Compiling market share data

How do we really know that one kind of instrumentation outsells another? Who wants to know that sort of thing?
October 28, 2011

Dear Control Engineering: I was reading the article on the growing market share of Coriolis flowmeters. How is that kind of information gathered?

In this particular case, the data were compiled by IMS Research, which surveys manufacturers globally and follows many verticals within larger industrial markets. Such work is painstaking and generally expensive to undertake. It requires having researchers that know the players in key industries, which is why most are fairly specialized. Various companies commission specific studies to help with business planning. For example, if your company makes magnetic flowmeters and you’re considering expanding your product line into ultrasonics, you might ask a research organization like IMS to help you determine the potential that you can sell enough to be successful. Companies in this type of business occasionally release small market studies like this one to promote their more complex projects.

In this particular case with Coriolis flowmeters, the data reflect total sales in dollars, not units. Given that Coriolis flowmeters are considerably more complex and expensive than a comparably sized DP flowmeter, even if Coriolis moves into first place on sales volume as predicted, the total number of units shipped will likely still favor DP technology, and probably by a relatively large margin. The simplicity and economy of DP flowmeters is one of their main advantages, and one of the key reasons that they continue to be so popular. You could even build one in your basement.

–Peter Welander,