How the Flowmeter Market Has Changed in the
Past Two Years
Flow Research has been analyzing the worldwide flowmeter
market for the past three years. As
part of this analysis, we have done hundreds of interviews with suppliers.
We have also done hundreds of interviews with end-users of flowmeters.
How has the flowmeter market changed in the past two years? Here are some answers, based on this research.
economy is still recovering from the effects of September 11.
The flowmeter market is no exception.
While many suppliers reported strong sales in the first three
quarters of 2001, many reported a dropoff in orders in the fourth quarter of
2001. In 2002, sales remained
slow, resembling the fourth quarter of 2001.
While some companies reported an increase in orders in the fourth
quarter of 2002, this is when geopolitical fears started causing companies
to become more cautious. This
caution remained in the first quarter of 2003.
Now that hostilities have occurred, the economy will continue to
suffer, at least until people can see the end of hostilities.
flowmeters continued to grow faster than traditional technology meters over
the past two years. However,
their growth was not as rapid as many predicted in 2000 and 2001.
pace of new product development for new-technology flowmeters outpaced new
product development for traditional meters. For example, Foxboro introduced a new Coriolis
flowmeter. Yokogawa brought out
a new multivariable vortex meter. GE
Panametrics introduced a clamp-on gas ultrasonic meter.
A number of other product innovations occurred during this period
among new-technology meter
the same time, suppliers of traditional meters also offered improvements of
their own. Turbine meters are
now made from more durable materials, and improved technology makes it
possible to manufacture positive displacement flowmeters more precisely.
Product innovations are also occurring with thermal and open channel
market consolidation is continuing, but so is market diversification.
GE buying Panametrics is not really a case of market consolidation,
since GE was not previously a flowmeter manufacturer.
Badger Meter selling its ultrasonic flowmeter line to Eastech Badger
might be described as sideways consolidation, since Eastech was already a
supplier of vortex meters. While
market consolidation will continue, demands by end-users for products that
are more specific to their needs will continue to provide opportunities for
new companies to develop whose products are intended for specific industries
and applications. Look at all
the companies that are devoted to serving the needs of the pipeline
industry, for example.
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