Continuous innovations in the flow meter industry have paved the way for smart or intelligent flow meters for real-time measurement of liquid or gas flow. Potential industrial applications include chemical, oil and gas, pulp and paper industry, the wastewater industry, pharmaceutical industry, and many more.
Smart Flow Meters for Smart Metering Applications
There is a rising focus on the consumption of natural resources, also, efforts are being made towards water conservation. Hence, a growing need for the accurate assessment of water consumption in the real-time scenario is contributing to propelling the intelligent flow meters market demand. The advent of smart metering solutions is helping to generate timely awareness of water consumption, in comparison to the manually read metering solutions. One of the advantages of real-time metering involves effective communication directly to the consumers, enhancing consumer awareness, further, resulting in reduction of waste and lowering of expenses. Additionally, benefits of smart metering systems include higher reliability, reduced tampering, and lowering of carbon emissions. STMicroelectronics smart water meter is utilized for the measurement of water flow through wireless communication in order to connect to local or wide area network.
This further allows remote monitoring and infrastructure maintenance through leak detection. In addition, smart water metering system help in automatic billing and customer management that include detection and protection against interfering attempts. Hence, a smart meter platform has opened new opportunities for intelligent flow meters, further providing an opportunity for the market to grow at a significant pace. Furthermore, companies launching smart water meters are further offering robust market growth prospects to proliferate. In 2018, Itron announced the launch of its novel water meter. The first ultrasonic water metering solution allows the utilities to leverage the power of data in North America. When combined with the company’s multi-purpose networks OpenWay Riva and Gen5, the meter is capable of providing real-time information to the utility service providers. Hence, contributing to the better management of the water delivery and usage. The launch is a part of the company’s expansion of its offerings in the North American water market, in addition, it provides immense help to the customers in realizing the full benefit of investing in smart technologies.
Smart Flow Meters for the Growing Chemical Industry
ABB next-generation flowmeters are designed for use in the chemical industry. Its electromagnetic flowmeter, ProcessMaster FEP630, is tough, reliable, and provides incredible ease and convenience to work with. This advanced intelligent flow meter is capable of performing in the most demanding process applications. It combines modular transmitter design with a SmartSensor technology along with a built-in verification. The superior sensor design is capable of withstanding the harshest environmental conditions. Additionally, the industry optimized liner and electrode materials and resistance to abrasion or corrosion make the smart flow meter perfect for chemical industry applications.
Furthermore, with the growing chemical industry worldwide, the market for intelligent flow meters is projected to grow. For example, according to the information provided by USA.gov, in 2017, the chemical industry in the United States of America, final sales revenue accounted for more than USD765 billion, the direct employment in the chemical industry accounted for over 529,000 workers. Additionally, indirect employment accounted for over 1.8 million workers. The total foreign direct investment, FDI in the chemical industry in the USA, in 2017, was around USD700 billion. The R&D investments accounted for USD99 billion in the same year. The chemical industry in the country is counted as one of the largest manufacturing industries that serve the domestic as well as the rapidly growing global market. Also, it is among the top exporting sectors of manufacturing in the USA, further accounting for holding a share of around 18% in the global chemical shipments. The country is a global pioneer in chemical production and exports.
Certain government initiatives for boosting the revenues of the chemical sector are further propelling the intelligent flow meters market demand at present and in the future. For example, in India, the government has taken several reforms and initiatives that include Make in India, Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation, Smart City Mission, and Swachh Bharat for improvement of the country’s infrastructure. Further, adding to increasing the country’s economic growth. Through the Make in India initiative, the GOI has allowed 100% FDI through the automatic route, this is expected to fuel the investment in the chemical sector of the country. Additionally, the government has reduced the import duty from around 5% to 2.5% approximately for some of the raw materials utilized for chemical manufacturing. These raw materials include propane, ethane, and butane. The government initiatives are further aimed at the cleanliness of the streets, roads, and the country’s cities, towns, and rural areas. For this, budget allocation is done each year under the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. Such initiatives are also providing support to the chemical industry, particularly to the companies that deal in the manufacturing of surfactants and water treatment chemicals. Similarly, for smart cities, the government invested in construction chemicals.
Company Product Launches Related to Intelligent Flow Meters
The launch of a novel version of smart meter verification software for its Coriolis and magnetic flow meters was declared by Emerson in 2018. This will further help in offering flow meter verification on demand and will empower process engineers, technicians, and operators to make real-time decisions. The smart meter verification diagnostics are responsible for monitoring of the entire flow meter performance and integrity. Also, are applicable in varied process industry sectors including oil & gas, food and beverage, and chemical industry.
In 2019, an Aberdeenshire-based startup developed an automated technology for its two metering products for analyzing flow data for offshore applications. The intelligent flow meters have a smaller footprint and eliminate the need for manual intervention, in addition to the elimination of production shutdowns. The company, GM Flow Measurement Services Ltd. is focused on becoming the industry’s new standard in gas flow measurement metering and is poised to achieve growth in the United Kingdom and across the globe.