The global market for flowmeters is expected to reach US $5.1 billion by the year 2017, primarily driven by the re-investment of manufacturing majors in plant renovation, modernization, capacity expansions, technology developments, and the entry of new players into the market, according to a new Global Industry Analysts (GIA) report. Additionally, rising opportunities from emerging countries in the Asia-Pacific region is also expected to bode well for the future growth prospects of the marketplace.

The flowmeter market continues its transition from the traditional to new high-technology meters. Driven by precision and reliability, new flowmeters, especially ultrasonic and Coriolis, are becoming extremely popular among end-users. Another high-tech flowmeter grounding base is the magnetic flowmeter, acknowledged for its capacity in non-intrusive measurement. These flowmeters have been found as an appropriate replacement to the conventional flowmeter types, such as turbine, differential pressure, and positive displacement. The reliability and accuracy offered by these flowmeters make them a favorite among customers against the traditional counterparts, GIA says.

Post-recession, the flowmeters market is surging ahead, primarily due to the accumulation of postponed and deferred orders, and re-investment of manufacturing majors in plant renovation, and modernization and capacity expansions, GIA says. Capital projects, which have either been shelved or postponed due to tight budgetary conditions, are presently remerging to drive growth. Stimulus packages offered by governments across the globe as succor to the ailing industries are strengthening capital investments.

GIA found the ultrasonic flowmeter market represents the fastest growing product segment, displaying a CAGR of about 8.29 percent over the analysis period. Ultrasonic flowmeters are gaining wider prominence in hydrocarbon industry applications. Benefits offered by ultrasonic flowmeters, such as accuracy and obstruction-free measurement, are the major factors fueling demand for this product. The oil & gas industry has been one of the major contributors to the market growth of ultrasonic flowmeters, GIA says. Ultrasonic flowmeters offer improved measurement accuracy at significantly lower costs, making them the most preferred product for oil & gas and district heating applications. GIA says the ultrasonic flowmeters market is especially driven by the robust demand for multi-path ultrasonic meters used in custody transfer of natural gas and other petroleum products.

Rapid growth of the ultrasonic flowmeters market has also been supplemented by the approval of ultrasonic standards by various regulatory authorities, GIA says. American Gas Association (AGA) has approved standards for measuring natural gas; the American Petroleum Institute (API) laid down standards for liquid hydrocarbon custody-transfer applications; and the International Organization of Legal Metrology (OIML) has approved standards for international custody-transfer applications.

The GIA report found that Europe remains the largest regional market for flowmeters, by value. However, Asia-Pacific is the fastest growing regional market, both in terms of value and volume sales. Value sales in Asia-Pacific are projected to grow at a CAGR of 5.45 percent over the analysis period. Asia-Pacific, where the number of capital projects and new process plants are increasing by the day, is expected to drive future gains in the international market. The Middle East, a hub of oil & gas activities, will also generate substantial demand for flowmeters during the short- to medium-term period. Focus on water desalination will especially generate demand for flowmeters in the region, GIA says.

Segment-wise, GIA says the magnetic flowmeter market remains the largest product segment. Magnetic flowmeters primarily find application in the water & wastewater sector. Demand for magnetic flowmeters, therefore, primarily depends on the level of municipal funding and government stimulus packages provided to water & wastewater treatment projects, GIA says. The product also finds applications in food & beverage, pulp & paper, chemical, refining, and oil & gas industries.

Major players in the market include Asea Brown Boveri Ltd. (ABB), Badger Meter Inc., Eastech Flow Controls, Elster AMCO Water Inc., Emerson Electric Co., Emerson Process Management, Endress+Hauser (E+H), Faure Herman S.A., General Electric, Hach/Marsh-McBirney Inc., Honeywell International Inc., Idex Corporation, Invensys Process Systems, Rockwell Automation Inc., Siemens AG, Teledyne Isco Inc., Yamatake Corporation, Yokogawa Electric Corporation, among others.

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