The global ultrasonic flowmeter market size was worth USD 690 million in 2021 and is projected to reach USD 1080 million by 2030, growing at a CAGR of 5.1% during the forecast period (2022-2030). To measure the flow rate of fluids, including liquids and gases, ultrasonic flowmeters use ultrasonic technology. They mostly use Doppler and transit-time technology to detect the velocity of a fluid flowing through a pipe, which transmits and receives sound waves. The flow rate of a liquid is determined by interpreting its speed. Ultrasonic flowmeters have several benefits over conventional forms of flowmeters. This sort of flow measurement system primarily uses non-invasive; transducers do not directly contact the process fluid and do not block the fluid's flow, making them perfect for detecting corrosive and abrasive chemicals. There are mounting kinds and portable flowmeters for ultrasonic flowmeters.
The primary factor propelling the worldwide ultrasonic flowmeter market is the need for ultrasonic flowmeters in the oil and gas sector for custody transfer applications. Extreme accuracy is required to determine how much of a product has been carried. For receivers, even the tiniest measurement inaccuracy might be expensive. For custody transfer applications, ultrasonic flowmeters are offered with accuracy as high as 0.1 percent. As a result, the precise metering offered by ultrasonic technology has increased commercial confidence and helped decrease custody transfer disputes; as a result, it is widely used in oil and gas operations. Ultrasonic flowmeter use has also expanded due to the need for non-invasive measurement devices in the wastewater management, power generating, and chemical industries.
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Different advantages ultrasonic flowmeters have over traditional flowmeters encourage other end-use sectors to embrace them. They are perfect for applications with restricted installation space because they are non-destructive and non-invasive. For instance, clamp-on ultrasonic flowmeters detect flowrate without drilling a pipe at multiple locations. Installation and maintenance time are reduced when using clamping. The outside placement of ultrasonic transducers prevents them from directly touching the fluid. This avoids transducer clogging, which is common in the wastewater and process sectors. They are also highly accurate. In various industries, including chemical, oil & gas, power generation, and pharmaceuticals, ultrasonic flowmeters' accuracy of 0.5 percent is crucial. Due to the availability of Doppler and transit-time ultrasonic flowmeters, customers can always select the type of ultrasonic flowmeter that best meets their demands. Furthermore, as there are no moving parts, ultrasonic flowmeters require less maintenance and downtime. This product diversity increases its adoption in the flowmeter market, thus proving conducive to the global ultrasonic flowmeter market.
Flowmeters are used in wastewater treatment to measure effluent flow and dose chemicals. Currently, wastewater treatment facilities use a variety of flowmeter types. Large amounts of suspended particles in water can block mechanical flowmeters. Additionally, clamp-on flowmeters, which do not come into direct contact with the process fluid, are taking the place of conventional flowmeters. This element fuels the demand for ultrasonic flowmeters in the wastewater management sector.
Additionally, it is anticipated that there will be an increase in demand for wastewater management on a global scale throughout the projection period, mainly due to planned industrial expansion in several nations and the growth of the residential housing market. During the forecast period, wastewater treatment investments are expected to increase due to the rising concern over water contamination in several nations. Such elements all raise the demand for ultrasonic flowmeters.
Ultrasonic flowmeters are high-tech instruments that consist of various integrated circuits and control systems, which, in turn, increase their cost. Costs are also higher due to the use of expensive acoustic parts. Additionally, the need for electronics repair specialists in the event of a flowmeter failure raises the expense of maintenance. There are some performance restrictions on ultrasonic flowmeters. It can only be used to measure liquids permeable to ultrasonic energy. Some main alternatives to ultrasonic flowmeters include electromagnetic flowmeters, Coriolis flowmeters, variable area, differential pressure flowmeters, and vortex flowmeters. Ultrasonic flowmeter adoption is expected to be hampered in the long run by the availability of many alternatives and their high price.
