As manufacturers continue to digitize operations, the market for factory simulation software products is expected to grow 11% annually reaching $4.1 billion in 2030.
This number reflects a projected 172,000 users, according to ABI Research.
“Today, many manufacturing enterprises have started to use simulation software, but most have not yet realized the added benefits of using simulation software as part of a larger smart manufacturing platform or to virtually test other new technologies,” said Nick Finill, principal analyst at ABI Research, in a statement.
Included in these numbers is software that uses computer modeling to analyze how production might work in any given factory or situation and implement virtual commissioning to test proposed changes and upgrades before they are put into effect.
“Cloud-based platforms can provide a similar interface for simulations from the different points of view of process engineers, operations support managers, plant engineers, and control engineers,” says Finill.
“Companies can assign user roles so that engineers only see and modify the details and information that they need for their job or level of expertise, and engineers in different locations can work on different parts of the same model. This increases data security, speeds up the simulation process, and makes the product easier to use.”
Vendors that provide or partner with larger smart manufacturing platforms control the largest chunks of the market share. In discrete industries, this means Dassault Systèmes with its 3DEXPERIENCE platform, Siemens with its Digital Industries portfolio and Rockwell Automation with Arena and its partnership with PTC control most of the market. In process industries, AVEVA, AspenTech, and Siemens control most of the market.
Looking at the sector that is the largest adapter, ABI Research points to the automotive industry with $1.8 billion in factory simulation software revenues forecasted for 2030. In fact, automotive represents the largest opportunity in every country except for South Korea, where electronics manufacturing has a slight edge.
“Automotive manufacturing leads the way for many transformative technologies and therefore has a higher demand to simulate those technologies,” says Finill. “It also has an edge on most industries in sheer size and organizational transformation, with more holistic solution deployments due to cross-functional technology transformation teams. Vendors of factory simulation software and larger platforms specifically target these teams for growth opportunities.”