List of the 3 largest mechanical engineering companies in Switzerland
The Swiss machinery industry is characterized by a large number of companies that are world leaders in their segments. Among the largest Swiss mechanical engineering companies, several companies stand out, with sales in the billions of dollars and the servicing of numerous industries. Among them, the following three companies are particularly noteworthy, which we would like to briefly introduce.
1. ABB Asea Brown Boveri Ltd, Zurich
ABB is headquartered in Zurich and generated group-wide revenues of CHF 26.1 billion in 2020. This makes the company one of the most relevant industrial companies throughout Europe and beyond. ABB’s business areas include, in particular, power supply, automation and electrical engineering topics. The industrial and power equipment is used worldwide, with numerous subsidiaries and national companies belonging to the ABB Group. In total, about 110,000 employees were employed in 2020.
Update 2022: ABB is now the world’s second largest robot manufacturer. The Swiss group giant is keen to consolidate this market position and is relying on the trend that production sites are now also being relocated back to domestic markets – i.e. not just in the Far East.
2. Schindler Elevators Ltd, Ebikon
In the elevators and escalators segments, the Schindler Group is one of the world’s leading suppliers. 66,674 employees are employed worldwide, manufacturing products for different types of buildings and uses. Schindler’s global headquarters are located in Ebikon in the canton of Lucerne, where the company is one of the largest employers.
3. Liebherr-International SA, Bulle
The Liebherr Group of companies is a relevant player both in the household electronics segment with refrigerators and freezers, and as a manufacturer of construction machinery, machinery in the mining sector, crane systems and other heavy equipment. With sales in the double-digit billions, the company is an absolute heavyweight in the Swiss machinery industry. 47,925 employees work for the group with international orientation.
Update 2023: In FY 2022, the industrial heavyweight reported record sales of €12,589 million, up more than 8% on the previous year’s result. Liebherr thus remains fully on track despite the difficult general conditions – consisting of increased food and fuel prices, Corona and the ongoing war in Ukraine.
Picture source: Aaron Barnaby
Swiss machine builders at a glance
Switzerland has a long-standing image as a country of innovation and engineering. The beginnings of the Swiss mechanical engineering industry lie in the textile industry. Thus, processes of the textile industry were automated by suitable machines. The watch industry also developed its own mechanical engineering suppliers. Later, more general mechanical engineering industries were added, such as steam engines or steel machines. Today, in addition to textile machinery companies, Swiss machine tools, industrial machinery and construction machinery manufacturers are world market leaders.
Industries of the top enterprises
The largest mechanical engineering companies in Switzerland are active in a wide range of sectors. In the following, we present particularly relevant branches.
Many of the Swiss mechanical engineering companies are active in machine tool manufacturing. The focus is for example on milling machines, which work with either 3 or 5 axes. CNC – “Computerized Numerical Control” – machines are also produced by many Swiss machine tool manufacturers. Furthermore, technologically leading automation machinery is also manufactured in Switzerland.
Construction machinery includes machines used in construction – such as cutting machines, mixing machines, compressors and production machines – as well as machinery used for buildings. The manufacturers of elevators, for example, which are exported from Switzerland all over the world, should be highlighted here.
As already mentioned, the textile machinery industry has a long tradition in Switzerland. Even today, many of the world’s leading textile machinery manufacturers are based in Switzerland. One example of this is the short staple fiber spinning systems developed by Rieter Holding AG.
World market leaders in various special areas of mechanical engineering also come from Switzerland. Examples are aerosol machines, chip preparation machines, recycling machines or centrifugal machines.
These subdivisions are covered by our list
- Machine tool manufacturers (CNC machines, welding machines, lathes, milling machines, grinding machines etc.)
- Construction machinery (excavators, wheel loaders, dumpers, single-axle equipment, special machinery, mixing plants, compactors, etc.)
- Production and industrial equipment (bottling plants, food production plants, conveying and processing systems, etc.)
- Ultrasonic technology (ultrasonic welding machines, ultrasonic cutting machines)
- Packaging machines, textile machines, cable processing machines, pumping, agitating, mixing, separating and cleaning technologies and many more
Picture source: Lalit Kumar
Locations of the companies included in our list
On the map to your left, each mechanical engineering company in our list is represented by a dot. This allows interesting insights into our list of the largest mechanical engineering companies in Switzerland. The companies in our list are primarily located in the regions of Espace Mittelland, Northwestern Switzerland, Central Switzerland, Zurich, and Northern Eastern Switzerland.
Included information in our database
- Company name, legal form and parent company (if there are unified consolidated financial statements)
- General contact details (address incl. major region and canton, e-mail address, telephone number, URL, names of the executives)
- Segmentation by industry and field of activity
- If publicly available via annual report or similar: sales figures for 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016 and 2015 as well as number of employees for the last three years
Swiss regions were the firms in our list are located in
As expected, Eastern Switzerland tops the list of states with the most mechanical engineering companies. Over 35 mechanical engineering companies have their headquarters there. Eastern Switzerland is followed in the ranking by Espace Mittelland with over 30 companies and Zurich and Central Switzerland with over 25 mechanical engineering companies each.
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Leo Semmelmann, Founder
contact [at] researchgermany.com
+49 (0) 89 38466606
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