User Survey by Flow Research Finds Shift to New-Technology Flowmeters

Flow Research, Inc.

A survey of flowmeter users shows a shift away from traditional flowmeters and toward new-technology flowmeters. New-technology flowmeters include those introduced since 1950, including Coriolis, magnetic, ultrasonic, vortex and thermal. Traditional flowmeters include differential pressure (DP), turbine, positive displacement and variable area. New-technology flowmeters have been gaining ground on traditional flowmeters in the past few years because they typically have higher accuracy, lower maintenance, and no moving parts.
In the survey, users were asked, for each flowmeter type, whether their firm had purchased or specified that type in 2004. They were also asked, for each flowmeter type, whether their firm expects to purchase or specify that type of flowmeter in 2008. In the case of new-technology flowmeters, the percentage of respondents expecting to purchase or specify each of these types is greater for 2008 than it was for 2004. And for traditional flowmeters, the corresponding percentage is either flat or declining between 2004 and 2008.
For Coriolis flowmeters, just over 40% of respondents said that Coriolis flowmeters were purchased or specified at their plant in 2004. When asked about the future, 47% of respondents expect that Coriolis flowmeters will be purchased or specified at their plant in 2008. The survey shows similar results for magnetic, ultrasonic, vortex and thermal flowmeters.
Traditional flowmeters present a different picture. While 36% of respondents say that turbine flowmeters were purchased or specified at their plant in 2004, less than 32% expect that this will be the case in 2008. The survey shows similar results for positive displacement flowmeters. The results for users of DP and variable area flowmeters are almost flat, although both show a slight decline in the percentages between 2004 and 2008.
While the user survey shows a clear trend towards new-technology flowmeters, it also found that more DP flowmeters are installed in plants than any other type of flowmeter. This means that the changeover to new-technology flowmeters will be a gradual one. The Internet-based survey was conducted in August 2005 by Flow Research, together with Venture Development Corporation. The results were published in January 2006 as a study called “Worldwide Survey of Flowmeter Users, 2nd Edition” ( The study had 586 participants.

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