Digital manufacturing market offers immense growth potential: study

Thursday April 18, 2013
Written by Manufacturing AUTOMATION
The global digital manufacturing market has immense potential for growth and expansion over the next decade, according to a new study from Frost & Sullivan. The study, “Analysis of the Global Digital Manufacturing Market,” finds that the market earned revenues of $704.2 million in 2012 and is estimated to reach $928.0 million in 2016. The research covers applications in automotive and transportation, aerospace and defence, hi-tech and electronics and industrial machinery. Manufacturing enterprises in developed economies have been at the forefront of adopting digital manufacturing to streamline production planning and improve their manufacturing efficiency. Digital manufacturing enables end users to compress lead times, reduce production costs, and accelerate new product introductions. Developed economies are anticipated to dominate growth over the forecast period, with North America leading the way. The ongoing economic crisis in Europe, however, is likely to deter investments in new automation and control solutions within the region, impacting short-term growth. "The quest to reduce capital expenditure, shorten lead times, and boost productivity is expected to spur investments in digital manufacturing," Frost & Sullivan Industrial Automation and Process Control senior research analyst Karthik Sundaram said in a statement. "The heightened emphasis on product innovation will catalyse enterprises to cultivate the digital manufacturing path for ensuring consistent business profitability." At present, the digital manufacturing pursuit is more aligned toward large enterprises. Small and medium businesses do not achieve adequate return-on-investments when they adopt digital manufacturing. Nevertheless, the trend towards product innovation across all end-user segments will boost market prospects. Besides product design, the ability of manufacturers to generate new products is greatly determined by manufacturing process planning. "Digital manufacturing provides an able platform for discrete manufacturers to design and validate their manufacturing process in line with new product design and engineering requirements," said Sundaram. "This helps in considerable savings on costs incurred by the trial-and-error method that is popularly followed in the manufacturing landscape today."

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