More Growth Forecast for Global NC Software Market

July 19, 2012
The global market for NC software and related services grew by 10% in 2011, from an estimated $1.333 billion in end-user payments during 2010 to $1.469 billion last year.

The global market for NC software and related services grew by 10% in 2011, from an estimated $1.333 billion in end-user payments during 2010 to $1.469 billion last year. That is the conclusion of CIMdata Inc., a PLM software consulting and research firm, which released its 21st annual study of the world’s NC software industry, the 2012 NC Market Analysis Report (MAR).

The size and growth of the NC software and related services market based on end-user payments is charted. Approximately one-third of the end-user payments result in reseller revenues and approximately two-thirds of the revenues are payments to software vendors, according to CIMdata Inc. The 2011 market expansion reflects strong overall demand for PLM (product lifecycle management) software, and is continuing the global economic recovery of the past year and paralleling a dramatic rebound machine tool sales. CIMdata referred to estimates that worldwide shipments of machine tools increased by 35% from 2010 to 2011, which is related to the CAM software used to program such machines. The consultant group projected that manufacturing expansion will continue during 2012 and end-user payments for NC software will increase 12.2% to $1.649 billion this year.

Since 2002, the NC software market has shown modest but steady growth as global economies generally improved, CIMdata noted. Although the world market has seen significant growth in the sale of machine tools, and in manufacturing output, manufacturers have put greater emphasis on the efficient operation of machine tools —a consequence of strategies that have emphasized competitiveness. Thus, the overall PLM market (of which CAM is one part) has continued to grow.

“2011 saw strong recovery in the manufacturing sector, as shown in the machine tool shipments, and software investments followed,” Stan Przybylinski, CIMdata’s director of research commented. “This is consistent with our results from our global PLM market analysis.”

CIMdata chairman Alan Christman, who is the author of the NC Market Analysis Report, added: “2011 was an excellent year for manufacturers and most providers of NC software. Most firms saw good growth in 2011, and CIMdata expects this growth to continue in 2012 and beyond.

“The continued strength and growing importance of global manufacturing powers like China and other emerging economies should result in increased investment in advanced technologies like CAD, CAM, and other segments of the overall PLM market,” Christman said. “We have seen moves documented in the popular press to bring manufacturing back to the U.S., which will require still more investment in advanced manufacturing technologies to be competitive with economies with lower labor costs. The next few years should continue to be strong for NC and the broader PLM market.”

CIMdata offers strategic management consulting regarding application of PLM products. It works with industrial organizations and providers of technologies and services, and conducts research, provides PLM-focused subscription services, and produces several commercial publications. The CIMdata PLM Market Analysis Report is a series of studies, five modules that are available individually or separately.

The first of the five modules, 2012 PLM Industry Review and Trends Report, is available now. It provides an overview of CIMdata’s complete global analysis, and includes charts on PLM market investment statistics through 2011, forecasts of investments for 2012 through 2016, and a summary of PLM providers’ performance in 2011.

The second module is the 2012 PLM Industry Review and Trends Report, a qualitative review of issues facing the “global PLM ecosystem” of software suppliers and end-user organizations. It highlights changes in the market during 2011, what effects those changes may have in the short and medium terms, and issues on the horizon.

Following that will be the 2012 PLM Market and Solution Supplier Provider Analysis Report, which details measurements and forecasts for the overall PLM market and key segments, including Tools, cPDm, and Digital Manufacturing. The Tools section has additional details on sub-segments, including MCAD, NC, S&A, EDA, and AEC. It also includes CIMdata’s estimates of PLM solution supplier provider revenues in these segments and sub-segments for 2012 through 2016.

The fourth module is the 2012 PLM Market Geographic Analysis Report, with an additional view of the 2011 market results, by major geography. CIMdata’s 2011 estimates and market forecasts for PLM and the major PLM market segments are provided for the Americas, EMEA, and Asia-Pacific. In addition, the report includes estimates and forecasts for the cPDm segment within specific European and Asia-Pacific countries and regions.

Lastly, the 2012 PLM Market Industry Analysis Report provides an industry segmentation view of the 2011 market results. CIMdata’s 2011 estimates and market forecasts for Mainstream PLM and cPDm are provided for eight different industry sectors: aerospace and defense; automotive and other transportation; electronics/telecommunications; fabrication and assembly; process-packaged goods; process—petrochemical; utilities; and construction, infrastructure, and shipbuilding.

“While the global economy sputtered, the PLM economy grew faster than in 2010, which was a very good year,” according to Przybylinski. “Most segments of the market that CIMdata tracks saw high double-digit growth, with very strong license sales. Given that new license sales are often precursors to more software and services investment, this is a strong indicator that 2012 could be another solid year for PLM solution and services providers.”

About the Author

Robert Brooks | Content Director

Robert Brooks has been a business-to-business reporter, writer, editor, and columnist for more than 20 years, specializing in the primary metal and basic manufacturing industries. His work has covered a wide range of topics, including process technology, resource development, material selection, product design, workforce development, and industrial market strategies, among others. Currently, he specializes in subjects related to metal component and product design, development, and manufacturing — including castings, forgings, machined parts, and fabrications.

Brooks is a graduate of Kenyon College (B.A. English, Political Science) and Emory University (M.A. English.)