Continuing Rapid Growth Seen for Ultrasonic Flowmeters

Increasing use of multi-path ultrasonic flowmeters for custody transfer of natural gas is a major driver, study says.

The ultrasonic flowmeter market remains the fastest growing market of any flowmeter type, according to a new market study from Flow Research Inc., Wakefield, Mass. The study shows the worldwide ultrasonic flowmeter market at $440 million in 2007, up from $255 million in 2002, and projects compound average growth rate (CAGR) of 9.8 percent through 2012, when the market will exceed $700 million. The study, titled “The World Market for Ultrasonic Flowmeters, 3rd Edition,” also finds that the number of companies entering the ultrasonic flowmeter market is rising, and predicts that even more companies will enter the market as ultrasonic flowmeter usage continues to grow.

The single most important factor in the growth of ultrasonic flowmeters has been the explosive growth in the market of multi-path ultrasonic meters for custody transfer of natural gas, according to the study. Approvals from industry organizations in Europe and the United States boosted wider use of multi-path ultrasonic flowmeters. At the same time, the demand for natural gas, and the need to measure it, is increasing substantially. Ultrasonic flowmeters are also being more widely used to measure process gas and flare gas.

Better accuracy

In addition, technological improvements have increased the accuracy of ultrasonic transit time flowmeters, which has led to broader use in a wider variety of conditions. Ultrasonic flowmeters now account for more than 10 percent of the revenues generated by the entire worldwide flowmeter market.

According to Jesse Yoder, Ph.D., president of Flow Research, the future is highly promising for ultrasonic flowmeters. “The ultrasonic flowmeter market grew very rapidly over the past several years, and we see that trend continuing, particularly as the market for gas flow measurement using ultrasonic flowmeters continues to expand,” Yoder says. “Suppliers, including larger companies with deep pockets, are jumping on the ultrasonic bandwagon. And as more and more users have positive experiences with this relatively new technology and recognize its advantages for certain applications, we believe they will increasingly adopt ultrasonic flowmeters.”

Flow Research Inc.

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