ARC Sees Gains in Worldwide Flowmeter, Pressure Transmitter Markets

March 27, 2013
The worldwide flowmeter market has rebounded strongly, growing at double-digit rates through 2011 and 2012

After a slight stumble in 2010 in the wake of the global recession, the worldwide flowmeter market has rebounded strongly, growing at double-digit rates through 2011 and 2012 as suppliers fulfilled pent up demand in the power, mining, and oil and gas industries.

"Sales of major flowmeter technologies will continue to move at brisk rates going forward, driven by increased business in the chemical and energy sectors. Flowmeter suppliers will benefit from investment and expansion activities, and they have aligned their business goals to capitalize on growing industry segments and geographic regions that will enable them to increase market share," according to senior analyst Allen Avery, principal author of ARC Advisory Group's "Flowmeter Global Market Research Study."

The energy sectors will see the strongest growth in the years ahead. Oil prices are on the rise again with the economic recovery, increased demand, and political and social unrest in the Arab world. This should continue to drive demand for flowmeters going forward, as higher prices favor increased exploration, production and processing of fossil fuels.

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More widespread adoption of intelligent field devices, such as ultrasonic and Coriolis flowmeters, has helped owner/operators improve the accuracy of their flow measurements with repeatability and reliability previously unavailable with older mechanical meters or crude methods, such as orifice plates or PD meters. Device intelligence has helped flowmeters to evolve beyond their basic purpose to be indispensable tools for process and business improvement.

North America will see strong activity, particularly if oil prices remain high, justifying continued investments in oil sands projects in Canada. The unfolding shale gas plays in the United States will also present suppliers with significant opportunities in the coming years.

In the EMEA region, growth will be driven by oil and gas projects in the Middle East and Africa, as well as investments in refining capacity and liquefied natural gas (LNG) processing and loading facilities. Asia will continue to be the engine of global growth as new construction in the power, oil and gas, and water and wastewater sectors continues as the economies in China and India advance, and demand for consumer goods and transportation increases. Latin America, though the smallest global market for flowmeters, will nevertheless see strong activity in oil and gas exploration and production, mining and renewable fuels over the next several years.

Pressure Transmitter Market Overcomes Asia Financial Challenges

Pressure transmitter shipments, after returning to pre-recession levels in 2010, saw strong growth in 2011, even surpassing 2010's growth by several percentage points. Despite the
return to positive growth, risks remain.  In a connected world, market volatility and political instability impact industrial growth, which in turn affects the pressure transmitter business. The relative slowdown in China and India further increases the risks facing pressure transmitter vendors.

In a separate report, "Pressure Transmitters for Asia Market," G. Ganapathiraman, country manager, ARC India, says, "Ongoing financial instability continues to plague markets in Asia. However, ARC expects the developing countries such as China and India to drive the majority of Asia's growth in pressure transmitter shipments going forward."

The oil and gas, electric power, chemicals, and metals and mining industries are leading the deployment of pressure transmitters. Sales of smart pressure transmitters will continue to outpace those of conventional and low-cost devices, as users seek to use recent technological advances to improve visibility into plant operations to help maximize productivity and the availability of production resources. This user focus on asset management also fuels demand for transmitters that incorporate onboard diagnostics capabilities and use digital communication protocols.

Increasingly tough safety and environmental regulations have helped drive adoption of safety integrity level (SIL)-rated transmitters for safety instrumented systems (SIS) to mitigate the risk of catastrophic events. Pressure transmitters are an integral part of safety instrumented systems, and most leading pressure transmitter suppliers now offer SIL-rated transmitters.

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