Growth of electronic flow sensors robs traditional mechanical suppliers

By Control Engineering Staff September 21, 2006

The growth in offerings of electronic, non-contact flow measurement systems has fueled Europe ‘s sensors and transmitters market, says a new report from Frost & Sullivan . Customers are enjoying the functional advantages of newer technologies and leaving traditional mechanical solutions behind.

“The European flow sensors and transmitters market will be primarily driven by the migration of end users towards electronic, non-contact flow measurement systems,” says research analyst Gomathinayagam S. “These flowmeters offer advantages over mechanical flowmeters in terms of higher accuracy and reliability and also do not obstruct the flow in pipelines.”

Frost & Sullivan finds that the European flow sensors and transmitters markets earned revenues of $1.33 billion in 2005 and estimates that it will reach $2.11 billion in 2012. This is not without its downsides for manufacturers, however. The expansion of more sophisticated technologies is not only taking sales from mechanical designs, it is creating a very competitive atmosphere among electronic sensor manufacturers. At present, more than 100 competitors offer relatively similar product lines and pricing. To achieve sufficient volume to reduce costs, more manufacturers are undercutting prices to end users to build market share. The resulting loss of profitability threatens smaller manufacturers who cannot operate in that arena.

The more positive alternative to cutting prices is finding ways to make more attractive products. “Market participants should focus on developing truly innovative, customized products and solutions that offer better value to customers,” advises Gomathinayagam. “New product development should be designed around customer feedback and market driven.”

Click here to read a Control Engineering news article about an earlier study of the larger instrumentation industry, also by Frost & Sullivan.

Control Engineering Daily News Desk

Peter Welander , process industries editor