ANN ARBOR — The Ann Arbor product lifecycle management (PLM) consulting and research firm CIMdata Inc. announced the release of the 2012 NC Market Analysis Report, the twenty-first annual study of the global numerical control market.
CIMdata estimates that based on end-user payments, the worldwide NC software and related services market grew by 10 percent in calendar year 2011. The estimated end-user payments grew from $1.333 billion in 2010 to $1.469 billion in 2011. The market growth rate in 2011 reflects a strong overall PLM spend, continuing the recovery from the downturn in the global economy that manifested itself in dramatically higher machine tool sales into the manufacturing industry.
It has been estimated that worldwide shipments of machine tools increased by 35 percent from 2010 to 2011, which is directly related to the CAM software employed to drive these tools. CIMdata projects that in 2012 growth in manufacturing will continue and end-user payments for NC software will increase by 12.2 percent to $1.649 billion.
Since 2002, the NC software market has shown modest but steady growth as global economies generally improved. There has been worldwide growth in the sale of machine tools and manufacturing output; greater emphasis has been placed on the efficient operation of machine tools as manufacturing firms have strengthened their competitive position, and the overall PLM market, of which computer aided manufacturing is a component, has continued on a strong growth path during this period. CAM software purchases are related to all of these factors — particularly machine tools.
The size and growth of the NC software and related services market based on end-user payments is shown in the chart below. It can also be seen that approximately one-third of the end-user payments result in reseller revenues and approximately two-thirds of the revenues are payments to software vendors.
Said Stan Przybylinski, CIMdata’s director of research: “2011 saw strong recovery in the manufacturing sector, as shown in the machine tool shipments, and software investments followed. This is consistent with our results from our global PLM market analysis.”
Added Alan Christman, CIMdata’s chairman and long-time author of the NC Market Analysis Report: “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. We have seen moves documented in the popular press to bring manufacturing back to the US, 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.”
The 2012 NC Market Analysis Report is available for purchase at www.cimdata.com/publications/reports_purchase.html#nc.