The VDMA represents more than 3,200 member companies in the SME-dominated mechanical and systems engineering industry in Germany and Europe.
The Mechanical and Plant Engineering Sector
The mechanical and plant engineering sector is developing solutions to meet today’s major challenges – day after day. The mechanical and plant engineering sector is Germany’s largest employer with 1,35 million employees, and it is the backbone of the German economy.
The industry’s approximately 6,400 companies make the mechanical and plant engineering sector in Germany a driver for innovation and thus a guarantor for growth and prosperity. Mechanical engineering is one of the most research-intensive industrial sectors in Germany and accounts for approximately 10 percent of the expenditure on research and development by the economy as a whole.
Our industry is characterized by medium-sized companies. Many of these are family businesses, which often span many generations and are deeply rooted in high-performance networks of industry and science. This structure provides power to the mechanical engineering sector and gives companies the tools to set new standards in the context of global competition.
125 years with a finger on the pulse
VDMA – More than 125 years with a finger on the pulse
Carl Martin Welcker, VDMA President
Constantly looking to the future has been a key characteristic of VDMA for over 125 years.
With more than 3,200 members, VDMA is the largest network organization for mechanical engineering in Europe. The association represents the common economic, technological and scientific interests of this diverse industry.
VDMA was founded in November 1892 and is the most important voice for the mechanical engineering industry today. It represents the issues of the mechanical and plant engineering sector in Germany and Europe. It successfully accompanies its members in global markets. Its technical expertise, industry knowledge and straightforward positioning make it a recognized and valued point of contact for companies as well as the general public, science, administration and policy makers.
Board of Chairmen, Restricted Board, Main Board
The voluntary executive boards of the VDMA
- Board of Chairmen,
- Restricted Board,
- Main Board
The the Main Board is comprised of approximately 120 top representatives of the VDMA member companies. The Main Board sees itself as the association’s voluntary decision-making and supervisory body as well as an interdisciplinary forum for discussing topics of mechanical and plant engineering.
The Executive Directorate of VDMA
The Executive Directorate is responsible for the day-to-day business of VDMA. It implements the long-term and fundamental positioning of the association in the form of practical work. The Executive Director, Deputy Executive Director and the other members of the Executive Directorate are responsible for the work of the association and report to the Board of Chairmen and the voluntary Boards of Directors.
VDMA is divided into cross-sector departments, which generally deal with relevant issues concerning the mechanical and plant engineering sector. It has representative offices in Berlin and Brussels as well as liaison offices in important foreign markets. 38 trade associations and various working groups, as well as the international committees and forums of VDMA, deal with the branches of the mechanical engineering sector. In total, approximately 500 VDMA employees work for the members worldwide.
Trade associations and departments
Working groups and forums
Departments and Competence Center
Companies and foundations
The priorities of the VDMA expertise include the following topics, which supplement the specific topics of the VDMA trade associations:
Profession and training
Training and qualification are of fundamental importance in the high-tech mechanical and plant engineering sector – in particular in times of demographic change and specialist staff shortages. That is why “Profession and Training” is one of the VDMA’s core topics to which it is devoting a great deal of attention and commitment. It is also committed to education policy at every level, i.e. the next generation of young talents, the quality of vocational training courses and academic success in the STEM subjects.
Law and taxes
The legal framework and the structure of the tax policy are important aspects for companies in the mechanical and plant engineering sector in Germany. With regard to the core topic “Law and taxes”, VDMA has a team of experienced commercial lawyers specialized in the requirements of the investment goods industry. Together with the experts from the VDMA Berlin office and the European Office in Brussels, the association represents the legal interests of its members and states its position in the political environment.
Markets and economy
The mechanical engineering sector predominantly lives off its export success. “Markets and economy” is an important core topic of VDMA, which offers its member companies an extensive service portfolio. This includes detailed market and country information, trade fair and events in Germany and abroad as well as expert knowledge on the entire spectrum of export topics.
Energy and environment
In its double role as supplier and user, the mechanical and plant engineering sector has a central role with regard to energy and resource efficiency. It is the sector which develops technological solutions, puts them into industrial practice and uses them itself. The VDMA core topic “Energy and environment” covers the legal regulations, technical options and the association’s political position both at a national and international level.
Research and production
The industry is firmly established in Germany. The mechanical and plant engineering sector stands for innovation, problem-solving expertise and top quality. Research is essential in this context. Only in this way is it possible to achieve technological progress and the proper positioning against international competition. With the core topic “Research and production”, VDMA is examining Joint Industrial Research, the interaction between production technologies and IT (Industrie 4.0) and the political framework conditions.
Standardization and technology policy
Standardization facilitates technological and economic collaboration on a national, European and international level. For the companies in the mechanical and plant engineering sector, it is relevant for the construction of machines and plant and also from an application perspective. The VDMA core topic “Standardization and technology policy” covers both the dialog with the EU Commission and national and state line ministries as well as the tasks of the DIN Standards Committee Mechanical Engineering (NAM). It also covers the creation of VDMA Specifications, the standardization process for mechanical engineering.
Company and Management
The major challenge for mechanical and plant engineering companies is to develop business ideas and take on the challenges of the competition. It will be necessary to see change as a creative opportunity and to understand how to further develop the company both technologically as well as from an organizational point of view.
In this context, the VDMA core topic “Company and management“ contains individual information for association members, benchmarking for the mechanical engineering sector, advice to management and political representation of interests.
Social and economic policy
The VDMA is politically neutral, but politically involved. It represents the interests of its more than 3,200 members with determination and assertiveness. The VDMA core topic “Social and economic policy” conveys the significance of the mechanical and plant engineering sector as the largest industrial employer in Germany. It includes political PR, direct discussions and diverse events for social groups, politics and business.
Looking for membership?
VDMA members benefit from a broad range of services, the unique mechanical engineering network as well as the expert knowledge of VDMA specialists in Germany and abroad.