Flow Research is now shipping Volume X: The World Market for Flowmeters, 7th
Edition. This 612-page study covers the entire worldwide market for all of the major types of flowmeters. A companion study,
Module A: Strategies, Industries, & Applications, provides tactical and strategic recommendations for suppliers in each market segment and forecasts best areas for future growth. Both are new editions of studies last published in January 2017.
This exciting worldwide research study found that the overall market is strong and trending upward, following a decline largely due to the oil & gas market. As oil prices began recovering in early 2016, the worldwide flowmeter market began to ride the wave and is now back on a healthy upward track. Coriolis and ultrasonic flowmeters, which are industry-approved for custody transfer of both gas and liquids, are projected to experience the fastest growth rates over the next four years.
Volume X is the result of a full year of
research, and displays in one glance a comparison of the revenues,
units sold, and compound annual growth rate for all the main types of
flowmeters. No other study
exists that provides this type of all-in-one view of the flowmeter market. Even
companies that sell only one or two types of flowmeters can benefit from
learning about the eight or nine other types of flowmeters they are
competing against. Growth
factors and limiting factors for each flowmeter type explain the rationale
of the market forecasts and what can be expected over the next five years.
Volume X contains data that is valuable for any company that is
concerned with developing strategies and with product development.
New-technology vs. traditional
Volume X covers three
types of flowmeters:
New-technology flowmeters were first introduced after 1950 and are currently the subject of intense product development by suppliers.
Traditional technology flowmeters were introduced before that time, and have a large installed base that is reluctant to switch. As emerging technologies, sonar and optical flowmeters have begun to take some hold on the market, although each has somewhat limited applications.
One of the most interesting developments in the flowmeter market today is the battle between the newer flow technologies and the traditional flowmeters. The needs for increased accuracy, reliability, and managed network capabilities are causing some users to make the switch to new-technology meters. Yet traditional-technology meters, especially DP flow, positive displacement and turbine meters, have the advantage of a large installed base that is reluctant to switch without cause. In addition, they were among the first types of flowmeters to receive approvals from industry associations for custody transfer applications.
When users select flowmeters, they are faced with a variety of choices. Not only are many technologies available, but so are many suppliers for each technology. When ordering replacement meters, users often replace like with like, although users sometimes replace one type of
flowmeter with another type. In other cases, users need meters for new plants or for new applications within existing plants and can select between new-technology and traditional technology flowmeters.
While there is a general trend towards
new-technology meters and away from traditional meters, the rate of change varies greatly by industry and application.
join the race
Most of the new-technology flowmeters came into industrial use in the 1960s and 1970s, while the history of differential pressure flowmeters goes back to the early 1900s.
Each new-technology flowmeter is based on a different physical principle, and represents a unique approach to flow measurement.
New-technology flowmeters share several characteristics:
1. Introduced after the end of World War II
2. Incorporate technological advances that avoid some of the problems inherent in earlier flowmeters
3. More the focus of new product development efforts by the major flowmeter suppliers than traditional technology meters
4. Higher performance level, including criteria such as accuracy, than that of traditional technology meters
Magnetic flowmeters were first introduced in Holland in 1952. Tokimec first introduced ultrasonic meters in Japan in 1963. Eastech brought out vortex flowmeters in 1969, while Coriolis meters came onto the market in 1979. Thermal flowmeters were developed in the mid-1970s.
Coriolis and ultrasonic flowmeters, which are industry-approved for custody transfer of both gas and liquids, are projected to experience the fastest growth rates over the next four years. Both magnetic and vortex flowmeters are also projected to show good growth.
technology flowmeters familiarity breeds respect
Many of the traditional technology flowmeters were developed 100 years or more ago. In fact, the history of DP meters goes back to the early 1900s, while the beginnings of the turbine meter go back to at least the mid-1800s.
Traditional technology flowmeters include differential pressure, turbine, positive displacement, and variable area meters. While suppliers continue to bring out enhanced traditional technology flowmeters, they are less the focus of new product development than new-technology meters. They share the following characteristics:
1. Introduced before 1950
2. Less the focus of new product development than new-technology meters.
3. Lower accuracy level than new-technology flowmeters
4. Slow to incorporate advances in communication protocols such as HART, Foundation Fieldbus, and Profibus
Traditional technology flowmeters generally have higher maintenance requirements than new-technology flowmeters. Many of the problems inherent in DP meters are related to the primary elements they use to measure flow. Orifice plates, for example, are subject to wear, and can also be knocked out of position by impurities in the flowstream. Turbine and positive displacement meters have moving parts that are subject to wear. The accuracy levels of open channel, thermal, and variable area meters are significantly lower than that of new-technology flowmeters.
