The mechanical and plant engineering sector occupies a key economic position as the largest industrial employer, pre-eminent export industry and driver of innovation. Given that the demand for capital goods is increasingly cyclic and purchase decisions are made at ever shorter notice, quality and innovative drive have become insufficient for companies to survive on the global marketplace. Many mechanical and plant engineering companies are responding to the immense costs and the declining predictability of potential orders by increasing productivity and capacitive flexibility. In many cases they are developing new business fields and occupying product niches, which is leading to additional requirements that need to be managed efficiently. For the companies in this industry especially, the challenges and opportunities of Industry 4.0 and digitisation will dominate the next few years. Besides initiating changes within product technology, it will be imperative to introduce state-of-the-art equipment in production and logistics in order to exploit these fresh opportunities.
Specific framework conditions and special challenges that are characteristic of the mechanical and plant engineering industries:
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