Product Review: BD Sensors XMP i

During my expedition through the internet searching for low-budget pressure devices, I found BD Sensors and one of their interesting products: the XMP i a vacuum absolute and gauge pressure device. This company has a few different measuring instruments and a presence in several countries. Have you heard of it? If you have, then drop us a comment and tell us what you know!

Meanwhile, on to the review! Like I said today, we’ll explore the XMP i pressure transmitter. You ready? Let’s do it!

Disclaimer: This product review examines only features, not performance. If you’ve used this device, feel free to share your experience in the comments.

Whatcha got there?

I’ve never seen this company before, and you could call it a young company, founded in 1994/1995.  However, it has an impressive portfolio with pressure and level devices, switches, and other gadgets.

I picked the XMP i because it can measure vacuum, absolute and gauge pressure. It has a simple design, kinda square, with an optional display for viewing the process variable and setting up the device in the field without a handheld. The 32.5 x 22.5 millimeter LCD display also has a bar graph to show the percentage of the measuring range. Three push buttons navigate the device menu, two up and down arrows and the OK button.

Frankly, I didn’t like the manual. It had all the information crammed into two pages, and with no menu tree, you have to go back and forth. What a pain. Vendors have to provide good PDFs, because tablets and phones demand optimized files, and who wants to carry laptops anymore?

I didn’t like the lack of protocols, either. Just analog+HART? Really? Considering the industries mentioned on the website – chemical, oil and gas, etc. –  you’d think BD Sensors would include FOUNDATION Fieldbus and PROFIBUS, as they’re pretty standard in these segments.

BD Sensors XMP i gauge pressure device
Courtesy of BD Sensors

What can it do?

The XMP i can measure vacuum, absolute or gauge pressure, and the website says you can use this device in a huge list of segments.

I’ll give it this – it has a broad measuring range, 0 to 400 millibar or 0 to 600 bar. You can choose the range by choosing the measurement you need, absolute or gauge. It comes with 16 standard options and you can request a special range.

According to IEC 60770, the reference accuracy is  +-o.1 percent of the full-scale output (FSO). Of course, you can’t expect high accuracy from a low-budget device. But you can expect a little robustness. For instance, if you pick a device without a display, the XMP i can work in environments from -40 to 80 degrees Celsius, with product temps from -40 to 125 degrees Celsius. You can find out more in the documentation.

Why should I care?

Because BD Sensors has a good number of options as standard, so you might find the material you need without going to the sales rep.

For example, you can get the housing in die-cast aluminum or stainless steel 316L, and the seals as FKM, with FFKM as an option. The diaphragm comes in stainless steel 316L, Hastelloy, or tantalum. You also get enough process connection options to avoid the need for an adapter in most cases. Furthermore, the connections come in different materials as well.

It has approvals for harsh and hazardous areas, depending on the housing material you choose. In general, the XMP i can handle zone 0 and 1 using its Ex ia approval. It also has a flameproof enclosure and IP67 rating, if you need those.

On the other hand, if you want advanced diagnostics, then you need to look elsewhere. The XMP i gives the minimum data necessary – no fancy features here.

BD Sensors XMP i
Courtesy of MaRweb


BD Sensors offers a decent low-budget device for vacuum, absolute and gauge pressure with a wide measuring range and different materials, but it lacks digital protocols. If you don’t need those, then scale it out, check the tech support in your region, and price it before you decide.

Didn’t find an XMP i video, so have some Iron Maiden instead:

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