Turbine Flowmeter Market to Surpass $425 Million by 2016, Finds Flow Research Study

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Product improvements and a large installed base are helping the turbine flowmeter market hold its own in a turbulent market. Cost advantages and a wide variety of applications are keeping the turbine flowmeter market competitive with other meters, finds a recent Flow Research study.

New product developments and a large installed base are keeping the turbine flowmeter market competitive in a turbulent market.

Continued product improvements and a large installed base are helping the turbine flowmeter market hold its own in a turbulent market. Turbine flowmeter revenues totaled $414.0 million in 2011 and are forecast to increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 0.6 percent per year through 2016 to reach $427.5 million worldwide. This is one finding in a recent Flow Research study, The World Market for Turbine Flowmeters, 2nd Edition.

Suppliers report that some customers are choosing multipath ultrasonic meters over turbine meters due to less maintenance and non-intrusive designs. However, they also say that the higher costs of the ultrasonic meters and the high costs to calibrate them, combined with the uncertainty of the in-service accuracy and performance, is starting a trend back to proven turbine meter performance. For more information, go to http://www.flowturbine.com.

Turbine meter suppliers are making technology improvements to produce more reliable turbine meters. Many of these involve making the moving parts more reliable. By making the bearings out of more durable material, such as ceramic or sapphire, turbine suppliers have been able to add significantly to the life of the bearings. This is important, since some customers select new-technology meters over turbine meters because turbine meters have moving parts. Other recently introduced improvements include bi-directional flow, self-lubrication, and significantly reduced pressure drop. And dual-rotor designs offer improved accuracy and flow range, less pressure drop, and reduced flow swirl effects.

There are many reasons why turbine flowmeters remain popular. Turbine meters have a significant cost advantage over ultrasonic and Coriolis meters, especially in larger line sizes, although suppliers report increasing difficulty competing with ultrasonic and magnetic flowmeters in large line sizes. The price of turbine meters may also compare favorably to differential pressure (DP) flowmeters, especially in cases where one turbine meter can replace several DP meters. Users who already have turbine meters and don’t want to pay the price of switching technologies are likely to stay with turbine meters.

According to Dr. Jesse Yoder, president of Flow Research, new product development and industry approvals are helping to keep turbine meters competitive:

“One reason the turbine flowmeter market has been holding its own is that suppliers are investing in new product features and new designs. This includes ceramic and sapphire bearings, dual rotors, and improved diagnostics. Turbine meters also enjoy approvals from the American Gas Association (AGA) and from the American Water Works Association (AWWA) for custody transfer applications. In Europe, turbine flowmeters are approved by the International Standards Organization (ISO). All these approvals have helped turbine meters maintain their competitive position. While the flowmeter market is turbulent in the sense that it is highly competitive with a constant influx of new products, their installed base along with new product development is helping turbine flowmeters thrive in many markets.”

Turbine meters for oil applications are widely used in trucking terminals for loading hydrocarbons into trucks, and for offloading them from trucks. They are also used in aviation applications. Here turbine meters compete with positive displacement and Coriolis flowmeters. Some users are making the switch to Coriolis meters for these distribution applications because of their high accuracy and long-term reliability. Turbine meters are also used for in-plant measurement within refineries and chemical plants.

Flow Research, Inc.
Flow Research provides research on flowmeters and other process control instrumentation. Recent market studies include a series of six studies on gas flow measurement as well as individual studies on positive displacement and magnetic flowmeters and pressure transmitters. Flow Research also publishes quarterly reports on the flowmeter and energy markets as part of the Worldflow Monitoring Service (http://www.worldflow.com).

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