Product Review: Micropilot FMR20
One of the latest trends in industrial tech is the low-cost radar to replace our old friend, the ultrasonic level transmitter. However, this solution won’t replace the ultrasonic overnight.
Right now, we only have two vendors – Endress+Hauser and VEGA – pushing this solution. And this sort of process transmitter has a lot of advanced tech built in it, such as Bluetooth, which some companies are slow to adopt.
Anyway, today we have the crew from Endress+Hauser in the house with a new product, the Micropilot FMR20! Let’s take a look at its features and find out the pros and cons of this product.
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?
The FMR20 is one of two similar models. We already reviewed the simpler process transmitter, the Micropilot FMR10, here. The design and finish look excellent and simple. Not much to comment on there. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have a built-in display. Fortunately, if you want a display, you can get the RIA15 HART indicator or similar screen.
It only has analogue and HART protocols, putting it behind the competition in the integration department. Of course, if you only use this type of process transmitter for water or wastewater, then those options will do you fine. But you could use it in all industries, so these limits severely hamper this device.
The sensor housing and process connections come in PVDF and the design ring in PBT PC. Not much to crow about here either. However, you might get other options if you contact your local rep.
What can it do?
The FMR20 works in the K-band with a frequency of around 26 GHz, similar to other radars on the market. You can use it in plenty of products and areas. If you dig around on the website – it may take you a minute – then you’ll find examples of possible applications such as utilities or storage tanks.
You can choose between two antennas, the 40 or 80 millimetre. The 40 has a max range of 10 meters, and the 80 up to 20 meters. Moreover, the FMR20 can handle temperatures from -40 to 80 degrees Celsius, and pressures of -1 to 2 bar. For installation, this process transmitter has many thread connections and flange connections from 3 to 6 inches.
Why should I care?
Because it’s affordable and easy. The Micropilot FMR20 has Bluetooth built in, so you just need to download the SmartBlue App to set up the device. You can also set up using the standard HART protocol, of course. But if you have a smartphone or tablet, why use a unique tool when you can use an app?
If you want to try it, you can download the app and play with the demo that lets you experience setting up a field device and checking diagnostics with envelope curves. Last but not least, the Micropilot FMR20 also has an extended list of certificates and approvals – ATEX, IECEx, and more.
In general, the Micropilot FMR20 offers a clean and simple design and the latest tech for a fair price. Sounds good, right? Scale this process transmitter out and see if this device can fit your new application.