User interface Merbon Visual
The graphical user interface (HMI) is an important part of the projects. The graphics editor for websites and all kinds of terminals is now in the Merbon IDE development environment. Templates, i.e. panels with graphics or text menus, can be assigned to different types of terminals and web servers. The panels contain objects with text, images, control buttons, graphs, values and other functions. Transparency of objects is also selectable. Panel resolution is optional, so either choose one of the predefined sizes as the default screen format, or enter your own resolution. All data is saved in vector format, and browsers adjust the panel size to the current resolution, so there is no need to redraw the project when changing the display resolution. Generic websites, such as an overview of alarms or events, do not need to be configured at all.
Entering values can be protected against unauthorized access by a four-digit code. Alarm acknowledgment can be set as unprotected, which sometimes proves to be an advantageous option for less trained or occasional operators.
The stations also allow the control of technologies by means of time programs. These are defined in the runtime as required and are set by using the graphical dialog. Three types of time programs are available: binary, multi-state and analog, which allows entering any values within the given limits. There are also exception programs for defining holidays, etc.
An important part of the application is a module for sending alarm e-mails and SMS messages. A separate message can be created for each alarm with a defined addressee, subject, message content, etc.
Creating a project in the editor is very easy. Users appreciate the intuitive environment, extensive copying and swapping of the texts, as well as mass changes to object properties, making project creation easier and faster. The finished project can be exported for the web by touching of a button. The panels are accessible via a web browser anywhere on the network, including embedded graphs and the ability to change values. The application also exists for iOS, OSX, Linux, Android and Windows environments, making process data available for tablets, communicators and other portable devices.
In addition to HMI application, an OPC server can be installed on the top of a SoftPLC or Merbon runtime. It is a fast and cost-effective way to integrate data from a SoftPLC or Merbon runtime into any visualization system which supports OPC technology. Modbus / OPC server, BACnet / OPC server, M-Bus / OPC server etc. can be installed at the price of SoftPLC or Merbon runtime license with minimal engineering costs. Unlike conventional OPC servers, mathematical and logical operations (e.g. average, sums and differences, maximum / minimum, counters, unit conversions, etc.) can be executed in the runtime using function blocks or structured text.
Modbus RTU or TCP server can be used for data transfer to process controllers with serial communication: over a RS232 or RS485 line or Ethernet interface, data from Merbon runtime (i.e. from PLC) can be shared with other PLCs which communicate as Modbus RTU clients.
Merbon Visual application, designed for mobile devices with iOS and Android operating systems, is now able to download definition of graphic or text menu directly from Merbon PLC. All you need to do is enter your connection parameters and sign in. The application enables reading and setting of values and time programs as well as working with alarms in process stations with both Merbon and SoftPLC runtimes. It connects to the PLC via the Internet. It is free to download on the App Store and Google Play. Merbon Visual supports connection to multiple PLCs and can be configured for access from a local network or the Internet. Switching between local and remote access is easy and fast, the entire application is optionally password protected for added security.