It is expected to reach USD 9. 12 billion by 2026, registering a CAGR of 6. 43% during 2021-2026 (henceforth referred to as the “forecast period”). Flow meters, sometimes also referred to as flow sensors, are basically electronic devices that primarily measure or regulate the flow rate of liquids and gases within the pipes and tubes.
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They are commonly used in HVAC systems, medical devices, chemical factories, and septic systems. These meters can primarily detect leaks, blockages, pipe bursts, and changes in the liquid concentration, owing to any contamination or pollution.
- The flow sensors/devices are generally connected to the gauges to render their measurements; however, they can also be connected to computers and digital interfaces. Flow meters can be divided into two groups: contact and non-contact flow meters. Non-contact flow meters are majorly used when the liquid or gas (generally, a food product) is being monitored would be otherwise contaminated or physically altered by coming in contact with the moving parts.
- Industrial sectors, such as oil and gas, chemicals, pulp and paper, and metals and mining, were most affected due to Covid-19 pandemic, thus witnessing a subsequent decline in the demand for products offered by these industries. However, many industrial sectors serving to pharmaceutical, energy, and utility applications significantly surged in the demand. Furthermore, the pandemic also significantly fueled industrial automation adoption, resulting in the increased product launches in 2020 and innovation.
- Multiple emerging technologies, such as IIoT, asset management, and advanced diagnostics, are also helping in forming new collaborations among the users and suppliers. Moreover, the strategies for both end users and suppliers have been leveraging advancements in the networking and cloud platforms and service offerings that include data and analytics.
- Flow meters are also witnessing a steady rise in the demand for the monitoring and measurement of the flow of steam, gas, water, chemicals, and mineral oil, among others. These meters offer much essential precision in terms of ideal and economic quantity during the flow measurement. They offer advantages when it comes to processing control.
- Major trends that have been observed in the flow meter technology include digital signals for flow meters, multiple measurement formats, online diagnosis and troubleshooting, remote calibration and configuration, and smart sensors with online alerts. The technological advancements via robust research and development have also enabled the industry to develop appropriate solutions to complex operational problems. The advent of automated cleaning is also one of the revolutionary trends observed in the market. This trend is primarily advantageous for industries, such as the water and wastewater management sector.
Key Market Trends
Ultrasonic-based flow meter market is growing at the fastest pace.
- The ultrasonic flowmeters primarily make use of sound waves to determine the velocity of a fluid flowing. These meters are majorly used where chemical compatibility, lesser maintenance, and low-pressure drop are required, such as waste water and dirty liquid applications. These flowmeters are primarily being used to measure the velocity of liquids through ultrasound to analyze volume flow.
- The technological developments in ultrasonic sensors are also anticipated to drive the market as these sensors are catering to industry-specific solutions. In recent years, ultrasonic flow meters have witnessed various advancements, such as wireless connectivity and compatibility with single and dual sensors.
- The ultrasonic flowmeters perform with high levels of precision and repeatability, require less or no maintenance, and can be used with a variety of conductive and non-conductive fluids, which gives it an advantage over electromagnetic flow meters which only measure the flow of electrically conductive liquids.
- The handheld and portable ultrasonic flowmeters are also witnessing significant growth. These handheld devices are increasingly being used in measuring slurries and dirty fluids in the chemical industry, food processing sector, and water treatment plants. Moreover, the portable devices using both doppler and transit time technologies to measure velocity and flow are being used for survey in remote locations in the petrochemical and refinery sectors.
- Vendors in the market are also launching innovative products. The innovation investments are focused on introducing flow meters that have improved accuracy and fewer costs. In addition, the vendors are focusing on introducing products that have new applications in line with demand from end users. For instance, in April 2020, US-based Fuji Electric Corp. announced that its new Ultrasonic Flow Meter for Steam was ready for shipment.
North America has the largest market in the flow meters market.
- The United States is one of the most regulated countries after European countries. The oil and gas, water and wastewater, and renewable energy industries are the main consumers for the flow meter market. According to the US Renewable Energy Factsheet (2020), published in by the Center of Sustainable Systems, University of Michigan, about 80% of the nation’s energy comes from fossil fuels, 8.4% from nuclear power, and 11.4% from renewable sources.
- In the United States, competing technologies, such as multipoint averaging pitot tubes and ultrasonic flow meters, are being more explored, in comparison to thermal meters.
- The food and beverage processing and crude oil production industries are the major sectors driving the growth of the flow meters market in Canada. According to the Government of Canada, the food and beverage processing industry is the second largest manufacturing industry in the country in terms of the value of production. It accounts for 17% of the total manufacturing sales and 2% of the national Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
- Strategic collaborations have also been one of the key strategies to gain access to the growing Canadian market. For instance, in January 2021, Badger Meters partnered with Westech Industrial for Westech to be the authorized distributor of Badger’s industrial metering technologies throughout Canada.
- There is a rise in the number of hydropower projects in Canada. According to the International Hydropower Association, in 2020, Canada was the world’s fourth-largest producer of hydroelectricity globally. Owing to this increasing demand, Cascadia has been serving the Canadian market for the past 20 years with flow meter systems in more than 25 hydroelectric plants.
The major players in the market includes Siemens AG, Honeywell International Inc., Yokogawa Electric Corporation, Emerson Electric Co., Keyence Corporation, etc. The market is highly fragmented and competitive in nature because of the absence of any dominating player. Hence, the market concentration is low.
- March 2021 - KROHNE launched the AF-E 400 ultra-compact electromagnetic flowmeter for utility and industrial automation applications to fit in applications with constrained installation space, such as welding equipment cooling lines, bending machines, and robots.
- Feburary 2021 - Bronkhorst introduced POWERLINK as its tenth on-board fieldbus option. This enabled the company to provide digital flow and pressure meters in both IP40 and IP65 versions. The Etherner POWERLINK is a patent-free, manufacturer-independent and software-based communication system, which delivers real-time performance.
- September 2020 - Emerson launched a new Micro Motion Coriolis flow meter that is designed for high-pressure hydrogen dispensing and chemical injection applications. It is capable of flow accuracy margin of 0.5% for gas and 0.1% for liquid mass flow measurement.
- June 2020 - ABB launched its Sensyflow FMT700-P Compact thermal mass flow meter. The P-Compact is designed to test traditional turbochargers and components, including throttle valves, intake fans, and air filters, and examine the performance of hydrogen fuel cells.
- Feburary 2020 - The SITRANS FS230 clamp-on ultrasonic flow meter from Siemens Digital Industries was launched, with improved gas flow measurement capabilities. The FS230 is equipped to handle natural, specialized, and process gas and liquid flow applications, with best-in-class performance and user-friendly operation.
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