What are Engineering Design Tools Software Applications?

Author photo: Dick Slansky
ByDick Slansky
Industry Trends

Engineering design tools are essentially software applications and supporting services that are used for the creation of infrastructure and plant physical assets. All phases of engineering work used for the design, construction, turnover, and initial operations and maintenance for industrial facilities and infrastructure are included.

Types of Engineering Design Tools Software Applications

Specific segmentations include software packages, such as 2D CAD, 3D CAD, engineering analysis, project software and services, collaborative engineering software, and asset information management. These tools are used not only for asset creation but also to manage data and information throughout the lifecycle of physical assets in both infrastructure and industry. They provide as-built information to owners for operations and maintenance requirements, as well as a document for any modifications to the facility.

Included in this category are:

· 2D layout and CAD software

· 3D design and visualization systems

· Pre-engineering and FEED applications

· Engineering information management systems

· Asset lifecycle information management systems

· Asset performance management systems

· P&ID and piping layout design

· 3D laser scanning and point cloud modeling

· 3D augmented reality simulation systems

· 3D virtual reality simulation based on other technologies (photometry, etc.)

· 3D virtual simulation for operator training

· Electrical and HVAC design

· Engineering analysis tools

· Civil engineering design packages

· Fabrication and construction management systems

· Software implementation services

· Software maintenance & support services

· Software as a service including deployment (Cloud, subscription, etc.)

· Collaborative software for engineering workflows

· Associated databases and interfaces

Supplier revenues are generated from fees from both software license and services associated with the software solution. Business models vary, but typically, a supplier’s standard end user license agreement provides for an initial fee to use the product in perpetuity, based on a maximum number of concurrent users or seats. Some business models are based on software as a service or subscription services. Software as a service can have multiple deployment models including on-site, hosting, and on-demand (cloud-based). The fees from licenses are recognized as revenue upon shipment, provided that fees are fixed and determinable.

Service revenues are from consulting, implementation, training/education, and maintenance contracts that are provided solely by the software suppli-er. Revenues related to consulting and education services to be performed by the company are recognized over the period during which the applica-ble service is to be performed, or on a services-performed basis. Suppliers offer a variety of consulting services to their customers, including imple-mentation assistance, project planning, on-line analytic processing deployment, and minor software product enhancements.

Plant Design and Infrastructure Segmentations

The engineering design tools study consists of two major segments: the first is plant design for power, process, & marine, and the second is infrastructure.

ARC breaks the scope of the two segments of plant design and infrastructure down further as shown.

Plant Design Segmentations

The first part of the engineering tools market is the portion of the market devoted to the design and construction of plants for the process, power,

and marine. The major vertical process industries represented are oil & gas (upstream exploration and production, and downstream refining), electric power generation, metals & mining, chemicals (chemicals, petrochemicals), and other process (batch) and hybrid industries (e.g. pulp & paper, food & beverage, pharmaceutical & life sciences, cement & glass).

Infrastructure Segmentations

Infrastructure is comprised of four major segments: utilities (water and wastewater distribution systems, gas & oil pipeline distribution, electrical transmission & distribution (T&D) and communications), buildings (residential, nonresidential, and manufacturing facilities), heavy and civil engineering construction projects (bridges, dams, highways, roads, land development), and other infrastructure (specialty trades, transportation etc.).Engineering Tools for Plant Design & Infrastructure Applications

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