Mechanical engineering originated in Ukraine in the first half of the XIX century. The first industrial machine-building enterprise of Ukraine can be considered a machine-building plant on the farm Dmytrivsky Konotop district (Chernihiv region), where in 1841 began to produce agricultural machinery, steam boilers, equipment for sugar, textile and clothing enterprises.
At the end of the XIX century. Luhansk and Kharkiv locomotive plants were active. In 1913, 25% of the machine-building products of the entire Russian Empire were produced on Ukrainian territory.
At the beginning of the XX century. emphasis in the development of mechanical engineering was made on agricultural and transport engineering (production of locomotives, cars, ships)
In the postwar period, new industries were created - instrument making, aviation electronics industry, computer manufacturing, and others.
The main raw material for mechanical engineering is the products of the metallurgical complex. At the same time, it can not do without a large number of structural materials produced by the forest, chemical, light industries. Some types of mechanical engineering (production of excavators, equipment for metallurgy, etc.) require a large amount of metal; they belong to the metal-intensive industries of the complex.
Machine-building enterprises in Ukraine consume one third of rolled products, as well as 40% of cast iron and 2/3 of steel castings. Most branches of the machine-building complex must be considered labor-intensive. This is especially true for instrument making, electronic engineering, where little metal is consumed, but it takes a lot of work to produce products. These enterprises employ a large number of skilled labor.
Mechanical engineering is characterized by specialization and cooperation of enterprises. This is due to the fact that the production of most modern machines (airplanes, computers, televisions) requires tens of thousands of different parts. It is simply impossible to establish their production at one enterprise. Therefore, machine-building plants often have a narrow specialization (detailed and subject).
Machine-building enterprises must have dozens or even hundreds of connections with other enterprises that supply parts and raw materials. That is, cooperation is a necessary form of organization of production in the machine-building complex.
Technological features of machine-building enterprises, producing a wide variety of products, have a similar structure. Each plant has four main shops: foundry, forging and pressing, mechanical and assembly. In the first shop, various parts are cast from metals or alloys. In the forge and press there is a stamping of details on presses or forging from hire or ingots. The details made in both shops process in a mechanical shop on metalworking machines. Final products are made from parts manufactured at the factory or brought from other enterprises in the assembly shop.
Industry composition, forms of organization of production, technological features determine the factors that determine the location of machine-building enterprises. The main ones are: raw materials (metallurgical base), skilled labor, transport routes and the consumer. The enterprises of the machine-building complex are built mainly in cities where there are skilled labor resources and highways intersect. Large labor-intensive and knowledge-intensive industries of the machine-building complex are attracted to large cities.
Production of agricultural machinery, equipment for the coal, oil and food industries is consumer-oriented. Several factors of location of machine-building enterprises are often combined. Very little dependence on natural conditions and resources has determined an almost uniform location of mechanical engineering in Ukraine.
Mechanical engineering is a very complex industry, which includes several dozen specialized industries. Depending on the products, they are grouped into: heavy, transport, agricultural, precision engineering, machine tools.
Enterprises that produce machinery and equipment for metallurgy, mining, chemical industry, fuel and energy complex, refer to heavy engineering. The production of this industry has greatly decreased, its volumes are insignificant.
Thus, in 2004 only 10 mine loading machines, 41 mine electric locomotives, 76 cranes, 99 overhead electric cranes, 600 forging and pressing machines were produced. Due to the specifics of this area of mechanical engineering, it tends to the consumer and raw materials. Subsector enterprises are located mainly in the Donbass and Dnieper.
The largest are Novokramatorsk and Horlivka machine-building, Kharkiv turbine plants. Artemivsk, Dnipropetrovsk, Donetsk, Luhansk, Kryvyi Rih, and Yasynuvata are also large centers of heavy engineering. Lifting and mining equipment is produced in Odessa, Lviv, Kharkiv. Nikopol, Pryluky, Dnipropetrovsk, forklifts - in Lviv, oil and gas equipment - in Chernivtsi, Drohobych.
Transport engineering specializes in Ukraine in the production of almost all vehicles. Diesel engineering is concentrated in Luhansk and Kharkiv. Industrial electric locomotives are produced in Dnipropetrovsk. Production of trams is being set up in Luhansk. Freight cars are produced in Stakhanov, Dniprodzerzhynsk, Kremenchuk, tanks - in Mariupol, passenger cars - in Kharkov.
The shipbuilding which largest center is Nikolaev is developed in our country. There are three shipyards that produce ships for various purposes. Kherson is also a center of maritime shipbuilding. Odessa, Kerch, and river - Kiev, Zaporozhye, Kherson, Izmail. In its location, this industry is consumer-oriented.
