Touchscreen and Web Panel

Graphical human-machine interface (HMI) plays an important role in the SoftPLC family. However, it may be used not only for the Domat Control System I/O modules and SoftPLC process logic. The runtime is able to run as a data source for SCADA. In those applications, only I/O channels and variables are defined, there are no PLC functions in the runtime. Therefore no PLC programming knowledge is necessary to set up the communication.

The Touchscreen application then acts as an universal HMI for a variety of PLCs which use standard communication protocols, such as OPC, BACnet / IP, Modbus RTU or TCP, M-Bus etc. Drivers for 3rd party systems may be used, too (Landis & Gyr, Saia, Advantech, Johnson Controls, and more).

In the Touchscreen Editor then create graphical panels containing texts, images, buttons, embedded or full-page graphs, value indicators etc. The resolution is freely definable: use any of the predefined standard resolution, or enter your own. The data is stored in a vector format and Touchscreen is able to adapt the panel size to the actual screen resolution: it is not necessary to redraw the project in case the display resolution changes e.g. due to upgrade.

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The application includes a generic dialogue for alarm management inclusive alarm history. The SoftPLC alarms may be acknowledged and deleted, all user actions are recorded in the Alarm History. Entering values may be protected by a PIN code, while alarm acknowledge rights may be set as not protected for easy operation.

Touchscreen also provides time scheduling functionality; there are three types of time schedulers: binary, multistate, and analogue, to enter any value within a predefined limit. In the schedules, there are definable exceptions such as school holidays, national holidays, etc.

One Touch screen application is able to access multiple runtimes over the network, one runtime can host more Touchscreen applications. The topologies are created according to customers’ needs and different technologies may be controlled from different places – worldwide.

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An important part of the application is SMS and e-mailing module. Each alarm is able to send a separate message with definable addressee, subjects, body, etc. It is even possible to control values over SMS according to simple scripts defined by the application engineer. The user is not forced to enter complex strings, he or she can define how the SMS should be composed. The Touchscreen includes list of phone numbers granted to change values, and messages from other numbers are ignored.

The application development in Touchscreen Editor is very convenient and easy: at the SoftPLC trainings only less than one hour is devoted to explain and practice it. Users appreciate its intuitive menus, rich editing functions and multiple objects editing, which speeds up engineering. The ready project may be exported for web by one click. The panels with live values are then available anywhere in the net including embedded graphs and value change functionality. The Touchscreen also ports into the Windows Mobile and PocketPC environment. The process data is available using PDA, tablets, smartphones and other mobile devices.

An extremely fast and cost-effective way to integrate SoftPLC data into any OPC-capable SCADA is the SoftPLC OPC Server. For the costs of a SoftPLC runtime licence and with minimum engineering effort it is possible to install a Modbus / OPC server, BACnet / OPC server, M-Bus / OPC server, etc., while – unlike with common OPC servers – it is possible to perform any arithmetic and logical functionality in the SoftPLC runtime (e.g. average, maximum, minimum, additions and subtractions, bit decomposition, counting, etc.) and provide the results to the OPC client.

To communicate with master PLCs over a serial line, install the Modbus RTU server add-on: an easy way to transfer data from the SoftPLC runtime (for example, from PLCs by all the above mentioned manufacturers) over RS232 or RS485 to another PLC communicating as Modbus RTU client.