Despite the growth of new-technology flowmeters such as Coriolis and ultrasonic over the past few years, traditional technology flowmeters are holding their own. Why are customers still so loyal to these meters?
While the explanations vary with the type of meter, there are five themes that run throughout:
End-users like having a technology they are familiar with and can understand. DP, positive displacement, and turbine meters, especially, are very well known and understood technologies. There is a comfort level among users with these technologies that is less likely to exist with the newer technologies such as Coriolis and vortex. If more meters need to be added in a plant, users often stick with what they have rather than selecting a different type of meter.
Installed base. Some flowmeters,
such as DP and positive displacement, have been around for over 100 years. Once these meters are installed, customers find in many cases that it is easier to replace them with meters of the same kind than to switch to another technology. Once a technology is in place, backup parts are readily available, any potential problems are usually known, and the path for replacement is clear. All these are reasons to stick with an existing technology.
Approvals by standards organizations. For example, positive displacement and turbine flowmeters are approved by the American Water Works Association (AWWA) in the US and the International Standards Organization (ISO) in Europe for use in custody transfer of water. The AWWA has approvals for both nutating disc and oscillating piston PD meters.
While the AWWA has formed a working group to consider approvals for magnetic flowmeters, a published document on magnetic flowmeters is close to two years away. In the meantime, PD and turbine meters will continue to dominate the water custody transfer market.
Turbine meters are specified by approval bodies for use in custody transfer for utility measurement in residential, commercial, and industrial applications. These organizations include the AWWA, the American Gas Association (AGA), and the ISO in Europe. These approvals havebeen in place for many years.
enhancements.. Users are also sticking with traditional technology
because suppliers are bringing out improved products. Turbine suppliers are using material such as ceramic to improve the life of ball bearings. Rosemount has introduced the 3051S, a pressure transmitter with increased accuracy and stability. PD suppliers are using enhanced manufacturing techniques to build more precision into their PD meters. Communication protocols such as HART and Profibus are beginning to appear on turbine and PD meters. All these changes are resulting in improved and more reliable meters for users to choose from.
Another reason why users continue to stay with the traditional technologies is that they are genuinely the best solution for certain types of flow applications. Each type of meter has its own set of applications in which it excels.
How we capture the entire flowmeter market at once
It is very difficult to find reliable data on the entire flowmeter market without studying each individual technology first and then combining the data together. Without up-close knowledge of each technology, it would be very much like viewing a landscape from 20,000 feet. You can see the outlines of buildings and roads, but very little detail. This may be sufficient knowledge for some purposes, but not for in-depth understanding.
What we have done in our popular
Volume X is more like the following: We looked at the terrain from 20,000 feet and decided we needed a lot more detail on the towns the major flow technologies -- and how they are linked together with highways. So we landed the plane and did detailed studies of each of the towns. We then got back in the plane with the reports in hand, and took another look at the entire geography.
From 20,000 feet, we can now see the broad outline of each of the 12 towns below. But because we have studied each town individually, we also have in-depth knowledge of each town. From above, we can also easily see the connecting roads between all the towns. This is important, because the towns do not exist in isolation. Anytime a customer selects one type of flowmeter, he fails to select one of the other types. Not every technology can be growing at a 10 percent rate, for instance. By looking at every technology, it is possible to identify and compare the market penetration of the different technologies, and to understand which technologies are growing and which are being replaced.
We draw on our in-depth studies of each technology
to update the most relevant data on all of the flow technologies at the same time rather than trying to somehow combine new full-scale studies that would be out of date by the time the project was done.
Taking this second look from 20,000 feet -- capturing the very latest high-level information like revenue, units sold, and average selling price -- gives us the entire picture, all at one time.
has been publishing Volume X since 2003, so we can say with
confidence that our proven approach in the sky and on the ground -- brings you the most complete, comprehensive, and current research possible on the world
flowmeter market. Please check out our Overview
and see for yourself!
Volume X: The World Market for Flowmeters, 6th Edition
Published in January 2017
Volume X: The World Market for Flowmeters, 5th Edition
Published in August 2014
Volume X: The World Market for Flowmeters, 4th Edition
Published in 2012
Volume X: The World Market for Flowmeters, 3rd Edition
Published in October 2010
Volume X: The World Market for Flowmeters, 2nd Edition
Published in April 2008
Volume X: The World Market for Flowmeters, 1st Edition
Published in 2003