Flow measurement has long become a crucial process in various industries, and the market for respective technology is still growing. Numerous companies in the sectors of energy generation, the chemical industry, food production and water treatment among others depend on reliable flow measurement systems with modern measuring units, as determining fluid or gas flows is crucial for optimal operating conditions and regulatory compliance. Measurement methods for hydrogen and CO₂, in particular, are expected to gain significant importance in the coming years. Both manufacturers and users must already consider the advantages and disadvantages of the different options available and indicatory key trends.
1. Flow Measurement as a Key Technology
The market for flow measurement is considered a dynamic and rapidly growing segment, playing a vital role in various industries. Currently, a multitude of specialised stakeholders operate in this field, offering a wide range of products and solutions for general or specific applications. Due to their diverse applications, a clear market segmentation has emerged over time. Main users typically include the oil and gas industry, as well as the chemical and pharmaceutical industry, where flow rate measurement is used throughout the entire value chain. However, accurate measurement and monitoring of fluid or gas flows also play a crucial role in the modern food industry and water/wastewater management. Currently, the intensity of competition is primarily determined by technical innovation, product quality, and global presence.
Measurement technology used in the production, transportation, or storage of hydrogen is becoming progressively important. While hydrogen has been used as a raw material in many industries before, its planned use as an energy carrier opens up new application fields and increases the general demand for suitable flow measurement technology. Hydrogen is now one of the inorganic basic chemicals with the highest production volumes in many regions. Worldwide decarbonisation measures and the race for market dominance in green hydrogen are already significantly surging demand in the European and international markets. Therefore, some providers like WIKAAlexander Wiegand SE & Co. KG have dedicated themselves to measuring methods for hydrogen applications. WIKA’s solutions for flow measurement, for example, rely on the support of digital sensor technologies. Other well-known players like Emerson Electric Co., Siemens AG, or the Endress + Hauser Group have also been investing more than ever in research and development to strengthen their competitive position.
Comparison of Different Measurement Methods:
|Non-invasiveNo pressure dropHigh accuracy
|Measurement deviations due to external conditionsPartly high costs
|Water and wastewater industryFood industryChemical industry
|Direct mass measurementHigh accuracy
|High costsMinimum pressure required
|Oil and gas industryChemical industryFood industry
|Easy installation Low costs
|Limited accuracy Sensitive to viscosity changes
|Chemical industry Water treatment Petrochemical industry
2. Digitization and Innovative Trends
In flow measurement, new technical options are often promptly integrated into market-ready concepts, resulting in continuous development of existing solutions in the industry. In this way, flow metre manufacturers strive to meet the demands of clients who want to optimise their processes with increasingly precise methods and reduce costs. An example of a disruptive innovation in the industry was the introduction of clamp-on ultrasonic flow metres, which allow non-contact measurement without interrupting the fluid flow. Such devices offer high accuracy and reliability while simplifying installation and maintenance. In this context, other advanced technologies like Coriolis measurement are also becoming more popular. Coriolis flow metres allow direct mass measurement and excel in high precision, regardless of the fluid properties.
The industry-wide smart transformation naturally also affects flow measurement technology. Automated systems enable continuous monitoring, control, and recording of flow data in real-time. Wherever such partially AI-supported systems have already been utilised, process control has benefited from shorter response times, while also minimising human error sources.
- The flow metre market is highly dynamic and continuously growing.
- Major industries where flow measurement plays an important role include oil and gas, the chemical industry, food production, and water treatment. The hydrogen industry will further boost demand in the future.
- The demand for increasingly precise and effective measurement methods drives strong innovation in the industry. Smart processes dominate current trends.
3. Increasing Demand in Many Industries
Food production requires precise flow measurements for quality assurance and accurate ingredient dosing. The water treatment industry also relies on precise measurements of flow rates and volumes to monitor water flow and ensure the efficiency of treatment processes. The rising demand in these as well as in other industries drives the growth of the flow measurement market. Additionally, there are external factors responsible for the growth of the market and for respective providers, or at least they have had a huge impact on them. Regulatory requirements and standards that producers or users must follow in various areas are of great importance. Especially in European countries, companies must comply with precise specifications regarding flow rates or quantities, aiming to ensure the quality standards and safety of different processes.
Newly introduced guidelines and adjustments to existing regulations can further boost regional market growth. The tightening of regulations often directly relates to increasing energy efficiency and advancing decarbonisation (or compliance with emission limits). Environmental protection regulations for wastewater disposal and treatment also require increasingly accurate measurement methods.
4. Market Doubling by 2033
According to current forecasts, the flow metre market is expected to at least have doubled by 2033. For the year 2023, revenues are estimated to rise by 10.1 billion US dollars. North America is likely to remain a significant market as the industry continues to rely on precise flow measurements, especially in the oil and gas sector. Currently, the US market accounts for about one-third of the global total volume. Europe will also experience solid growth as the demand for flow measurement equipment increases in various key industries. Large-scale infrastructure projects and the establishment of large industrial parks for green hydrogen production are expected to drive a sharp increase in demand for flow measurement technology in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia.