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The history of MAN Energy Solutions

The history of MAN Energy Solutions and the former MAN Group as a whole goes back more than 260 years. These two and a half centuries have been characterized above all by the company’s readiness and ability to adapt its product range to market changes in good time. Frying pans and cannonballs were followed by printing presses and steam engines, and finally diesel engines and turbomachines. With a view to decarbonizing both industry and society, MAN is once again preparing to make radical changes to its product range. Under the slogan ‘Moving big things to zero’, the company is focusing on topics such as hydrogen electrolysis, ‘green’ fuels, industrial heat pumps as well as carbon capture, usage and storage.
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MAN Energy Solutions and the former MAN Group as a whole can be traced back to two business startups. The initial foundation stone was laid in 1758 with the establishment of the St Antony ironworks, the nucleus of the iron and steel industry in the Ruhr region. This developed into Gutehoffnungshütte (GHH for short), a stock corporation for mining and metallurgical operations in Oberhausen in 1873, following numerous mergers with other steelworks.

The Sander’sche Maschinenfabrik, founded by Ludwig Sander, was established in Augsburg in 1840. After several mergers, it became Maschinenfabrik Augsburg-Nürnberg (M.A.N.) in 1908.

Foundation of the St Antony ironworks in Oberhausen
Foundation of the Sander’sche Maschinenfabrik in Augsburg


  • 1787 – Construction of Germany’s first (horse-drawn) railroad, the Rauendahler Kohlenweg
  • 1814 – First steam engine
  • 1857 – First compressor
  • 1893 to 1897 – Development and construction of the world’s first diesel engine together with Rudolf Diesel
  • 1897 – Müngsten Bridge
  • 1904 – First turbo compressor, first steam turbine, first large-scale diesel power plant
  • 1912 – First sea-going ship ‘Selandia’ with diesel propulsion
  • 1915 – Truck construction begins
  • 1923 – The world’s first vehicle diesel engine with direct injection
  • 1932 – The world’s most powerful diesel truck at 150 hp/110 kW
  • 1938 – Diesel tractor production starts
  • 1951 – Germany’s first exhaust gas turbocharger for trucks with power increase of 35%
  • 1977 – Largest elevator system in the world for Danish hospital
  • 1981 – Europe’s first solar farm
  • 1982 – First two-stroke large diesel engine with over 50% efficiency
  • 1987 – The world’s largest diesel-electric drive for a civilian ship
  • 1998 – Construction of the magnetic rings for the world’s largest electromagnet for CERN
  • 2003 – Compressor train for the world’s largest gas-to-liquids (GTL) plant)
  • 2013 – MAX1 axial compressor market launch
  • 2018 – Two-stroke dual-fuel MAN B&W ME-LGIP engine concept for liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) operation
  • 2021 – Takeover of H-TEC SYSTEMS
  • 2022 – Market launch of the new MAN 49/60 four-stroke engine family
Rudolf Diesel

Rudolf Diesel: Inventor of the diesel engine

The collaboration between Rudolf Diesel and Maschinenfabrik Augsburg began more than 130 years ago. The result: A revolutionary new combustion engine. By agreeing to support this invention both financially and technically until it was ready for the market, the then MAN General Director, Heinrich von Buz, showed great entrepreneurial courage. No other manufacturer was as convinced by Diesel’s idea or recognized its global potential. The invention of the diesel engine represents the most significant and best-known technological change in MAN’s history to date – a change that would have never come about without Heinrich von Buz’s foresight. MAN Energy Solutions still demonstrates this foresight today. ‘Moving big things to zero’ focuses on solutions for decarbonizing the global economy and outlines the company’s transformation from a pure product supplier to a provider of complex new solutions in shipping, energy generation and industry.

Product curiosities

  • Decarbonization in 1984

    Wind turbine

    MAN was already experimenting with wind turbines back then in the GROWIAN project.

  • Confectionery manufacturer

    Building a candy machine

    In 1958, MAN built a candy machine, which was still being used by a family of showmen until just a few years ago.

  • Transport

    Wuppertal suspension railway

    The suspension railway opened in 1901 and is still considered one of the safest means of transport in the world today.

  • Prosthetic arm

    Prostheses for disabled veterans

    Prostheses started production after the Second World War, including for example a prosthetic arm with a gripper hand or a movable prosthetic leg.

  • Home builders

    Prefabricated steel houses

    In 1946, MAN began manufacturing prefabricated steel houses to help address the lack of housing after the Second World War.

MAN Energy Solutions today

MAN Energy Solutions has set itself the goal of generating at least half of its revenue from product solutions for the decarbonization of industry and society by 2030. The decarbonization strategy will be implemented by offering solutions for hydrogen electrolysis (through the acquisition of H-TEC SYSTEMS in 2021) and for carbon capture, utilization and storage, heat pumps for use in the energy and industrial sectors, and large engines that can run on environmentally friendly fuels such as methanol or ammonia. In addition, a large part of the existing engine fleet can also be converted to alternative fuel types with the help of so-called retrofits.


Our strategy

MAN Energy Solutions develops systems for profound decarbonisation in the most important sectors. For more than 250 years, we have been developing impactful innovations in the fields of high technology and complex systems. We have always looked at challenges in a broader context and sought solutions that enable sustainable progress for all.

Opening of the MAN Museum in Augsburg
Foundation of the Augsburg Historical Archive

Our MAN Museum in Augsburg

The MAN Museum in Augsburg opened in April 1953. The permanent exhibition gives you an insight into MAN’s entire history, from the beginnings of Sander’s machine factory to MAN Energy Solutions today.

Find out more about our MAN Museum


Historical archive

Our historical archive contains around 2 million documents on the company and product history. Please send any research enquiries to


MAN Energy Solutions SE

Heinrich-von-Buz-Str. 28
86153 Augsburg

t +49 821 322-4029
t +49 821 322-3366



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