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APAC seen to dominate flowmeter market

Posted: 03 Jun 2013     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:flowmeter  flow measurement  greenfield investments 

IMS Research, a market firm part of IHS, predicts that flowmeter sales revenues in the Asia-Pacific region will reach Rs.9,139.78 crore ($1.7 billion), making the region the largest market for flowmeters. APAC is not also the biggest market but also the fastest-expanding region for flowmeter sales with a CAGR of 10.5 per cent.

The growth in the region is mainly attributed to greenfield investments and the increasing need for greater flow-measurement accuracy.

"China and India in 2013 will continue their decade-long effort to invest in infrastructure to address the needs of their growing population and rising energy requirements," said Kiran Patel, process instrumentation and control analyst at IHS. "Capital expenditures in the oil and gas, chemical and power, and refining and petrochemical industries in these countries will drive demand for process instrumentation and measuring devices, including flowmeters."

Many of the factors that are driving revenue growth for flowmeters in China and India are also evident globally.

"With a growing focus on environmental conservation, the monitoring of greenhouse gas emissions is increasingly important as businesses are keen to portray themselves as being green," Patel said. "Another progressively important application is custody transfer. In the oil and gas industry, for instance, rising energy costs have driven the need for greater flow-measurement accuracy given that small percentage errors can result in significant costs."

Cheap labour vs. flowmeters
While China historically has had an abundance of human resources for low-skilled jobs, labour costs are rising and young people overall are choosing to pursue higher education, likely leading to the reduction in supply of cheap, low-skilled labour in the country. Such constraints in the labour force have affected process facilities in particular, resulting in a lack of technical, hands-on expertise at plant sites because low-skilled staff for the most part has been employed.

To help fill the gap, businesses are utilising so-called smart flowmeters, which not only are easier to use and maintain but also provide online diagnostics if required. Still, these smart flowmeters come at a price premium—something that businesses are not always able or willing to pay. Instead, companies resort to using mechanical flowmeters—among the easiest to duplicate, with an increasing number of Asian manufacturers making the machines at low cost, often compromising quality.

And while local end-user industries with limited regional reach are most likely to invest in such products, typical process facilities tend to be managed by global players whose corporate image is paramount. Here reputations are at stake and large corporations cannot be seen to be using low-quality products that could affect production and efficiency or pose a safety risk to operators.


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