More than 1,000,000 employees in Germany

A strong lobby group for a strong industry

The VDMA (German Engineering Federation) represents more than 3,100 mostly medium-sized companies in the capital goods industry, making it the largest industry association in Europe.

Mechanical engineering is Germany’s largest industrial employer with 1,003,000 employees (January 2015). It develops and produces key technologies for the global market and has an export quota of 76%. With turnover of EUR 212 billion (2014), it is one of the leading industry sectors in Germany.

Image provided : Kaeser

German mechanical engineering industry is an international leader – in 24 out of 31 comparable subsectors, German companies rank among the world’s top three suppliers, and global market leader in as many as half.

The German mechanical engineering industry
The industry’s path to the future is marked by huge future markets. Be it Industrie 4.0, resource-friendly environmental protection, energy efficiency or electromobility – future production processes need to meet high requirements. They need to be networked, smart, flexible, efficient and sustainable. The Internet of Things and Services has made its way into production halls (video) and makes mechanical engineering the winner of the global competition.

VDMA’s membership covers the entire process chain – in the field of mechanical engineering including associated tools and components; process, production, manufacturing, drive-train and automation engineering, office and information technology, software, and product-related services, i.e. from components to plants, from system suppliers and system integrators through to service providers.


Image provided : Thomas Lerch, Fotolia

VDMA is divided into 15 cross-sector departments, branch offices in Berlin and Brussels, liaison offices in Brazil, China, India, Japan and Russia, 38 trade associations and working groups, international committees and forums, 6 state associations and numerous service organizations.

Verband Deutscher Maschinen- und Anlagenbau e.V. (VDMA)
Lyoner Straße 18, 60528 Frankfurt/Main
Telefon +49 69 6603 0

Our knowledge and activities focus on core issues

VDMA gives a voice to the positions of its members – both nationally and internationally.

Germany is an industrial nation, which is the basis for its very strong economic position. In particular, medium-sized mechanical and plant engineering companies are synonymous with a high degree of employment, good wages and low unemployment. Attractive site conditions need to be established to ensure that innovative companies continue to produce in Germany. A good industry policy implements these conditions in close cooperation with the business sector.
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The VDMA Forum Energy combines the association’s energy policy activities and pools the industry’s know-how in the field of energy. As the voice of the capital goods industry, the Forum Energy also represents the interests of the mechanical and plant engineering sector vis-à-vis policy makers and the general public. As a result of the energy transition concept adopted by the German government, topics such as the interconnection of renewable energies with flexible, fossil fuel power plants, increasing the energy efficiency, and new energy services such as storage load management are becoming increasingly important.
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VDMA is reliable partner to many companies on the path to global markets. The service offering of the VDMA economists covers many areas, ranging from the provision of detailed information on international wages and salaries, to incoming order statistics on trade association level, production data of selected countries and national and international economic analyses in the mechanical and plant engineering sector. VDMA provides information and consultancy on important foreign markets. Its liaison offices in China, India, Japan, Brazil and Russia offer sector-specific market information and practical assistance in market development.
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Current management topics and future-oriented trends in mechanical and plant engineering – including topics as diverse as the regulation of working time and overhead calculations. VDMA experts provide assistance in identifying weak points and untapped opportunities and show how to optimize processes in order to process orders much faster and more efficiently.
The VDMA legal department consists of a team of commercial lawyers specialized on the capital goods industry. They offer individual legal advice – in competent and quick manner and tailored to mechanical engineering.
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Companies in the mechanical and plant engineering sector are affected by rules and regulations in a number of ways. They need to comply with regulations, statutory requirements and standards (e.g. handling of water-polluting substances), both in their operational management and in the construction of machinery and plants. On the one hand, laws, directives and standards ensure a level playing field in Germany, Europe and the world – but they can also result in non-tariff trade barriers. Experts of VDMA and the Mechanical Engineering Committee (NAM) assist companies in the mechanical and plant engineering sector in tackling the many technical and energy-related issues and questions related to standardization. They are qualified specialist consultants of the member companies and involved in the development of standards. They maintain a constant dialog with representatives of the European Commission and national and state line ministries.
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VDMA has been successfully organizing and fostering research cooperations for many years now. In the context of joint pre-competitive industrial research, VDMA offers efficient profitable cooperation platforms with the Forschungskuratorium Maschinenbau e.V. (FKM) and the research associations of the individual sectors. Via its service company VDMA Gesellschaft für Forschung und Innovation (VFI) mbH, VDMA also supports companies in the brokering of research cooperations, the search for funding programs, in project management and in the fast knowledge transfer of research results.
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Education takes the center stage in a country with few natural resources. This is particularly true in the high-technology mechanical and plant engineering sector. In times of demographic change and lack of qualified specialists, it is crucial to strengthen efforts in this area. This is why work and training is one of VDMA’s core topics. German mechanical and plant engineering offers unparalleled opportunities and career prospects for young people, no matter their qualification level. This is why VDMA approaches the entire scope of educational issues with great commitment. We take care of the next generation of young talents, ensure the quality of vocational training courses and are committed to increasing academic success. You can find articles on current educational topics, position papers and best practice examples here.
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Our current topics and initiatives

Topics with cross-sectoral relevance are channeled in targeted initiatives and presented to the general public.

Structure and organization

With more than one million employees in Germany, a production worth around EUR 200 billion and an export quota of 76% (2014), German mechanical and plant engineering is the largest industrial employer and one of the leading industry sectors in Germany.
VDMA is Europe’s sector network for the capital goods industry, a platform of subsectors that cover the entire process chain of the capital goods industry.

The 38 trade associations within VDMA represent companies in the individual subsectors of mechanical engineering and their interests within and outside of the association. This way, VDMA maps the entire process chain of the capital goods industry – from components to plants and from system suppliers to system integrators and service providers. The VDMA network offers excellent opportunities for partnerships and collaborations.
All trade associations

Cross-sectoral working groups, forums and projects strengthen the cooperation between the individual trade associations. VDMA also has a close-knit network on the European level as well, with numerous associations representing the interests of individual mechanical engineering subsectors.
All working groups and forums

Keeping our finger on the pulse of current events – in Frankfurt, Brussels, Berlin and many other locations all around the world, VDMA represents the economic, technical and political interests of the mechanical and plant engineering sector. The VDMA Regional Associations in Baden-Wurttemberg, Bavaria, Central, North, North Rhine-Westphalia and East are your local contact partners. They represent the interests of mechanical and plant engineering vis-à-vis the respective state governments.
In Berlin and Brussels, VDMA is cooperating with economic decision-makers and multipliers.
All regional associations

Our VDMA offices in China, India, Japan, Russia and Brazil assist VDMA members in their activities in the most important foreign markets. The VDMA liaison offices act as direct on-site contacts and cooperate closely with the members’ offices abroad.
All liaison offices

As an industry-related organization with more than 500 employees, VDMA supports its members in their daily activities – whether they involve legal issues, taxes, personnel, European regulations or other matters. The VDMA’s interdisciplinary departments provide assistance and consultancy in overarching issues, developments and strategies. With central committees and working groups, the VDMA also offers numerous platforms for exchanging ideas and information across sectors.
All interdisciplinary departments

Insurance services, target group-specific publishing offers and an attractive range of seminars complement the VDMA’s profile. With its various foundations, VDMA is committed to fostering research, education and technology in a large variety of sectors.
All services and foundations