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The World Market for Pressure Transmitters, 5th Edition

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Published in June 2022

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Flow Research has completed a new study on the worldwide pressure transmitter market, The World Market for Pressure Transmitters, 5th Edition, that determines the size of the pressure transmitter market in 2019 and forecast growth through 2024. We have also made a special effort to determine market size in 2020, and to determine the effects of the pandemic on the pressure transmitter market.

Oilwellinstrumentation.jpgOur latest edition of this study, published in June 2022, found that pressure transmitter revenues had grown substantially during the previous five years. We also learned that the total size of the worldwide pressure transmitter market over forty percent of the worldwide flowmeter market in terms of revenues.

We believe that the size of the installed base together with recent networking innovations in the acquisition of process data are two of the major reasons why the pressure transmitter market is strong and will continue to hold its own within the instrumentation world. And we look forward to bringing you the latest data to show you exactly how fast the market is growing around the world, where it is growing and why.

To make sure we have the most complete picture possible, we contacted all known manufacturers of pressure transmitters worldwide. We ask them for detailed information about geographic segmentation, industries sold into, types of pressure transmitters sold, and many other product segments. 

The World Market for Pressure Transmitters, 5th Edition:

  • Determines worldwide and regional market shares for pressure transmitters in 2019 and 2020
  • Forecasts market growth for each of the four types of pressure transmitters through 2024
  • Identifies the industries and applications where pressure transmitters are used, focusing on high growth areas 
  • Provides average selling process for all types of pressure transmitters worldwide and by region
  • Analyzes the products from the main companies selling into the pressure transmitter market
  • Offers strategies for success to manufacturers who sell into the pressure transmitter market
  • Profiles the main pressure transmitter suppliers
  • Identifies all of the factors causing the market to grow

Why we need pressure transmitters

Pressure is one of the most widely measured variables in the process industries.  In process control, pressure measurement occurs in a variety of contexts, especially in measuring the pressure exerted by liquid, steam, and gas. In the oil & gas industry, wellhead pressures are measured in subsea and topside locations.  Pressure measurement is used for liquids in pipelines to help create a liquid interface detector.  In water towers, pressure is measured to monitor and control water levels.  Pressure sensors are used to monitor the water pipe pressure in automatic sprinkling systems. One of the most common measurements is barometric pressure, which is used to predict the weather. In fact, the idea of atmospheric pressure plays an important role in pressure measurement by pressure transmitters. 

Pressure transmitters also have an important relation to three other widely measured variables: flow, level, and temperature. Differential pressure (DP) transmitters can measure both flow and level, and some pressure transmitters also utilize temperature sensors to measure process temperature. In some cases, this temperature measurement is combined with pressure and volumetric flow measurements to compute mass flow.

DP_Meter.jpgPressure transmitters to the rescue

While pressure sensors can detect variations in pressure by converting changes in resistance or capacitance to electrical values, these electrical signals are relatively weak -- they are not strong enough to be transmitted over distances or sent to a controller that may be located far from the pressure sensor.  To accomplish this, a pressure transmitter is required.  

Pressure transmitters are typically made up of a pressure sensor, an amplifier or conditioning element, and an output signal. The output signal transmits the pressure reading to a flow computer, controller, or distributed control system (DCS).  Pressure transmitters also typically contain a display that shows the pressure value conveyed by the pressure sensor and convert it into a standardized output, typically either 4-20mA or a digital signal. 

There are four main types of pressure transmitters:

Absolute pressure transmitters, which sense absolute pressure, are referenced to a full vacuum. The pressure of the measured media is compared against the reference pressure of an absolute vacuum in a sealed reference chamber.  Absolute pressure transmitters are used to measure pressures that are not influenced by atmospheric pressures. Vacuum transmitters are often used where high accuracy is required, such as low-pressure measurement of vacuum distillation columns.

Gauge pressure transmitters, which sense gauge pressure, are referenced to atmospheric conditions.  Gauge pressure transmitters are widely used in the process industries to measure the pressures of liquid, gas, and steam.

Both absolute and gauge pressure transmitters are growing in part by replacing pressure gauges, switches, and transducers.  Pressure transmitters are more stable and reliable than pressure transducers.  As end users increasingly automate their operations, and build new plants, they are more likely to choose pressure transmitters over pressure transducers.  Absolute and gauge pressure transmitters also have the advantage that, unlike differential pressure transmitters used for flow, they do not have another technology that is replacing them.

Differential pressure (DP) transmitters measure the difference between two pressures.  They are used for both flow and level applications.  When used for flow applications, they measure the difference between pressures on the upstream and downstream side of a constriction in the pipe, called a primary element.  This difference in pressure is used to compute flowrate.

