Maschinenbau: Zwischen Verdacht und Veränderung
DManufacturers of machine tools are rarely in the spotlight, as their business is too technical and detached from everyday life. However, they play a crucial role at the beginning of industrial production and are indispensable, not only in mechanical engineering. In recent months, German machine tool manufacturers have also been mentioned in a context that has taken them out of their inconspicuous niche: It was said that their products were used by Putin in the war against Ukraine. It was claimed that war equipment, or at least components for it, were produced on German machine tools.
The speech was once about the industry heavyweight DMG Mori from Bielefeld, which was mentioned in connection with the production of Kalashnikovs, and sometimes about unknown companies that allegedly transported machine tools to Russia, even though the sanctions against the aggressor should exclude that. A managing director had been arrested. The Association of German Machine Tool Manufacturers (VDW), based in Frankfurt, does not speak for individual companies, but for the industry as a whole, but it rules out that its clientele has something to hide. The VDW would know if member companies had been caught evading sanctions, and that is not the case, says its managing director Wilfried Schäfer.