AEC & PLM investment in Japan’s shipbuilding and rolling-stock industries set for huge growth (in 2017)

This week’s chart, which takes data from the Cambashi Industry Observatory, shows the growth of the market for technical applications,(AEC, CAD, CAM, CAE, GIS, PLM, and Visualization tools) in the Japanese Transportation manufacturing industry.

Chart of Japan PLM and AEC spend in shipbuilding and rolling stock
Figure: Expect huge growth in PLM spend in Japan’s shipbuilding and rolling stock industries

The lowdown

Cambashi’s Transportation industry excludes Automotive and Aerospace. It largely consists of Shipbuilding and manufacture of rail equipment – locomotives and carriages.

Japan is one of the world’s leading shipbuilders, so any growth in investment in design technology is a sign that the shipbuilding industry is expected to expand.

Japan also has a healthy rolling-stock manufacturing industry, although the chart above relates to rolling-stock manufactured in Japan, most of which is for domestic use.

Rolling stock manufacture uses the broad definition of PLM (which includes CAD, CAM and CAE), whilst shipbuilding design software is typically considered a type of Plant software and sits in Cambashi’s definition of AEC software.

To understand whether the growth is from the shipbuilding or rolling-stock parts of the industry sector would require a more detailed examination than is available in this snapshot, whereas the full Cambashi Industry Observatory does treat them as separate.

The growths of the spend in the combined industries are significant, amounting to increases of around $7m each year in 2017-2019.


Companies selling design software for shipbuilding and those focussing on PLM for rolling-stock manufacturers should consider marketing campaigns in Japan starting in 2017.

Where does the data come from?

The Cambashi Market Observatoriesare a set of consistent and multi-perspective datasets for the technical software market.

They provide detailed information on software spend by country, industry and product and the size of user communities, for a range of technical software application types, including:

  • PLM
  • BIM
  • AEC
  • GIS
  • IoT (software development tools)

Each data set provides a different way of measuring the use of software in industry, and can be used in combination to support business planning at global, regional and local levels.

The methodology combines public and 3rd party data sources with Cambashi’s quantitative and qualitative research in each of these market views.

Developed over 25 years, the combination of top down macroeconomic, industry detail and bottom up supply side (software provider) views leads to a highly consistent, multi-granular view of the market.

The Cambashi Industry Observatory breaks down global technical applications spend into over 100 industry classifications in over 50 countries

Sources: Oxford Economics, national statistics, Kew Associates, Cambashi research

If you would like more information on the Cambashi Market Snapshots or Market Observatories please contact the Observatory team at or Tel: +44 1223 460 439

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