Mechanical and plant engineering is one of the most important industries in the German economy. More than 6,419 companies employ around 1,000,000 workers – more than in any other industrial sector. In terms of revenue, mechanical and plant engineering is the second largest industrial sector in Germany. In 2015, the industry generated revenues of more than €230 billion.
In 2015, the German mechanical and plant engineering sectors achieved volumes of more than €151,1 billion. This meant that German mechanical and plant engineering accounted for 16 percent of machinery traded worldwide, making it the world’s leader in the field, followed by, the US and China and Japan.
The mechanical and plant engineering sector is the largest employer for engineers, employing 183,000 engineers in 2013, according to the VDMA. This represents around 17 percent of all the employees in this sector. In addition, mechanical and plant engineering is one of the most innovative industries in Germany, setting standards in developing and applying future technologies. The investments in research and development amount 10 percent of the annual revenues and the number of employees in that field adds up to 43,000. Share of sales with market innovations by German machine and planr construction companies accounted for 6.2 percent in 2014. These innovation activities are reflected in the number of pending patents: In the field of machinery, pumps and turbines, Germany is leading with 28 percent of patent applications at the European Patent Office in 2014.
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