Mechanical engineering is the fastest-growing industry in Thuringia despite ever intensifying competition. This clearly shows that the state offers excellent conditions for generating innovations and launching internationally successful products. Implementing automation strategies enables local companies to assert their leading position in the global market place.
Thuringia offers outstanding innovation and growth opportunities for firms working in special machine construction and robotics. This is clearly demonstrated by the following companies that have successfully implemented Automation concepts.Thuringia offers outstanding innovation and growth opportunities
for firms working in special machine construction and robotics. This is clearly demonstrated by the following companies that have successfully implemented automation concepts.
- Laser Technology, Rapid Tooling, Robotics, Additive Manufacturing, Machining, Metal Processing, Materials Technology and Textile Processing
Special machine engeneering focused on:
- Automation Technology, Modern Tool and Mold Making, Software and Hardware
- Fine- and Micromechanics, Precision Parts, Mechatronics, Automation/Machine Learning, Assisted Robotics, Service Robotics, MSR and Sensor Technology
Thuringia offers mechanical engineering firms a pool of qualified personnel of outstanding quality – from excellently skilled workers in all the necessary technical professions to highly qualified graduate engineers and software developers.
Thuringia‘s technically oriented universities are continuing the state‘s long engineering traditions. In the 2018/2019 winter semester alone, not less than 1,200 students were enrolled on mechanical engineering courses. Ilmenau University of Technology and Schmalkalden University of Applied Sciences have repeatedly achieved leading positions in the university rankings of the German weekly newspaper “DIE ZEIT” and the Centre for University Development (CHE).
Selected degree programs:
Ilmenau University of Technology
- Mechanical Engineering
- Innovative Product Development in Machinery and Equipment Engineering (distance-learning degree Course)
Ernst Abbe University of Applied Sciences Jena
University of Applied Sciences Schmalkalden
- Mechanical Engineering
- Industrial Engineering and Management
- Mechanical Engineering (dual study program BISS) – students also acquire a chamber of commerce qualification as a skilled industrial mechanic, toolmaker, cutting machine operator, mechatronic or microtechnology technician
University of Cooperative Education Gera-Eisenach
- Mechatronics und Automation
University of Applied Science Nordhausen
Mehnert Lab Erfurt
The idea of the Mehnert Lab is to gain practical experience in handling the machines. That‘s why, in addition to new media, the Mehnert Lab primarily uses their customers‘ original machines. During training, the participants learn how to deal with challenges they will face on the job – but under expert guidance andwithout the time pressure of an ongoing production process. This is how we combine theory and practice under real-world conditions to create a lasting experience.
Basic and further training
To ensure that the mechanical Engineering sector continues to have a sufficient pool of skilled labor in the future, Thuringia places a strong focus on qualification. Young people can train for skills, for example, in the fields of metal cutting, mechanical and plant Engineering and tool and mold making.
Selected training vocations:
- Cutting machine operator
- Industrial mechanic
Thuringia also specifically promotes and supports training cooperations in the metalworking sector. For example, businesses and vocational Training institutes have formed alliances at regional and local level to be able to train more young people and retrainees. The Chambers of Industry and Commerce (CIC’s) and Chambers of Craft Trades also offer further training programs.
Research and Development
Thuringian Center for Mechanical Engineering (ThZM)
The Thuringia Center for Mechanical Engineering (ThZM) acts as an innovation partner for modern mechanical engineering technologies. It supports industrial companies in all stages of their process and production chain and finds expert cooperation partners for solving their research and development projects.
Areas of Expertise:
- Versatile production methods and manufacturing chains
- Interactive assistance systems for production
- Adaptive process and versatile quality control
Research institutions participating in the ThZM:
- GFE - Society for Production Engineering and Development Schmalkalden
- Ifw-Günter Köhler Institute of Joining Technology and Materials Testing, Jena
- Ilmenau University of Technology
- Ernst Abbe University of Applied Sciences, Jena
- Schmalkalden University of Applied Sciences
These bodies support companies in all phases – from the initial idea to market readyness.