Aircraft construction and production of space technology are science-intensive industries that focus on powerful design bureaus. The main centers of aircraft construction are Kyiv, Kharkiv, and the production of space equipment is Kharkiv and Dnipropetrovsk. Russia, the United States, Germany, and France are strategic partners in this area for Ukraine.
Automotive focuses on the possibility of cooperation of production (benefits of transport and geographical location) and labor resources.
Automotive industry is developed in Lviv (bus plant and forklift plant), Kremenchuk (truck plant, where the production of Iveco minibuses is established), Zaporizhia (car plant), Lutsk (car plant), Melitopol (motor plant). Production of trolleybuses in Lviv, Dnipropetrovsk and Kyiv, small-capacity buses in Cherkasy and Kherson has started.
Assembly of cars is carried out in Illichivsk, Simferopol. Chernihiv, Chop, Mukachevo. Production of motorcycles and bicycles is concentrated in Chernihiv, Kharkiv and Kyiv. In 2004, a total of 174 thousand cars, 11.2 thousand trucks and 2.6 thousand buses were produced in Ukraine (these are the highest figures for the years of Independence).
Precision engineering companies focus on qualified personnel.
Electrical engineering, which specializes in the production of electric motors, devices, appliances, cable and other products intended for the transmission and consumption of electricity, is represented by plants in Kharkov, Kiev, Zaporozhye, Poltava, Lviv, Nikolaev, Donetsk and more.
The enterprises of the electronic and radio engineering industry are located mainly in large cities, where highly skilled labor resources and research institutes are concentrated. Among them are Lviv plants of televisions, CRTs, Kyiv plants of televisions, tape recorders, transistors, radios, computers, as well as plants for the production of televisions in Dnepropetrovsk and Simferopol, electron microscopes in Sumy.
The computer assembly industry is promising, which has already exceeded the level of 1990 (more than 45 thousand units per year). The largest enterprises are the Kyiv plant "Electronmash", the Kaniv joint venture "Magnit".
The development of the electronics industry is associated with the conversion of many enterprises of the former military-industrial complex. In particular, the Dnipropetrovsk Machine-Building Plant began to produce digital electronic PBXs; at the Romensky plant of automatic telephone exchange, CJSC "Monolith" (Kharkov), the Lviv plant of telegraphic equipment the release of switching equipment is adjusted. Plants "Orion", "Saturn" (Ternopil) produce mobile communications for railway transport and satellite television equipment. The telephone network of Ukraine is provided with digital systems by the Cherkasy Telegraph Equipment Plant and the Prozhektor Plant (Malyn).
The largest centers of machine tool and instrument making in Ukraine are focused on districts and centers with developed mechanical engineering, research and development base. Their production is concentrated in the cities of Kyiv, Kharkiv, Dnipropetrovsk, Odessa, Kramatorsk, Zaporizhia, Donetsk, Lviv.
The main enterprises of tractor and agricultural machinery are located in Kharkiv (tractor plant), Dnepropetrovsk, Ternopil, Romny (beet harvesters), Kherson (corn harvesters), Kirovograd (tractor seeders), Odessa (harvesters) plows and cultivators (tractor units), Kremenchug, Chuguev, Luhansk, Bila Tserkva (tractor components). Wheeled tractors are produced in Dnepropetrovsk. In Alexandria, the production of grain harvesters "Lan" is being established, and in Kharkiv - "Bison". In general, agricultural machinery companies gravitate to the consumer.
Many enterprises in this industry have sharply reduced production in the economic crisis and some are gradually being modernized and re-equipped. Thus, the Kalinov plant (Vinnytsia region) with the help of Germany began to produce new drills (planned capacity - 3 thousand drills per year, which fully meets the needs of Ukraine). Small enterprises for the production of modern combine harvesters, which correspond to Western counterparts, operate in Kharkiv, Berdyansk, Kherson.
In general, the enterprises of the machine-building complex are evenly distributed on the territory of Ukraine. Eight large machine-building centers stand out: Kharkiv, Kyiv, Odessa, Dnipropetrovsk, Zaporizhia, Lviv, Donetsk, Luhansk.
The main problems of the machine-building complex of Ukraine are related to the need to develop economic ties in the supply of components, the loss of traditional markets, the focus of enterprises on military production, as well as technical backwardness and low, compared to international standards, product quality.
Now it is important to establish the production of various components within the country, to diversify the range and quality of products, which is necessary, above all, for their own consumption, and is also important for export.