The global intelligent flow meter market was valued at USD 2.97 billion in 2022. It is estimated to reach USD 4.76 billion by 2031, growing at a CAGR of 5.39% during the forecast period (2023–2031). The surging demand for accurate measurement and monitoring of industrial fluids for optimal utilization drives market expansion. Future market expansion is likely to be driven by the revitalization of the oil and gas industry and the expansion of infrastructure in the water and wastewater sectors.
An intelligent flow meter is a device used to measure the fluid level of a particular device. The device's function is to calculate the volume of the fluid by determining its velocity. The intelligent flow meter employs contactless measurement and is most commonly used to determine the fluid content of pipes. Intelligent flow meters are unaffected by viscosity, temperature, density, and particles in suspension. Unlike mechanical flow meters, they are electronic and require no moving parts.
Non-contact or contact sensors can measure flow, but an intelligent flow meter measures fluid flow non-contactly. Intelligent flow meters typically emit a laser beam or an ultrasonic beam reflected by the fluid in motion. The screen then shows the fluid's movement or velocity. Depending on the industry, the flow meter is referred to by various names, including flow indicator, flow gauge, and liquid meter; however, its function, to measure flow, remains the same.
|Market Size||USD 4.76 billion by 2031|
|Fastest Growing Market||Europe|
|Largest Market||North America|
|Report Coverage||Revenue Forecast, Competitive Landscape, Growth Factors, Environment & Regulatory Landscape and Trends|
Industries like oil and gas, chemical and petrochemicals, and other industries require high safety. According to IndustriALL, a global union of workers, since May 2020, 30 industrial accidents in India have killed at least 75 workers.
ers. Most mishaps occurred while operating machinery, followed by general industry accidents. Thus, the utilization of devices, such as flowmeters, that provide safety in different aspects of operation is becoming imperative.
The manufacturers in different end-users suffer from downtime in their sites that also affects the efficiency of the plant or site, along with the total costs. Flow meters have a longer lifespan than conventional sensors with critical failure points, helping to reduce damage or downtime brought on by mechanical moving part wear and tear. Various end-user industries have used flow meters to improve plant efficiency, boosting market growth.
The rapid technological advancements in flow meters trigger the growth of the IoT and automation in flow measurement. Vendors in the market are investing heavily to launch new products to satisfy the demand from different end-user industries. For instance, in March 2020, Endress+Hauser launched its Proline Prosonic Flow G 300/500 flow meter, which can be supplied with two different transmitters as a compact or remote version with four inputs and outputs.
In October 2020, Trimble announced a new digital flowmeter for real-time flow and level monitoring in the wastewater utility networks. The Telog Raven-Eye 2 flowmeter expands the company's digital wastewater portfolio capabilities. It delivers a robust solution that helps reduce flooding and sewer overflows, monitors inflow and infiltration, and ensures accurate flow metering suitable for wastewater billing. Thus, the penetration of IoT in flow rate measurement solutions boosts market growth.
Higher-accuracy meters cost more, and depending on meter type and flow rate, even a slight increase in accuracy can be expensive. Coriolis flowmeters and magnetic flow meters typically have high initial costs, especially for large pipe sizes.
According to Alicat Scientific, a flow controller company, the Coriolis flowmeters cost around USD 4,000–6,000, while the laminar flowmeters cost around USD 1,000. Similarly, according to wateronline.com, a one-inch line magnetic flow meter and transmitter can cost USD 3,000 or less. Such a high initial cost is expected to restrain market growth.
Flow meters play a critical role in the efficient management and conservation of energy and natural resources through the accurate measurement and monitoring of gas/fluid flow. The superior advantages associated with smart digital flowmeters, like easy operability due to the availability of a numeric display and more accurate and reliable results compared to conventional flowmeters, have made them the preferred choice among various end-users, particularly those who are not cost-conscious. The rising demand has compelled manufacturers to adopt new technologies and expand their product lines.
Similar to the digital flowmeter, significant research is being conducted on battery-free flowmeters to address the problems associated with battery flowmeters that require constant charging or replacement. These market developments are anticipated to generate lucrative growth opportunities for existing market participants and new entrants in the coming years.
North America Dominates the Global Market
Based on region, the global intelligent flow meter market is bifurcated into North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Latin America, and the Middle East and Africa.
North America is the most significant global intelligent flow meter market shareholder and is anticipated to exhibit a CAGR of 4.39% during the forecast period. The food and beverage processing industry and crude oil production are the major sectors driving the growth of flow meters in the region. As per the Government of Canada, the food and beverage processing sector contributes 17% of total manufacturing sales and 2% of the GDP in the country. In addition, the rising demand for new technologies in the region has led to the launch of new product lines to obtain a competitive advantage in the market. For instance, according to Landis+Gyr's 2021 Annual Report, the company started the development of its first smart ultrasonic Gas Meter for the North American market by leveraging the company's leading position and capabilities in the Europe, Middle East, and Africa markets with utility customer feedback and customer engagement on product requirements and support for Narrowband Internet of Things (NB-IoT) implementation. The company planned to introduce prototypes in the first quarter of 2022 and start customer testing in the second quarter of 2022. A full market introduction is anticipated in the first quarter of 2023.
