Ed Miller: Industry spotlight: Executives discovering value of PLM software

Because of the far-reaching impact of product life-cycle management (PLM) and its expanding footprint across the enterprise, the approach now is widely regarded as do-or-die in a turbulent global economy where companies leveraging these solutions will likely be among the top performers in the coming years.


Because of the far-reaching impact of product life-cycle management (PLM) and its expanding footprint across the enterprise, the approach now is widely regarded as do-or-die in a turbulent global economy where companies leveraging these solutions will likely be among the top performers in the coming years.

Recent statistics compiled by CIMdata indicate the worldwide Comprehensive PLM market experienced a 13.5-percent growth rate to reach an estimated $24.3 billion in 2007 for software and related services. The increase exceeds earlier estimates, with the boost attributed to recognition of the enterprisewide value of PLM, most particularly in light of continuing predictions of possible global economic downturn.

Comprehensive PLM covers the full product definition over the entire product life cycle, and across all industrial sectors. This includes mechanical, electronic, and software components, as well as both discrete and process industries. Investments are forecasted to continue their steady climb over the next five years, expanding the market size to nearly $40 billion by 2012.

CIMdata also provides another perspective on the PLM market by reporting statistics on Mainstream PLM, a subset of Comprehensive PLM encompassing several subsectors traditionally addressed by major PLM suppliers. Mainstream PLM growth is expected to continue over the next five years to a market size of more than $25 billion by 2012.

Three major sectors comprise Comprehensive PLM:

  • collaborative Product Definition management (cPDm): These applications and solutions capture, manage, disseminate, visualize, and collaborate on product-related intellectual (digital/virtual) information, including related processes.

  • PLM tools: These are used to create intellectual assets through authoring, analysis, modeling, simulation, and documentation of product and plant/facility information.

  • Digital manufacturing systems: These solutions involve process planning, resource definition, factory-floor layout, and product flow simulation and analysis—including ergonomics.

Historically, the tools sector receives the largest amount of investment in the PLM market. According to CIMdata, $16.0 billion was spent in 2007 by companies worldwide on PLM tools such as mechanical computer-aided design (MCAD); computed-aided manufacturing (CAM); electronic design automation (EDA); engineering simulation and analysis; architecture/engineering/construction (AEC); and technical publishing, among others.

The tools portion of the PLM market is forecasted to grow at a CAGR of 7.4 percent over the next five years to reach $22.9 billion by 2012.

The fastest-growing sector of PLM is for expenditures on cPDm, which covers technologies and approaches such as PDM, collaboration and visualization, data exchange, portfolio management, compliance management, strategic sourcing, enterprise application integration, workflow, configuration management, and solutions for specific industries or businesses.

CIMdata research indicates that the cPDm portion of the PLM market reached $7.5 billion in 2007, representing an exceptionally strong increase of approximately 16.3 percent over 2006. The cPDm segment is expected to continue its strong growth to reach nearly $15 billion by 2012 for a CAGR of 14.4 percent.

This material is excerpted from the in-depth CIMdata 2007 PLM Market Briefing with detailed analysis, industry statistics, and comparative charts available at www.cimdata.com.

Author Information

Ed Miller is president of CIMdata Inc. (

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.