Manufacturing AUTOMATION

Need for more intelligent, connected products helps drive global PLM software market

December 3, 2014
By Dick Slansky ARC Advisory Group

Dec. 3, 2014 – Growth in the global product lifecycle management (PLM) software market continues to depend strongly on regional economic and industrial trends and is experiencing significant variability. Currently, there is significant business activity across certain global regions, most notably North America, and industrial sectors, most notably upstream oil and gas. While overall growth in the PLM market slowed slightly from 2012 to 2013, some offsetting factors and technology trends will drive growth in the PLM market in the coming years, according to a recent ARC Advisory Group report, Product Lifecycle Management Global Market Research Study.

Global energy demands, including the increasing need for alternative energy, drives growth in the energy, process, and utilities industries. Upstream oil and gas is experiencing very high activity, especially in certain regions like North America where exploration and production is expanding rapidly in the shale deposits and tar sands.

PLM solutions focus on the smart connected product
Another major trend for PLM is the overall systems approach to the product lifecycle and the concept of the model-based enterprise. Product development across all industry sectors is moving to meet the requirements for smart and connected products, including cars, appliances, consumer products, or mobile devices. In a fundamental shift in product design, all products will need to be designed to be intelligent, connected, and fit the ecosystem in which they must function. ARC sees huge opportunities in both design and manufacturing for Internet of Things (IoT)-based approaches that connect the digital world with the physical world. The time-tested approach to good design has been based on meeting the requirements for fit, form, and function. To meet the requirements for IoT, designers now must consider an expansion of function to include connectivity and intelligence.

Plant and factory operations will also see increasing focus on analytics that will help validate as-built against as-designed based on measuring deviation and variation in the build process for manufacturing and plant operations for the process industry. Major PLM providers have either made acquisitions or developed internally manufacturing operations management solutions to address manufacturing execution (MES) at the operations level. This extends the product lifecycle to the factory floor and allows manufacturers to close the loop from operations and quality back to the manufacturing processes and product design to support continuous process improvement.

According to Dick Slansky, the principal author of ARC’s Product Lifecycle Management Global Market Research Study, “Clearly, both PLM market leaders and many smaller suppliers have responded to the broadening adoption of PLM technologies into new markets with strategies and solutions to penetrate these industrial verticals.”


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