Despite some consolidation and the on-going maturation of the CAD sector, the PLM market continues to chug along at a healthy clip, according to a recent market sizing report by AMR Research Inc.
Fueled by companies looking to streamline new product development and launch processes (NPDL), the PLM sector grew 9.7% in 2006, according to AMR. The market is still dominated by demand for CAD software, with the top 12 vendors in this sector deriving 68% of their revenues from CAD, not PLM, the report showed. The CAD piece of the market grew at 8% in 2006 (up from 7% in 2005), while the non-CAD portion of the PLM market held solid at 11% growth, maintaining last year’s double-digit performance.
What’s fueling the steady increase? According to AMR, increased adoption of PLM in newer markets like apparel and electromechanical systems is one factor, while companies looking for tools to better understand customer needs and then incorporate that knowledge into the front-end of product development is another driver. In addition, there is untapped potential at the business layer, where applications like product portfolio management play, helping companies figure out which products to launch and how to prioritize projects.
AMR also cites companies’ on-going transition from 2D to 3D as another factor playing into the PLM market’s strong showing, accompanied by current moves by companies like Dassault with its 3D Live offering to open up 3D data to new audiences beyond engineering, like marketing and sales. There is also new opportunities as CAD and PLM leaders like Dassault, UGS and PTC continue to integrate product development tools with software around process design.
For design engineers, the healthy market growth means more product choices to help get their jobs done. “Integrating product and process design makes the design engineer’s job easier,” notes Jeff Hojlo, an AMR research analyst and one of the writers of the report. “And designers continue to need to collaborate most closely with people outside of engineering to make their ideas a reality. Any solutions to do so are music to their ears.”