Spend on simulation software grows as use cases prove its benefits

18 February 2020

Traditionally, simulation software was only been employed to tweak production lines. Today, however, it is being utilised to test new concepts, accelerate product development, and demonstrate regulatory compliance, according to a new report from ABI Research, enititled ‘Industrial Simulation Use Cases: How Simulation Software Benefits Manufacturers’ Operations application analysis report.’

Investment in simulation software only tends to occur when there is uncertainty about making changes to a production line or when building a brand-new line is too expensive. That is because downtime is so costly in terms of operational efficiencies. “New use cases have now proven that by investing in simulation software, manufacturers can identify and solve issues in advance. Simulation software can also be used to simulate how components work together in creating new products and simulating process flows to demonstrate compliance,” explained Michael Larner, principal analyst at ABI Research.

Notable use cases for simulation software include AnyLogic helping General Dynamic (NASSCO) improve its handling of the thousands of parts flowing though its shipyards and Siemens modelling Electrolux’s factories to identify operational efficiencies. Dassault Systèmes is helping Global Trailers accelerate the processes for bringing new trailers to market. At the same time, AspenTech developed a solution for Fluor, an engineering and construction firm, to demonstrate that its sulfur tracking technologies help gas plants meet environmental requirements.

The more complex the production line and the engineering process, the greater the demand for simulation software. “Testing in the digital world before going live on the factory floor becomes critical when mistakes are possible and expensive to rectify,” continued Larner.

It appears that manufacturers are taking note and it is expected that the global total for the number of simulation software users will grow from 60,000 in 2018, to 110,000 at the end of2025, and 172,000 at the end of 2030.

“The strongest argument for simulation software is about ROI. The financial and reputational costs associated with a failure on the production line can be catastrophic,” concluded Larner.

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