The mark… process stations are configured and programmed in the Merbon Integrated Development Environment (IDE). Programming is supported in two languages: function blocks (FUPLA) and structured text (ST) according to IEC 61131-3. Programming with function blocks speeds up development of simple and standard applications, while the Structured Text is more suitable for complex and special functions. Both languages can be combined in one controller.
Users may use the Simple mode where most of the functions are preconfigured with lower flexibility, or in Full mode with complete access to all program functions. The Simple mode resembles the SoftPLC IDE functionality: project size is limited to a single process station, there is a single task in the controller, and only FUPLA programming is available. Therefore, it is more suitable for beginners or projects where more engineers will be involved in commissioning: using function blocks increases readability and reduces errors. It is possible to combine function blocks with structured text in Full mode, but the main highlight is creating user functions and function blocks in both languages: FUPLA and ST.
For comfortable commissioning, Merbon IDE contains an intuitive debugger with program tracing, step-by-step debugging, and stepping into procedures and composed function blocks. It is also possible to trend the variables and monitor the serial communication (port monitor), even over the Internet. Merbon IDE thus helps saving service and commissioning costs.
The user interface attracts by its ribbon with function buttons which adapts to context and always offers functions which make sense in the current situation. The ribbon helps to speed up the learning curve and engineering. Both menu and help are available in English and Czech with possible translation into other languages. The project engineering is fast and efficient thanks to predefined functions and function blocks listed in six libraries: analogue, digital, string-oriented, communication, system functions, and HVAC functions. The libraries contain all basic ST blocks and functions according to IEC 61131-3, together with proven function blocks as we know them from SoftPLC IDE.
Merbon IDE now supports Modbus RTU and TCP communication, both client and server implementation. M-Bus and IEC 62056-21 for energy metering are also available. Communication between process stations (peer to peer) and with SoftPLC controllers is also possible. Another requested functionality which has been implemented is editing of customized devices – bus nodes. Devices can be copied easily, which makes integration of third party nodes, such as FCU controllers, VSDs, AHUs etc. easier. The editor now features also editors of LCD menu and graphic panels for terminals and mobile apps.
Merbon IDE requires .NET4.5 at Microsoft Windows Vista (Service Pack 2 and above), Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10.