Product developments present new potential for market expansion for ultrasonic flowmeters. More accurate and flexible functioning are features of more recent ultrasonic flowmeters. For challenging applications in the oil & gas and chemical industries, Endress+Hauser AG introduced the Prosonic Flow G 300/500 line of ultrasonic gas flowmeters in 2020. It has a durable industrial design for processes with temperatures and pressures of up to 150 °C and 100 bars, respectively. To calculate extra process variables, it is equipped with advanced gas analysis features, and the sensor is condensate-insensitive for detecting moist or wet gases. Software advancements or changes to flowmeter components could boost the device's reliability. For instance, Emerson introduced the Daniel T-200, a transducer with a titanium housing, in 2020 for their series of gas ultrasonic flow meters. To enhance the acoustic performance of ultrasonic flowmeters in custody transfer applications, it was created using metal 3D printing. Transducers also increased safety, uptime, and dependability. These innovations and new product releases boost the global ultrasonic flowmeter market.
The global ultrasonic flowmeter market share is segmented by transducer type, end-user industry, technology, and region.
By transducer type, the global ultrasonic flowmeter market is segmented into spool piece, inline, clamp-on, and others. The clamp-on segment, which had the largest share of the market, is anticipated to expand at a CAGR of 6.1 percent throughout the projected period. They are now the most popular flow meters used in the oil and gas sector to gauge the flow rate of different inlet and exit streams. Portable clamp-on flowmeters can measure volume flow outside the pipe wall in industrial applications without requiring an inline operation. Since clamp-on can be installed temporarily or permanently without stopping the plant, this characteristic has expanded its demand in various end-use sectors.
The inline segment is the second largest. Demand for fluid flowrate monitoring in various process industries is expected to increase demand for inline ultrasonic flowmeters during the forecast period. Inline flowmeters with rugged and clean bore construction cater to low flow rate applications. In addition, measurement of a fluid at a low flow rate using conventional transit time flowmeters is complex, while the measurement is easy with the use of inline flowmeters. Such factors are expected to boost demand for inline ultrasonic flowmeters during the forecast period.
Spool piece is the third-largest segment. Developments in the design of spool piece types ultrasonic flowmeters, such as improvements in sensitivity and temperature ranges, are expected to boost demand for spool piece ultrasonic flowmeters. Such performance enhancements are significant in energy-intensive chemical, steel, petrochemical, and power generation sectors. Spool piece type ultrasonic flowmeters allow more control of the environment around the sensor. On the other hand, clamp-ones are easy to install and do not require plant shutdown. Such factors drive the segment growth.
By technology, the global ultrasonic flowmeter market is segmented into transit-time, Doppler, and hybrid. The transit-time segment was the highest contributor to the market and is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 5.5% during the forecast period. Developments in sensor technology used in ultrasonic flowmeters are expected to benefit this segment during the forecast period. Ultrasonic flowmeters with anti-bubble management are one such trend. Fuji Electric has a wide range of such transit time ultrasonic flowmeters with an anti-bubble measurement (ABM) system. The 32 bits microprocessor-based electronics allow high accuracy (±1%), a response time of 1 second or less, good immunity to air bubbles (ABM system), and change in fluid pressure and temperature. Thus, an increase in the accuracy of liquid measurement is expected to boost demand for transit time ultrasonic flowmeters.
The hybrid segment is the second largest. The hybrid technology of ultrasonic flowmeters can measure clean and solids-bearing process liquids and gases. Mixed-type ultrasonic flowmeters can switch between the Doppler effect and transit-time technology according to fluid conditions. Thus, these flowmeters can provide accuracy during adverse flow conditions without clogging, damaging, or impacting accuracy. Demand for hybrid flowmeters is driven by process industries that usually deal with various categories of process fluids at different temperatures and pressure conditions.
