IMS Research: Custody transfer applications grow in sophistication, but no clear flowmeter technology winner yet

IMS Research says ultrasonics growing fast, but what about Coriolis? What will displace DP?


IMS Research: Excellence in market intelligenceAccording to IMS Research, ultrasonic flowmeters used in custody transfer are growing at a faster rate than any other flowmeter type available today. Despite the rapid growth, DP (differential pressure) flowmeters still account for the largest share of a custody transfer market IMS Research estimates to be worth some $500 million in 2010.  

Any company that needs to do custody transfer flow measurement today, a transaction involving transporting physical substance from one operator to another, has a wide choice of technologies and products at its disposal. Newer flowmeter technologies such as Coriolis and ultrasonic offer increased reliability, low pressure drop, and high accuracy. At the same time, suppliers of more established technologies aren’t standing still. For example, older designs, such as turbine flowmeters, have seen performance improvements through better bearing materials that improve accuracy and extend operating life.

Paul Everett, research director at IMS Research observes, “DP flowmeters appear to be holding their own. DP flowmeters still have the largest installed base of any type of technology, and customers appreciate the design’s versatility to measure liquid, gas, and steam flows. Manufacturers have been very diligent in researching and developing technological improvements in their products”.

There are several flowmeter technologies available today; some are well established, whereas others are emerging. In its latest flowmeter report, IMS Research confirms that Coriolis flowmeters maintain a steady hold on the custody transfer market. Everett continues, “Coriolis meters are gaining industry approval for custody transfer of natural gas. In addition, several European standards organizations include Coriolis sensors on their list of meters approved for custody transfer. There is also a significant trend occurring in the production and use of ultrasonic flowmeters making the custody transfer market one to watch”.

Analysis of the flowmeter market is available from the 2nd edition of IMS Research’s recently released World Flowmeter report.

Also read Custody Transfer: Flowmeter as Cash Register

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