Buyer guide: Emerson AMS Trex vs Beamex MC6
Every vendor strives to build a product that performs in a very specific way, from can openers to cars. So you should always do your research to find the product that suits your specific needs. We do our best to help by laying out the facts – with an opinion here and there – in a fun, readable way.
Therefore, if you need a new handheld, then you’ve found a good place to start! Today we’ll discuss Emerson’s AMS Trex and the long-awaited Beamex MC6. Let’s see what we can find out before we drop them in the ring and let them prove their worth!
AMS Trex Device Communicator
Over the years, Emerson has made huge contributions to the field of automation, focusing on strong builds, easy installs, and cost effectiveness. I’m sure most of y’all have come across Emerson products at some point in your careers.
The AMS Trex can set up HART and FOUNDATION Fieldbus (FF) devices, like many handhelds, but now you can power the devices using a single cable and check field network diagnostics! Nice, huh?
You may not love its size, because we sure don’t. It weighs nearly twice as much as a 475 field communicator. On the bright side, Emerson improved the console, menu design, navigation and text sizes, making it more user-friendly.
Emerson also provides two versions, a basic and a step up. The step-up version offers power supply, configurational input, and current measurement, for people who want more doodads. Though the design blends a tablet and a Nokia, it isn’t that bad. But the battery supply? Yikes. The 475 has nearly 20 hours of operating time, while the AMS Trex has eight. Yes, you read that right. Eight! #energyatrocities
The Trex lets you set up HART and FF devices and offers a rich database with tons of device descriptions installed already. If you opt for the Plus version, you can power up the field device using a single cable, which I love.
The HART and FF diagnostics increase the capability of this handheld tenfold. You can check the FF segment with it, and the level of data it gives helps a lot to diagnose problems.
The AMS Trex also offers wireless, Bluetooth, and USB connections to transfer data. Great to have the flexibility of more than one type of communication.
You’d expect Emerson, as a top-notch brand, to leave nothing out. But someone on the dev team forgot to include innovation in the AMS Trex. However, if you have an FF network, the Trex can make segment diagnosis in the field easy. I adore the single-cable feature too, as I mentioned. Usually we have to set up a FF device in the workshop, so this one cable eliminates all that mess!
In conclusion, Emerson has put out a good product, but I’m a bit disappointed, as I expected a more innovative handheld.
Beamex MC6 Advanced Field Calibrator and Communicator
I’m thrilled to review the MC6 of Beamex! You read that right, too. Beamex has made its mark in the calibration world, so let’s see if this device will make us cheer or roll our eyes. Beamex’s strong presence in calibration means that many users may not know about all the features on this device. They focus so much on the calibrator that they don’t even think about the communicator. So let’s do some of that thinking!
The MC6 fits neatly in one phrase – technically sound. One can read, test and calibrate different devices using the same handheld. You can also check volts, current, pressure, and more while generating signals and simulating temperature sensors. It also can communicate with PROFIBUS PA, FF, and HART devices and generate power using the same cable! You know I adore that feature.
The cool menu design and easy display navigation makes it feels simple but well made. It also has a 5.7 inch touchscreen, which makes the weight at 1.5 kilograms (kg) a bit on the chunky side, but you can probably live with it.
This multitasking device, while a little higher dollar-wise, will tempt you with its versatility. The calibration, generation, communication, and data logging will cover more than 80 percent of your daily instrumentation tasks.
And the battery? The MC6 offers between 10 and 16 hours of life, which sounds great compared to the Trex. It has a protection rating of IP65, a warranty of three years, and a battery warranty of one year. I’d say that this device offers some good starters and good finishers too!
You might consider the price as the primary setback. But before you dismiss it, think about how much you’d spend on all the tools that the MC6 can replace.
The user interface could use some improvement, but you have access to all kinds of functions if you install the proper files. Yeah, you may log some time with the manual, but it’ll be worth it.
Yes, the MC6 does calibrate, but it also does much more. In conclusion, Beamex is back and rolling! Can’t wait for the next Beamex product to review.
Table of comparison
Okay, let’s see how these two products look side by side!
|1.33 kg weight|
8 hr battery life
internal memory of 2 GB, expandable to 32 GB
|1.5 kg weight (with extender case up to 2 kg) |
20h battery life
memory info not available
|depends on whether you like that memory or that battery life|
|upgrading device description files = easier on the Trex than the MC6||MC6 has HART, FF, and PROFIBUS PA, where the Trex only has HART and FF||depends on which you prefer, easier upgrades or more protocols|
Diagnostics and calibration
|diagnostics for FF network, plus data on analog output, eliminating need for multimeter||calibration for pressure and temperature devices, plus communication and simulations, but no network diagnostics||MC6 for calibration, Trex for network diagnostics|
|excellent navigation, with easier setups and better diagnostics than the MC6||simple interface, no bells and whistles like the Trex||depends on whether you want simple or fancy|
Yet another close battle of equal efficacies! The Trex brings Emerson’s vast instrumentation experience, while the MC6 brings Beamex’s deep calibration experience. Only you can decide which will win by choosing which will suit your needs best. Of course, you can also choose another brand entirely! Gotta love capitalism!