The Doppler segment is the third largest. Ultrasonic flowmeters based on the Doppler effect require the presence of solid particles or bubbles for accurate measurement. Hence, it is ideal for various applications such as the size of influent and effluent water flow, wastewater, crude oil, mining slurries, and liquified gases. It functions well in suspensions where particle concentration is above 100 ppm and particle size is more significant than 100um. Hence, the growth of these sectors offers fresh opportunities for developing this segment.
By end-user industry, the global ultrasonic flowmeter market includes water and wastewater management, oil and gas, chemical, power generation, pharmaceuticals, aerospace, and others. The oil and gas segment was the highest contributor to the market and is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 4.1% during the forecast period. The oil & gas industry, mainly the offshore sector, demands flowmeters that can operate at high pressure and in hazardous settings. Ultrasonic flowmeters have a rugged construction to meet the strict requirements of regional authorities. Additionally, they feature circuitry to adjust for variations in temperature and pressure, enhancing the precision and dependability of ultrasonic flowmeters. The oil and gas industry has seen a rise in demand for non-invasive flow measuring tools like ultrasonic flowmeters due to all the abovementioned considerations.
The water and wastewater management segment is the fastest-growing segment. In the water utility market, knowing the accurate water consumption helps maintain exact water bills without any losses. In addition, water leakages, if any, can be prevented. Instant availability of readings helps in cutting down water consumption. Moreover, ultrasonic flowmeters are essential for smart water metering systems controlled by a central control system. Hence, the surge in demand for smart metering systems is expected to increase demand for ultrasonic flowmeters in the water utility market during the forecast period.
The chemical segment is the third largest. Flowmeter is a critical component of any chemical industry for monitoring fluid flowrate, which is used for further process calculations. Accordingly, the need for non-invasive and accurate flow measurement systems increases the demand for ultrasonic flowmeters. Installation of the ultrasonic flowmeter is simple and does not require plant shutdown, thus minimizing plant downtime. Moreover, its unit cost is independent of pipeline size, thus making it commercially attractive for larger pipelines. Such factors are expected to increase demand for ultrasonic flowmeters in the chemical industry during the forecast period. In addition, the global chemical industry is expected to increase during the forecast period, led by a rising focus on domestic production. This factor is expected to offer fresh opportunities for the ultrasonic flowmeter market.
Region-wise, the global ultrasonic flowmeter market is studied across North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and LAMEA.
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Asia-Pacific was the highest revenue contributor and is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 5.1%. Industrialization in various Asian countries is presently driving the ultrasonic flowmeter market. In Asia-Pacific, countries such as China, India, Japan, Indonesia, and Vietnam are expected to offer lucrative opportunities for the ultrasonic flowmeters market, owing to high industrial activities and rapid infrastructural expansion. In the oil & gas industry, there is still a high potential for oil & gas exploration, which would increase downstream oil & gas activities. Exploratory activities in India and China are expected to increase oil refineries' production, thus augmenting demand for ultrasonic flowmeters during the forecast period.
Europe is the second-largest and fastest-growing region. The Europe ultrasonic flow meter market is projected to reach USD 280 million by 2030, growing at a CAGR of 5.5%. In Europe, Germany, France, and the UK are the major industrial players that contribute significantly to the Europe ultrasonic flowmeter market. These countries are also investing proactively in the power generation sector based on hydroelectric and nuclear power. New power generation plants or new chemical manufacturing plants require the installation of flow measurement devices such as ultrasonic flowmeters, among other process instrumentation. Such developments tend to benefit the adoption of ultrasonic flowmeters during the forecast period.
North America is the third largest region. The North American ultrasonic flowmeter market is studied across U.S., Canada, and Mexico. These three countries are well-positioned to offer fresh opportunities for adopting ultrasonic flowmeters, owing to the rise in infrastructural developments and industrialization. The surge in demand for chemicals, power generation, and wastewater management is expected to expand plant capacities, thus requiring process instrumentation such as ultrasonic flowmeters.