Rising levels of process level measurement devices

Worldwide and regional shipments of process level measurement, solids process, and inventory tank gauging devices are projected to increase steadily through 2009, according to a new report.

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By Jim Montague, Executive Editor

 

SIMILAR TO the often slowly filling tanks and containers they monitor, combined shipments of process level measurement systems and inventory tank gauging (ITG) devices are expected to increase at a steady 4.4% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) to almost $1.64 billion in 2009 from $1.32 billion in 2004, according to recent worldwide and regional studies by Venture Development Corp.

Regional shares in 2004 were roughly comparable for Europe, Asia-Pacific and North America (See Figure 1 below), though divisions between process level sensors and ITGs reportedly varied sharply among regions. For example, ITG shipments in 2004 totaled $147.5 million in Asia-Pacific, $82.2 million in Europe, $58.7 million in North America, $21.4 million in Middle East/Africa, and $17.2 million in Latin America.

FIGURE 1: PROCESS LEVEL MEASUREMENT SENSOR MARKETS
Present and projected shipments in millions of $ to major geographic regions in 2004-2009.



FROM A technological perspective, hydrostatic and sonic/ultrasonic level sensing accounted for the largest portion of worldwide process level shipments in 2004, and their dominance is expected to continue though 2009. However, their market shares also are projected to decrease slightly in the next four years, while capacitance, vibration, displacer, float and other technologies are all projected to make slight gains in this period (See Figure 2 below).

The largest relative gains in continuous measurement technologies are expected for microwave/radar contact/guided (10.6%) and non-contact sensors (8.4%). While there likely will be a barely perceptible shift from mechanical to electronic sensing technologies in continuous measurement, VDC’s worldwide report projects that shipments of mechanical point measuring/sensing devices will outstrip electronic types. The global study, “Worldwide Process Level Measurement and Inventory Tank Gauging Markets, October 2005” anticipates above average growth for float switch (6.7%), vibration (6.4%), and paddlewheel (6.1%) measurement devices.

FIGURE 2: PROCESS LEVEL MEASUREMENT SENSOR TECHNOLOGIES
Present and projected % shares of worldwide shipments by technology.



MEANWHILE, shipments of ITG systems are expected to grow at a 5.7% CAGR to $431 million in 2009 from $327 million in 2004. Combined shipments of microwave/radar level sensing devices made up more than 63% of 2004’s global ITG market, and they’re projected to account for more than 65% in 2009. While the largest market share gain is expected for non-contact microwave/radar ITG systems used in non-marine applications, the largest loss is forecast for those systems used in marine applications. 

Likewise, shipments of process level devices for solids applications are projected to grow at a 5.2% CAGR to $272.6 million in 2009 from $211.5 million in 2004. Sonic/ultrasonic technology made up the largest share ($65.4 million) of these shipments in 2004, and it’s expected to reach even higher ($74.4 million) by 2009. Though growing by smaller dollar amounts, double-digit percentage increases are expected for microwave/radar contact/guided (15.9% to $38.9 million in 2009) and tilt switch (11% to $2.7 million in 2009) in solids measurement. Regionally, shipments for solids-level sensing in North America are expected to increase at a 3.1% CAGR to $78.7 million in 2009 from $67.5 million in 2004.


NORTH AMERICAN PROCESS LEVEL DEVICE SHIPMENTS

Category

2004 Shipments

% Share

Projected CAGR

Gas and Petroleum

89.0

20.8

2.4

Chemical

87.0

20.3

3.2

Water/Waste Water

47.4

11.1

1.4

Food and Beverage

43.1

10.1

2.8

Electric Power

28.0

6.5

4.6

Pharmaceutical

21.9

5.1

3.0

Petrochemical

17.6

4.1

0.3

Aggregates

15.2

3.6

2.0

Others

78.8

18.4

1.4

Total

428.0

100.0

2.4


By category in millions of $, with % of market share, and compound annual growth rate (CAGR) through 2009.

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