Pressure transmitter revenues have grown substantially in the last five years and are still going strong, according to a new study by Flow Research. Findings from The World Market for Pressure Transmitters, 3rd Edition, show pressure transmitters totaled $2.40 billion worldwide in 2010, with a projected compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.1 percent per year to result in $3.22 billion in worldwide revenues in 2015.

Emerging Markets
Emerging markets of Asia, the Mideast, and South America continue be a significant growth factor for pressure transmitters, according to Flow Research. The need for pressure transmitters, a staple in automation measurement unit volume, will increase as these regions expand their industrial, commercial, and municipal infrastructure and as internal consumerism increases. Flow Research is forecasting a CAGR of 9.1 percent in China due to infrastructure projects, new plant construction, and consumption and production of oil & gas and other energy.

In addition to growth in emerging countries, there has been a tremendous increase in the amount of activity around the world in oil & gas exploration and production in the past several years, which has also boosted pressure transmitter use, Flow Research says.

Differential-pressure (DP) flowmeters are among the most widely used flowmeters in oil & gas production. In some cases, DP flowmeters are the only type that is suited to handle the pressures associated with deep sea and other operations.

Flow Research says much of the growth in the pressure transmitter market is due to strong growth in the multivariable transmitter market. Multivariable pressure transmitters are being used increasingly for gas and steam flow measurement, and gas flow measurement especially is on the rise.

Greater Reliability Drives Market
Flow Research says the promise of greater reliability is perhaps the strongest driving force behind the pressure transmitter market. Over the past several years, pressure transmitter suppliers have released a number of new products with advanced features. These features, including advanced communication protocols, provide enhanced performance. End-users cite a number of reasons for shifting to higher-performing products, including regulatory and custody-transfer requirements, the need for reliability, and a desire to standardize pressure products.

Flow Research says more stable and accurate products have given customers a reason to buy into this market or to upgrade their existing products. However, the downside of reliability for manufacturers is that end-users will have to buy fewer replacement pressure transmitters over time.

Flow Research believes that the size of the installed base is one reason, but not the only reason, why the pressure transmitter market is continuing to hold its own within the instrumentation world. According to Dr. Jesse Yoder, president of Flow Research, the expanding energy markets and technological advances are two major forces driving the pressure transmitter market.

“While installed base remains a factor in sustaining growth in the pressure transmitter market, much of the growth in this market is due to increased demand for pressure measurement from the oil and gas industry,” Yoder said in a prepared statement. “In addition, new technologies are impacting the pressure transmitter market, resulting in higher-performing products. These include enhanced diagnostics, multivariable transmitters, higher accuracy, integrated flowmeters, greater reliability, and wireless technology. This is creating more demand for pressure transmitters at a time when end-users are looking for more feature-rich products.”

While all types of pressure transmitters have shown growth in the past several years, growth in the gauge pressure market is especially notable, Flow Research says. Unlike differential-pressure transmitters, gauge transmitters do not face ready competition from other technologies.

New-technology flowmeters, particularly Coriolis, ultrasonic and magnetic, are impacting the DP flowmeter market. Flow Research expects end-users to continue to select new-technology meters over DP flowmeters for some applications because of their higher accuracy and reliability.