FerMeTh - Cluster for Production Engineering and Metal Processing in Thuringia
FerMeTh serves as a cooperation platform for firms operating in the Thuringian metalworking industry. It helps them sustain their competitiveness and so secure their long-term market opportunities. It also assists in overcoming the structural disadvantages of SME businesses. Its activities lie especially in the fields of R&D, production cooperation, marketing and sales, and ensuring the availability of qualified Labor.
Mittelstand 4.0 - Competence Center Ilmenau
The concept of „Mittelstand 4.0“ stands for „Industrial IoT for medium-sized businesses“. The competence
center in Ilmenau Showcases real-life demonstration and implementation projects, thus offering a hands-on approach to digitalization. It supports local companies to set up automated solutions in response to the practical challenges they are facing. Five model factories located in Ilmenau, Jena, Schmalkalden and Sondershausen show examples of digital production solutions and invite other Entrepreneurs to try them out.
For more than 20 years, 3D-Schilling from Sondershausen has been offering rapid prototyping and rapid anufacturing using various technologies like stereo lithography, aser sintering, vacuum casting as well as prototypes from original materials, tool making and Engineering services.
Bystronic Maschinenbau GmbH
Bystronic is a Swiss company with worldwide operations, supplying application-compliant systems and services for laser and water jet cutting processes and bending technology. Every consumer comes into indirect contact with the bending machines produced by about 200 employees at the production and development center in Gotha. It is here that, among many other things, aircraft components, automobile parts and even washing machine panels are formed.
HORSCH Maschinen GmbH
In Ronneburg near Gera, HORSCH operates one of the most modern production facilities for agricultural machinery in Europe. Located directly adjacent to the A4 motorway, the plant displays great potential for further growth and and additional production expansion.
MetraLabs are specialists in mobile service robotics with long-term experience. In 2007, the company launched the first interactive shopping robot in the world. Since then, MetraLabs has developed over 250 robots for various applications worldwide. Collectively, their robots have accumulated more than 70,000 km of driving experience.
Schuler Pressen GmbH, branch
Umformtechnik Erfurt is a subsidiary of the Schuler Group in Europe devoted exclusively to production and service. It manufactures systems for the automotive, supplier, electrical and domestic appliance industries. Its products range from welding components of up to 230 tonnes in weight to mechanical machining and installations involving a variety of mechanically driven presses as well as complex plants and machinery.
Further selected companies:
- avateramedical Mechatronics GmbH, Ilmenau
- Batix Software GmbH, Saalfeld
- Deckel Maho Seebach GmbH, Seebach
- Diebold Nixdorf Technology GmbH, Ilmenau
- Drehtechnik Jakusch GmbH, Saalfeld
- FCT Ingenieurkeramik GmbH, Frankenblick
- Gardner Denver Thomas GmbH, Ilmenau
- GKN Sinter Metals GmbH, Bad Langensalsza
- Glatt Ingenieurtechnik GmbH, Weimar
- Häcker Automation GmbH, Waltershausen
- Jenoptik AG, Geschäftsbereich Laser- und Materialbearbeitung, Jena
- Kaeser Kompressoren SE, Gera
- Kern Technik GmbH & Co. KG, Schleusingen
- Lemuth GmbH, Meiningen
- LPKF SolarQuipment GmbH, Suhl
- N3 Engine Overhaul Services GmbH & Co. KG, Arnstadt
- RSP GmbH, Saalfeld
- ruhlamat GmbH, Marksuhl
- Samag Saalfelder Werkzeugmaschinen GmbH, Saalfeld
- Schubert & Salzer Feinguss Lobenstein GmbH, Bad Lobenstein
- Sumitomo (SHI) Demag Plastics Machinery GmbH, Wiehe
- SOMAG AG, Jena
- VACOM Vakuum Komponenten & Messtechnik GmbH, Großlöbichau
- ZF Friedrichshafen AG, Gotha