Pressure transmitter shipments, after returning to pre-recession levels in 2010, saw strong growth in 2011, even besting 2010’s growth by several percentage points. Despite the return to positive growth, risks remain, such as continued economic uncertainty in the US and Europe, and slowing growth in Asia.
“Although the economy is sending mixed signals, the pressure transmitter market will likely continue to see positive growth. Ongoing demand for energy will require more oil and gas, driving up demand and long-term energy prices. Finding new oil deposits is becoming more difficult and those that are found tend to be more challenging to develop and refine, creating significant opportunities for pressure transmitter suppliers,” according to Senior Analyst Allen Avery, the principal author of ARC’s “Pressure Transmitter Worldwide Outlook” .
Two Years of Solid Growth
Key highlights for the pressure transmitter market in 2011 included growth in both established and emerging economies, especially for energy and infrastructure related applications. After a down year in 2009, the majority of suppliers enjoyed a rebound in sales during 2010, and this trend continued in 2011.
Smart and SIL-rated Transmitters See Big Gains
Sales of smart pressure transmitters will continue to outpace those of conventional and low-cost devices, as users seek to utilize recent technological advances to improve visibility into plant operations to help maximize productivity and the availability of production resources. This user focus on asset management also fuels demand for transmitters that incorporate onboard diagnostics capabilities and use digital communication protocols.
Increasingly tough safety and environmental regulations have helped drive increasing adoption of safety integrity level (SIL)-rated transmitters for safety instrumented systems (SIS) to mitigate the risk of such catastrophic events. Pressure transmitters are an integral part of safety instrumented systems, and most leading pressure transmitter suppliers now offer SIL-rated transmitters.
Developing Regions Lead Growth
ARC expects the developing countries such as the Middle East, China, Russia, and India to drive the majority of the global growth in pressure transmitter shipments going forward. EPC backlogs have returned to near all-time highs as they once again struggle to keep pace with increasing demand. Despite the country’s slower GDP growth in recent quarters, the electric power industry in China continues its investments, creating opportunities for pressure transmitter suppliers. The ongoing need to replace the aging fleet of nuclear power plants in Russia drives pressure transmitter investments. In India, the need for both increased generating capacity and a more stable power infrastructure to reduce brownouts drives the need for more pressure transmitters.