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A State of Design & Make Special Edition

Spotlight on Industrial Machinery

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External factors test resilience

From digitalization to war in Ukraine, a combination of recent macro trends and unexpected crises have had a major impact on increasingly connected global industries. The industrial machinery
sector has been hit particularly hard. The industry’s business structures are often centralized and rely on teams that can collaborate on a global scale. This has led to a highly specialized technological landscape full of midsize companies, many of which are less resilient than large multinationals to the impact of such external factors.

External factors often have significant impacts on internal operations. This includes the entire value chain— from early concept development to aftermarket services. The precise impact and subsequent challenges vary depending on each company’s business model. One key differentiator is the strategic setup for serving customers, which typically involves either a highly standardized, product-driven approach or a customer-specific, project-oriented offering. While a product-focused business prioritizes economies of scale, project-driven companies rely on highly flexible, customizable solutions and often have very limited vertical integration.

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Digging deeper into current challenges

To learn more about the operational challenges facing the industrial machinery sector, Autodesk collaborated with the management consultancy Roland Berger to survey more than 40 senior executives at industrial machinery companies throughout the value chain. The report covers organizations in all eight industry subcategories below. Of the 42 companies surveyed, 27 have a product-focused business model, with the other 15 adopting a more project-driven approach. Allocations for large, multi technology corporations—which may operate multiple business models—were made based on specific insights and the roles of the interviewees.

8 clusters of the industrial machinery industry:

  • Industrial electronic and automation equipment

  • Machine tools

  • Industrial process equipment

  • High tech

  • Mining, agriculture, and construction equipment

  • Packaging and material handling equipment

  • Power generation and transmission equipment

  • Fluid systems and fluid power equipment


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