Production technology deals with the technical, economic and organisational aspects that have to be coped with in industrial production. Baden-Wuerttemberg’s core industries of the production engineering sector include the vehicle construction, machinery and plant engineering as well as electrical engineering and the electronics industry building a supporting pillar for the economy. Due to the wide range of applications, including mechanical components and systems as well as complete machines and plants, the products resulting from production engineering processes are widely heterogeneous.
Baden-Wuerttemberg is the leading centre of the German mechanical engineering and plant construction industry generating the highest sales nationwide. About one third of the entire German machine and plant construction companies have established their headquarters in Baden-Wuerttemberg and provide the largest number of industrial jobs within the country. In no other federal state can a stronger bundling of competencies in the field of high-tech industrial production be found. More than half of the German manufacturers of machine and precision tools are located in that region. Other core businesses include the manufacturing of ventilation, conveyor and drive technology, food and packaging machines as well as agricultural technology and instruments.
Also for the German electrical engineering and electronics industry, Baden-Wuertemberg is considered one of the most important business locations in Germany. This industry accounts for more than a fifth of Germany's total revenue. Although the majority of the significantly more than 2,000 companies are rather of small or medium size, some enterprises have also established themselves as world market leaders in specific market segments.
Baden-Wuerttemberg's research landscape in the area of production technology is heterogeneous. The University of Stuttgart, the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), a number of universities of applied sciences as well as numerous applied research institutions, such as the institutes of the Fraunhofer Society and the Alliance for Innovation Baden-Wuerttemberg, contribute to the major role of production research as one of the federal state's strongest-growing fields of science.
Also in the sector of production technology, networking activities are increasingly becoming of major relevance. Thus, the increasing needs for customized products (specialization) to be manufactured under the conditions of a highly-flexible (large-series) production, the integration of customers and business partners into business and value creation processes as well as the coupling of products and high-quality services are playing an ever greater role. Driven by the Internet of things and services, the virtual and the real world are continuously growing closer together forming cyber-physical systems in manufacturing and logistics.