Report outlines challenges and opportunities in industrial machinery market

CIMdata has released a new research paper focused on the global industrial machinery market. Entitled The Next Industrial Revolution, the research describes the business, product development, and information technology challenges faced by competitors in the industrial machinery market.

CIMdata is a global Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) management consulting and research firm.

Estimated at over US$400 billion in 2011, the global industrial machinery market includes a wide range of segments, including: machine tools; heavy machinery, such as mining and construction equipment; farm machinery; packaging machinery; paper industries machinery; air conditioning refrigeration and heating machinery; printing trades machinery; food products machinery; and textile machinery.

Based on data from CIMdata’s annual PLM market survey, industrial machinery is one of the largest markets for investment in PLM-enabling solutions.

While the end use of an industrial machine may vary, the companies in this market share some common problems.

Suppliers of these products are under constant pressure to innovate as well as hold to high quality/performance standards and competitive costs.

Machines are often designed and made to order, working from a base design. Industrial machines can be complex products involving many subassemblies; electronic, software, and mechanical components; and close tolerances.

The manufacture of these products involves complex bills of materials, and a combination of in-house and contracted manufacturing of parts and assemblies.

Machine manufacturers have to share product information with their customers as well as their suppliers, as almost no industrial machinery manufacturer builds every component of every machine.

Because of the global nature of the industrial machinery business, this sharing and collaboration needs to flexibly support global collaboration. These products are major capital investments for industrial customers and have long lifecycles.

Manufacturers are required to provide clear documentation of maintenance information and in many cases, actually perform the maintenance for their customers.

From time to time, upgrade packages can be made available to customers to improve performance without replacing an entire machine. When these upgrades are released, clear design and installation information is essential.

The research focuses on how existing PLM enabling technologies can be used to address three critical problems facing industrial machinery firms:

  • Winning Bids Profitably
  • Enabling Efficient Business Processes across the Extended Enterprise
  • Installation, Commissioning, and Maintenance 

Stan Przybylinski, CIMdata’s Director of Research observes: “Industrial machinery companies have collectively invested in PLM but there is much work still to do.

"The point of the research presented in this paper is that many firms still need to invest to take advantage of new solutions and technologies that are available to expand their PLM implementations and provide additional benefits in product development, installation, commissioning, and services."

The Next Industrial Revolution is all about reaping these benefits. Customer quotes and examples from Autodesk help further illustrate how companies are employing PLM-enabling solutions to effectively address these issues.

The Next Industrial Revolution is available to be freely downloaded from CIMdata’s website.