CAMBRIDGE, MA-The technology market research firm Dara-tech reports that investment in computer-aided-engineering software and services will top $2.1 billion in 2004, an 12-percent increase over the previous year.

The firm notes that in 2004 approximately 25 percent of product lifecycle management investments will be in the form of digital simulations and that overall PLM spending will continue to grow about 8 percent each year through 2008.

According to the report, manufacturers are gaining confidence in analysis software as their experience and understanding of CAE grows, and they become familiar with an increasing number of real-world applications. The software has also become easier to use and more affordable, another factor in its growing acceptance.

Daratech researchers say the CAE market should be growing at an even faster pace, but middle management remains nervous about injecting CAE into mainstream product development. The report cites speed and cost savings as the two greatest benefits to CAE technology.

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