Mechanical engineering is the most important branch of the national economy. It provides technology and equipment for all areas of the economy, as well as produces many household items that are necessary for mankind in everyday life. In this article, the main factors of the location of mechanical engineering and their importance for the production of different types of equipment are disclosed.
Mechanical engineering is the key to the development of the state economy
Mechanical engineering occupies a major place in industrial production and influences the development of all branches of economic activity. It characterizes the country's scientific and technical level and its defense capability. In developed countries, about 35% of the gross domestic product falls on engineering. A feature of the engineering products of these countries is a wide variety of goods of the highest quality and its competitiveness.
Composition of the machine building complex and its features
Mechanical engineering has a rather complex structure and consists of more than 70 different industries. Its main areas are electronics, robotics, transport and agricultural machinery, machine tools, aircraft, locomotives and wagons.
The machine-building complex has a number of important features, on which the location of production facilities depends. First, in this industry, the degree of development of specialization (the producer produces one type of product) and the cooperation (when several enterprises work on the production of goods) is of decisive importance. Secondly, there are certain factors affecting the location of engineering. Depending on the specialization of the industry, their combination may differ. For example, an automobile plant produces finished transport, but uses parts purchased from other enterprises for its manufacture. In this case, the well-developed transport network is an important factor in the location of automotive engineering.
Factors in the location of engineering industries
Economists have identified the main factors that have a significant impact on the location of engineering:
- Metal consumption;
- Labor resources;
- Raw material base;
- Science intensity;
- Territorial concentration;
- Consumer factor.
Practically for all industries, the main factors are the location of engineering, such as science and labor. The ratio and the number of other factors for each type of engineering can vary significantly. For example, the development of the agricultural complex in the country contributes to the growth of demand for land-processing equipment. Thus, there is a need to expand agricultural machinery. Factors for the location of knowledge-intensive industries (radio electronics, computers) are reduced to regions where there are a sufficient number of qualified specialists and there is an opportunity to conduct scientific experiments and research.
Classification of machine-building industries
The same factors of the location of mechanical engineering for some enterprises can be strategically important, while others influence only slightly. According to this principle, economists divided all branches of machine building into three groups: heavy, medium and general.
The branches of this type of engineering industry are characterized by high costs for the metal and a small amount of labor. These include the production of lifting and transport, mining, metallurgical and mining equipment, heavy machinery, locomotives and wagons, large vessels. All these directions in the complex are heavy engineering. Factors for the location of such enterprises are the raw materials base and the consumer. So, in the structure of production costs of these plants, the cost of raw materials and materials is from 40 to 80%. For this reason, they are located near metallurgical enterprises and the market.
In the group of branches of heavy engineering, a special place is occupied by power engineering, which generates generators, steam turbines, boilers, engines for river and sea vessels. Enterprises of this direction are mainly located in regions with a developed machine-building complex, where highly skilled personnel work. By the same principle, the production of forging and pressing equipment and heavy machine tools is developing. As a rule, such equipment is produced in small batches on request for engineering enterprises of the country or foreign counterparts.
Closer to the consumer are located such branches of transport engineering as the production of electric and diesel locomotives, wagons and ships. So, shipbuilding tends to sea ports, although this industry has some difficulties. The fact is that for the construction of modern vessels, special equipment is needed. Therefore, shipbuilding is organized on the principle of cooperating with other enterprises supplying parts, equipment and even ready-made sections of ships.
Secondary mechanical engineering
The main factors in the location of engineering in this group are qualified personnel and energy resources. It includes production with low metal content and large labor resource requirements.
The group of medium engineering includes enterprises that are characterized by narrow specialization and connectedness with supplies from cooperative enterprises. For example, the production of equipment for the printing, food and light industries. The main branch of medium engineering is the production of cars. This industry also produces motors, bearings, electrical equipment, etc.
General mechanical engineering
This group of machine building includes enterprises that specialize in the production of machinery and process equipment for the chemical, oil refining and forestry industries. Also here are plants that produce road and individual types of agricultural machinery. In the structure of the cost of production of this type, the most part of the costs is the wages of workers (up to 30%), the remaining costs - raw materials, materials and energy. Thus, the location of enterprises of this group depends on the consumer factor, the sales market and the workforce.
For example, consider agricultural machinery. The factors of the location of this sector are consumer demand, raw materials base, the presence of a developed transport connection. Priority in the development of agricultural machinery has a consumer factor. It is from the availability of demand for tractors, combines and other agricultural machinery that the volumes and scale of production depend.
Geography of mechanical engineering
Factors of location of engineering enterprises play a decisive role in the economy of all countries, including the entire world geography. For example, many regions of Canada, Argentina, part of Australia, some US states have been known for many centuries already in the agrarian regions. In these places there is a consistently high demand for agricultural equipment and machinery. And the rapid rejuvenation and population growth in many countries of Asia significantly influenced the placement on their territory of enterprises specializing in the production of household appliances and radio electronics.