Optimum production conditions - World-renowned machines and systems
Erfurt’s connection to the railway network in 1847 helped the city’s metalworking industry rapidly assume a prominent role. The mechanical and plant-engineering companies based here benefited from the incipient demand for special manufacturing machines even in the late 19th century. The first industrial area, formed in 1912 in the city’s north, used its own track systems and the Erfurt Industrial Railways established specially for this purpose to finally connect the city to the network.
Thanks to their continued further development, Erfurt‘s historic companies were able to rival their competitors and supply worldwide customers with presses, pumps, control units and generators. A number of small and medium-sized businesses from the sector also successfully set themselves up in the surrounding, newly developed commercial areas following Germany’s reunification.
Mechanical engineering specialists in the region study at the Technical University of Ilmenau, as well as the Universities of Applied Sciences in Jena and Schmalkalden, while other Thuringian institutions, such as the Friedrich-Schiller-University in Jena, or the Universities of Cooperative Education in Eisenach and Gera, produce qualified staff in the areas of materials science, construction, production engineering, electrical engineering and automation.
Establishments such as the "Erfurt Training Centre”, with various advanced training courses and its "Erfurt Private Technical and Vocational Academy for Engineering & Economics”, ensure that specialised workers are available externally. Its main focus areas are mechanical engineering, welding, electrical engineering/electronics, mechatronics, metalworking, CNC technology and aeronautics, with the latter also benefiting from the Lufthansa Technical Training GmbH training centre at Erfurt airport.
To encourage future technicians and engineers, Thuringian initiatives also support nationwide projects targeted at MINT (mathematics, IT, natural sciences and technology), represented by the "Haus der kleinen Forscher” ("Little Scientists’ House”), "Schüler-Ingenieur-Akademie” ("Academy of Student Engineers”), "Technik ist cool!” ("Engineering is cool!”), student laboratories and the "tecnopedia” platform created by the German chamber of commerce and industry. The "FrITZI” project and Thuringian co-ordination centre for natural sciences and engineering ("Thueko”) are primarily aimed at female engineers and technicians, and seek to encourage female students and young women to pursue careers/courses in science and engineering. Together with specialised cluster initiatives such as "automotive thüringen e. V.” and "Fertigungstechnik und Metallbearbeitung in Thüringen” (FerMeTh) ("Production engineering and metalworking in Thuringia”), they support the future-oriented, dynamic development of the industry in and around Erfurt.