For Immediate Release

Contacts:
Jesse Yoder, Flow Research: 781-224-7550 (jesse@flowresearch.com)
Nick Limb, Ducker Worldwide: 800-929-0086 (nickl@ducker.com)

Temperature Transmitter Users Move to Smarter Products

Wakefield, Massachusetts, April 10, 2000 End-users of temperature transmitters are making the shift to smarter products, according to a new market research study from Flow Research and Ducker Worldwide (Bloomfield Hills, MI). The study, which was released in January 2000, is entitled The Market for Temperature Sensors and Transmitters in the Americas. It finds that smart and high-tier temperature transmitters now account for a majority of temperature transmitter revenues. In terms of units, however, the combination of low-cost, analog, and programmable temperature transmitters still outnumbers the combination of smart and high-tier temperature transmitters. Smart transmitters are microprocessor-based and capable of two-way communication. High-tier transmitters are ones that accept more than one temperature sensor input, and have a higher degree of accuracy than smart transmitters.

As part of the research, Flow Research and Ducker Worldwide conducted an extensive end-user survey. One goal of the survey was to gain information about installed base, as well as about future product trends. The survey found that, despite the switch to smart, analog temperature transmitters still account for more than half (54 percent) of the installed base of temperature transmitters. This means that analog transmitters are still being used in large numbers, even though sales of analog transmitters have begun to decline. Users of analog transmitters who wish to move one level up may choose to upgrade to programmable transmitters, rather than moving all the way to smart.

Temperature transmitter users were asked whether they are currently buying fieldbus temperature transmitters. In response, eight percent say they are currently buying fieldbus transmitters, while the rest say they are not. When asked about their plans for the future, 43 percent say they will buy fieldbus temperature transmitters in the future, and 51 percent say they will not. The remaining six percent are not sure. Of those who plan to buy fieldbus, 25 percent say they will buy in the next year, 19 percent say in two years, another 19 percent say in four years, and 31 percent say five years from now. The remaining six percent are not certain when they will buy. These results show that the switch to fieldbus will be a gradual process that occurs over a period of years.

Besides studying temperature transmitters, the study also includes temperature sensors. Thermocouples, RTDs, thermistors, infrared thermometers, and thermowells are included. The study found that thermocouples are still the most widely used type of temperature sensor, although RTDs (resistance temperature detectors) are displacing them in certain applications. Infrared thermometers are the fastest-growing segment of this market.

As part of the temperature study, Flow Research and Ducker Worldwide conducted more than 250 interviews with temperature sensor and transmitter suppliers. A comprehensive end-user survey was also conducted, based on interviews with 132 end-users and OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) in the process and non-process industries. The end-user survey was used to confirm supplier data and to provide additional data for forecasting purposes. End-user survey results appear as a separate chapter in the temperature study.

Flow Research is a market research company devoted to researching temperature and flowmeter markets. Ducker Worldwide has 35 years experience researching industrial and business markets, and has offices throughout the world. Flow Research and Ducker Worldwide have formed a business alliance to produce a series of market research studies focusing on temperature and flow