Europe is estimated to exhibit a CAGR of 5.89% over the forecast period. The intelligent flow meter is expected to grow substantially in Europe during the forecast timeframe. The high demand for intelligent flow meters in the metering processes in countries like Germany, the United Kingdom, and others is expected to drive the market in the future. With different initiatives made by governments across the area by creating energy policies that encourage the trend toward alternate and sustainable energy solutions, the European intelligent flow meter market is expected to rise at a modest pace. Similarly, the chemical, power generation, oil and gas, and wastewater management industries will likely increase, providing new prospects for the regional intelligent flowmeter market.
Furthermore, product launches and business growth are major developmental strategies used by prominent players in this area to expand their position in the flowmeter market. For example, Endress+Hauser AG, Emerson, and Siemens announced new ultrasonic flowmeter models in 2020, 2019, and 2018. Products are designed to be more accurate, dependable, and require less maintenance.
The Asia-Pacific region is expected to have a substantial proportion of the intelligent flowmeter market, given the continued importance of countries such as China, India, Japan, South Korea, Indonesia, Australia, and Singapore in the worldwide market. The presence of a large consumer market in these regions has pushed large multinational companies to establish their operations in these regions. This is one of the major factors driving the demand for flow meters. In addition, automating processes in the food processing industry primarily brings several benefits, such as quality adherence and real-time assessment of the products. These developments have been critical to demand generation in these regional markets.
The Middle East and Africa region, like other emerging regions, offers growing prospects for industry participants. Factors such as various policies implemented by the government to attract investment into industrial development, the increasing shift from an oil-based economy, and the increasing need to adhere to environmental regulations and safety standards are driving market growth.
The global intelligent flow meter market is segmented by type, communication protocol, and end-user industry.
Based on type, the global intelligent flow meter market is divided into Coriolis, magnetic, ultrasonic, multiphase, vortex, variable area, differential pressure, thermal, and turbine.
The Coriolis segment is the largest revenue contributor to the market and is expected to exhibit a CAGR of 5.69% throughout the forecast period. A Coriolis flowmeter consists of a tube energized by a fixed vibration. When a fluid (gas or liquid) moves through this tube, the mass flow momentum causes the tube to vibrate, twisting the tube and causing a phase shift. This phase shift may be detected, and a linear output proportional to flow can be calculated. In addition, Coriolis meters are the only flow meter devices that can directly measure mass and density without additional sensors to infer mass flow. Coriolis technology gives readings unaffected by changes in media viscosity, temperature, or density.
In recent years, intelligent ultrasonic flow meters have become a popular alternative for engineers, operators, and maintenance professionals concerned with energy management at their facilities. These devices use an attempted non-invasive measuring technique with no moving or wetted parts and no pressure loss. The ultrasonic meter's architecture allows for a large turndown ratio and maintenance-free operation. In addition, plants use intelligent ultrasonic flow meter technologies to get the data needed to satisfy sustainability goals, cut energy costs, and improve overall efficiency. Such advantages over mechanical flow meters are triggering the growth of intelligent ultrasonic flow meters.
Based on communication protocol, the global intelligent flow meter market is bifurcated into PROFIBUS, Modbus, HART, and others.
The PROFIBUS segment dominates the global market. PROFIBUS is a data communication system that allows many components to communicate via a single two-core copper connection (bus system). Compared to non-digital systems, this saves a lot of money on wiring and installation. Due to its high adaptability, PROFIBUS is regarded as a highly suitable solution for addressing automation issues. Other bus systems are limited in their application areas, forcing users to adopt a second technology to handle them.
Modbus is a data communication protocol developed by Modicon for utilization with its programmable logic controllers in 1979. It is a way to send data between electronic devices using serial lines. The device that requests information is known as the Modbus Master, and the devices that provide it are known as Modbus Slaves. In addition, Modbus is extensively employed in industrial environments because of its widespread utilization and unrestricted accessibility, as it is openly revealed and devoid of licensing fees. It was created for industrial applications, is very simple to deploy and maintain compared to other standards, and has few constraints on the data type that can be communicated.
Based on the end-user industry, the global intelligent flow meter market is segmented into oil and gas, pharmaceuticals, water and wastewater, paper and pulp, power generation, food and beverages, and others.
The oil and gas segment owns the highest market share and is estimated to exhibit a CAGR of 5.14% during the forecast period. The rise in use in oil and gas custody transfer applications drives the growth of the global intelligent flowmeter market. Continuous innovations in the flow meter sector have paved the way for intelligent or smart flow meters for real-time liquid or gas flow measurement. In addition, flow meters determine fluids' mass flow rate or volumetric flow rate, especially in the oil and gas industries. This application specifies the capacity and type of the flow meter. Gases, liquids, and fluids are measured using mass and volumetric flow rates.
The demand for intelligent flow meters increases in the paper and pulp industries. The paper and pulp industries consume many resources, like wood and water, every year, creating large amounts of solid waste and wastewater that must be treated. Intelligent flow meters are more precise, inventive, and have a better diagnostic approach than conventional flow meters. Moreover, smart flow meters measure the flow rate of liquid in real-time and provide feedback for the precise control of the flow rate of the fluid. This has resulted in a demand for intelligent flow meters on the market.