ARC Report: Engineering design tool market strong

Collaboration to plant floor on the increase as tools get more robust.


What is the market for the tools engineers use to design and build virtually everything in the world? The worldwide market for engineering design tools for industry and infrastructure is quite strong in almost all sectors, and will continue to exhibit good growth, according to a new ARC Advisory Group study.

Owner/operators of both industrial and infrastructure assets, many of which are nearing the end-of-life phase, are being pressured to “sweat the assets.” Owners are increasingly utilizing engineering design tools to prolong and extend the life and efficiency of assets in the Brownfield case.

“Although engineering and design tools historically were previously designed more or less purely for design and engineering stakeholders such as AECs or EPCs, engineering design tool offerings have morphed into more robust collaborative agents that can be utilized by owners and agents for the entire lifecycle of the infrastructure or plant asset,“ according to director of consulting Russ Novak, the principal author of ARC’s “Engineering Design Tools for Industry and Infrastructure.” 

In developing regions, the basic first step to growth is the creation of the primary level of infrastructure —it’s a precursor to industrial asset creation. As such there will continue to be a huge demand over the next 10-15 years in developing regions. Most of the population growth in these regions will be centered in urban areas where some predict 96% of the population will live.

In developed regions the maintenance and securing of existing and sometimes aging infrastructure assets is a continuing challenge, especially in the face of flat or declining public funding.

Developed regions are also looking to install new high-tech approaches to manage infrastructure assets as well as design and build new age assets or retrofit legacy infrastructure components.

From a project standpoint, mobility solutions offer the biggest advantage during the construction phase as engineering and design attributes can be compared to actual field conditions. As mobile handheld devices add functionality, new areas of business value continue to emerge. This technology convergence enables more powerful applications. With mobile devices now able to incorporate virtualization and display intelligent multi-layered 3-D models, technologies such as enhanced reality become readily available. As mobile device technology become more pervasive, expectations and willingness to adopt mobile devices improves. The number of mobile applications for engineering design tools is growing.

Much has been written about the slowing market opportunity in China. The issue is somewhat relative—what do you define as a “slowdown”?

There are still estimates that half of the infrastructure spend in Asia over the next five years will be in China. The market opportunity remains huge by any definition. The China spend will be reallocated between various infrastructure and industrial development projects, but the overall trend is quite positive. If a given sector’s growth forecast drops from 19% to 14%, and is projected to remain steady for five years, that’s a pretty good market potential by any standard. Although the high-speed rail program has been cut back, projects in energy continue to be projected at a growth rate in excess of 10% annually.

No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2013 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
A cool solution: Collaboration, chemistry leads to foundry coat product development; See the 2015 Product of the Year Finalists
Raising the standard: What's new with NFPA 70E; A global view of manufacturing; Maintenance data; Fit bearings properly
Sister act: Building on their father's legacy, a new generation moves Bales Metal Surface Solutions forward; Meet the 2015 Engineering Leaders Under 40
Cyber security cost-efficient for industrial control systems; Extracting full value from operational data; Managing cyber security risks
Drilling for Big Data: Managing the flow of information; Big data drilldown series: Challenge and opportunity; OT to IT: Creating a circle of improvement; Industry loses best workers, again
Pipeline vulnerabilities? Securing hydrocarbon transit; Predictive analytics hit the mainstream; Dirty pipelines decrease flow, production—pig your line; Ensuring pipeline physical and cyber security
Upgrading secondary control systems; Keeping enclosures conditioned; Diagnostics increase equipment uptime; Mechatronics simplifies machine design
Designing positive-energy buildings; Ensuring power quality; Complying with NFPA 110; Minimizing arc flash hazards
Building high availability into industrial computers; Of key metrics and myth busting; The truth about five common VFD myths

Annual Salary Survey

After almost a decade of uncertainty, the confidence of plant floor managers is soaring. Even with a number of challenges and while implementing new technologies, there is a renewed sense of optimism among plant managers about their business and their future.

The respondents to the 2014 Plant Engineering Salary Survey come from throughout the U.S. and serve a variety of industries, but they are uniform in their optimism about manufacturing. This year’s survey found 79% consider manufacturing a secure career. That’s up from 75% in 2013 and significantly higher than the 63% figure when Plant Engineering first started asking that question a decade ago.

Read more: 2014 Salary Survey: Confidence rises amid the challenges

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.