 2).

Industrie 4.0

Germany's M&E industry makes Germany the world’s leading Industrie 4.0 nation with a notable market increase from 2015 to 2017.


In terms of level of activity, M&E is Germany’s largest sector with almost 6,400 companies along the value chain.

16 percent

Germany’s M&E industry is the top global producer of industrial machinery with 16 percent of global industrial machinery trade.

Efficiency and innovation: great for investment

Even in the manufacturing sector, energy-efficient solutions in production technology will play a decisive role in achieving Germany's ambitious climate goals. German companies active in energy-intensive industry sectors have been working for decades to optimise energy efficiency in production processes.

Machine vision

Machine vision counts as one of the major growth sectors in the R&A industry and has become the key technology for the automation industry worldwide. MV industry turnover has more than doubled within a decade.
Other sectors make use of machine vision technology for production, including metal, food and packaging. Other uses include intelligent traffic technology, surgical technologies and diagnostic equipment.

20 percent

The automotive industry, the largest industrial sector in Germany, accounts for 20 percent of turnover in the MV sector.

EUR 2.6 billion

A record turnover of EUR 2.6 billion was reached in 2017 (18 percent increase) with dynamic market development set to be maintained in 2018 (forecast annual increase of 10 percent).

Production technology is undergoing radical change with the arrival of the Internet of Things in the factory. Industrie 4.0 will increasingly allow companies to create connected processes and make them more flexible and client-oriented. Industrie 4.0 is expected to increase M&E sector gross value added by EUR 23 billion through to 2025. 

Industrie 4.0

is driving change in the automotive sector in Germany. The domestic market for Industrie 4.0 solutions in this industry grew 20 percent to EUR 2.1 billion in 2016/17.


the German association for IT, telecommunications and new media, predicts an annual value added potential of EUR 2.1 billion through 2025 for Industrie 4.0 solutions in the automotive industry, such as real-time data and man-machine interfaces.
Predictive maintenance is expected to play a particularly strong role in automotive production within two to five years.


According to the Staufen German Industrie 4.0 Index 2017, almost all auto sector companies already use “smart” concepts.

Laboratories for Industrie 4.0

Germany has an internationally leading intellectual property role in terms of industrial robots.

Research clusters are driving innovation and offering great investment opportunities – for instance, the OWL technology network, one of the most important Industrie 4.0 initiatives in Germany. OWL connects more than 200 companies and research institutes with the goal of finding solutions for processing data from machines, creating new services and business models, and using technology to improve working conditions.


Collaboration for innovation

Germany's machinery and equipment industry boasts a productive, educated workforce, along with stable wage rates over time. Flexible working practices, such as fixed-term contracts and shift systems, add to Germany’s competitive edge in offering investors an affordable, high-quality climate for manufacturing.

Workforce in Germany by level of professional education in 2014

Top location for M&E investment

Germany's machinery and equipment industry topped all other European countries as a destination for FDI from 2010 to 2017 with a total of 734 FDI projects.

Germany's leading role in industrial machinery and equipment comes from the synthesis of a highly skilled workforce, excellent support resources for R&D and a long-standing engineering tradition – all necessary parts for the latest industrial revolution, Industrie 4.0. Get in touch to learn more.