DP transmitters have been used for more than 100 years to measure flowrate. Their strong installed base gives them a pronounced advantage over other types of flowmeters -- although they are being displaced in some applications by new-technology flowmeters such as Coriolis and ultrasonic, especially when higher accuracy and greater reliability is required.

Multivariable pressure transmitters measure two or more process variables. In many cases, they measure volumetric flow, along with pressure and temperature, and use these values to compute mass flow.  Multivariable transmitters are becoming more widely used for steam and gas flow measurement.  While they are more expensive than single variable DP transmitters, they typically cost less than buying a DP transmitter along with single pressure and temperature transmitters.  Multivariable transmitters were first introduced in 1992 by Bristol Babcock, now part of Emerson Process Management.

Orificefitting1Pressure and how it's measured

Pressure is a state or condition we face every day. We speak of being “under pressure," and talking about putting pressure on another person or situation. Fundamentally, the idea of pressure is the idea of the continuous exertion of force. From a measurement perspective, pressure is force per unit area. 

Just as there are many applications for pressure measurement, there are also many different instruments used for pressure measurement. These include pressure gauges, pressure sensors, and pressure transducers, as well as pressure transmitters.  There are also specialized devices for measuring pressure extremes, such as vacuum pressure.


Pressure sensors

Pressure sensors operate by sensing pressure and converting it into an electrical quantity.  Two of the main types used are piezoresistive and capacitive.  Piezoresistive is the most commonly used.

Piezoresistive materials change resistance to the flow of current when they are strained or compressed.  A piezoresistive pressure sensor consists of a micro-machined silicon diaphragm that has a piezoresistive strain gauge diffused into it.  The diaphragm is fused to a silicon or glass backplate.  The sensor contains resistors that are typically arranged in the form of a Wheatstone Bridge Circuit.  As pressure increases on the silicon, it is more resistant to current passing through it.  As a result, the output of the Wheatstone Bridge is proportional to pressure.

Capacitive pressure sensors use a thin diaphragm as one plate of a capacitor.  This diaphragm is usually metal or metal-coated quartz. The diaphragm is exposed to a reference pressure on one side and to the process pressure on the other. Pressure changes cause changes in the capacitance.  Pressure changes can be determined by monitoring the changes in capacitance values.

Pressure transducers

Pressure transducers resemble pressure transmitters, but they are generally lower in cost and smaller than pressure transmitters. They often have loose wires at one end and do not perform at the same level as pressure transmitters. Pressure transducers are widely used in discrete industries such as automotive and plastics. They are less typically used in the process industries.

Pressure gauges

Pressure gauges are relatively inexpensive mechanical devices that, for the most part, are read manually.  One of the most well-known types is called the Bourdon gauge, which was patented in France by Eugene Bourdon in 1849. In 1852, Edward Ashcroft bought the American rights to the design of the Bourdon gauge and founded the Ashcroft Manufacturing Company to make pressure gauges for steam engines. This was the beginning of the company that is today known as Ashcroft, Inc.  The company is located in Stratford, Connecticut and still sells pressure gauges, along with a variety of other products including pressure transducers and transmitters, pressure and temperature switches, and test instruments.

Bourdon gauges contain a thin-walled metal tube that is typically threaded into the compartment whose pressure is being measured.  As pressure increases in the tube, the tube begins to straighten.  On the other end of the tube is a lever system that contains a pointer.  As the tube straightens, the pointer moves around a dial, indicating pressure in pounds per square inch (psi).  Common tube shapes include curved or C-shaped, spiral, and helical.  This is a mechanical device that is manually read.  Another type of mechanical gauge that operates in a similar fashion and also contains a pointer is called a diaphragm gauge.

Traditional gauges such as the Bourdon and diaphragm gauges are sensitive to vibration and condensation. Another type is called a “filled” pressure gauge, and it is filled with a viscous oil.  This design has fewer moving parts than the traditional pressure gauges and is more reliable. This design dampens pointer vibration and is not susceptible to condensation.

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Flow Research has been researching pressure transmitters since 2004, so we can say with confidence that our proven approach brings you the most complete, comprehensive, and current research possible. Please check out our Overview and see for yourself!

Differential Pressure Articles

Pressure Articles

Links to DP Transmitter Suppliers

The World Market for Pressure Transmitters, 4th Edition
Released in May 2015

The World Market for Pressure Transmitters, 3rd Edition
Released in August 2011

The World Market for Pressure Transmitters, 2nd Edition
Released in October 2007

The World Market for Pressure Transmitters, 1st Edition
2004 - Provides historical reference

The World Market for Differential Pressure (DP) Flowmeters and Primary Elements
January 2007


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