Machinery and Plant Engineering

An export share of over 20 percent catapults the Austrian machinery and metal goods industry to the top in the export business. The increasing exports to Eastern Europe, Asia, and overseas are the proof for the dynamic development towards new markets.

The machinery and plant engineering industry is one of the largest sectors with the highest sales in the country. Highly qualified employees, top quality, and the “hand-in-hand“ -mentality among companies and research institutes form the basis for the international success of Austrian companies. Innovative small and medium-sized enterprises provide the world market with high-tech applications and special-purpose machines; needless to say they could position themselves among the national and global top players of this sector. According to the World Competitiveness Yearbook 2011, Austria has even turned out to be the worldwide No. 1 in the category of the most productive SMEs!

Sector structure: Machinery engineering – No. 1 in Austria

The machinery and plant engineering sector runs under the Austrian umbrella segment of „Machinery and metal goods industry“, which is, with its 154,000 employees, rightly considered as the industrial „No.1 Employer” of the country. A turnover of EUR 33 billion (2010) proves the continuity of the sector as an active driving force for work and economy. The most important segments in the machinery and plant engineering sector include metal constructions, hoisting and conveying means, track vehicles, as well as agricultural and forestry machinery (refer to agricultural and forestry engineering for more details).

The Austrian strength in the field of machinery engineering is the focus on niche markets, which are supplied with high-quality special-purpose machines. For instance, one of the world´s most popular and famous children toys – Lego – is manufactured with the technical know-how of Austria. The largest buyers and investors in the Austrian machinery and plants segment are the machinery engineering sector itself, as well as the metal industry, the chemical, and electrical industry. (Wifo-Investitionstest 2009; published 01/2010).

Owing to its numerous residing companies, the training facilities, and research institutions, the state Upper Austria makes it to one of the domestic hubs in the fields of mechatronics, machinery and plant engineering. Especially the combination of machinery engineering, electronics and information technology turns out to be a promising growth sector which has become inevitable for the sustenance of the machinery and plant engineering industry.

A globally acknowledged partner

An export share of over 20 percent in the entire Austrian foreign trade catapults the Austrian machinery and metal goods industry to the absolute peak position in the export business. Owing to a surplus in export sales from 12.2 percent to a whopping EUR +23 billion in 2010, the machinery and plant engineering industry had a fulminant kick-off to the year 2011. The latest export figures attest the impressive export strength of the sector. Already in the first half year of 2011 the industry registered a growth in foreign trades amounting to more than 22 percent (figures: Statistik Austria; FMMI 2011), which confirms, that the Austrian companies seize their opportunities to the fullest!

The segment “machinery” alone accounts for an export share of 13.5 percent in the entire foreign sales (Statistik Austria; Sept. 2011). The lion´s share of exports is shipped to European countries with Germany ranking among the largest buyers. The increasing exports to Eastern Europe, Asia, and overseas are the proof for the dynamic development towards new markets.

Individual solutions based on reliable product quality and exactly tailored to the requirements of the customer can convince in the international market, too. The range of services provided by the domestic machinery engineers turns out to become more and more important in the market. Starting with the planning of projects over the plant´s design through to the „after sales service“ like maintenance or repair. Product quality that meets the highest standards, the experience of the companies including their highly qualified professionals, and the very favorable geographic location right in the midst of Europe ensure a bright future for the machinery and plant engineering industry.

Editorial department: Mag. Sandra Hollersbacher