Mervis Visual

Application description

The application displays and enables to edit values from free-programmable controllers (PLC) Domat MiniPLC and Domat mark… controllers. The tree menu structure has to be engineered in the HMI Editor, and the exported menu will be open in the application where also the parameters for connection to the controller(s) have to be set. The application is available for the following operation systems:

  • Android
  • iOS

To communicate to the controllers, the SoftPLC Link protocol for MiniPLC and SSCP (Shark Slave Communication Protocol) for mark series are used, which are proprietary communication protocols designed so as to communicate safely over the Internet. The application uses LCD menu definition files, which are products of HMI Editor (the editor version must correspond with the firmware version in the process stations).
The application supports Mervis IDE version ER2 and later, and SoftPLC version 2015-12 and later.

Graphical definition and graphical user interface can be created in new integrated HMI editor. This new HMI editor is included in Mervis IDE SW. PRocess of creating graphical definition is similar to creating definition for terminal HT200. Those information can be found in chapters Creating a text template for Terminal a Creating a graphic template for Terminal

Installation

  • iOS

The installation is available at App Store. The menu definition files must be uploaded to the mobile device over iTunes.

  • Android

The application is available at Google Play.

  • Embedded Linux (used in the HT200 terminal)

Embedded Linux needs support of Qt libraries  version 4.8 (http://download.qt.io/official_releases/qt/4.8/). Files available at http://domat-int.com/ke-stazeni/software must be uploaded to the mobile device. The application is run by command ./Evo2Menu. The menu must be located in the application folder and the menu file must be named default.lcdmenu.

Used icons


No alarm - normal state

Acknowledged alarm – alarm acknowledged by user, pending

Acknowledged unreset alarm – alarm acknowledged by user, alarm is off, waiting for reset
Active alarm – unacknowledged pending alarm
\\Unacked, unreset – unacknowledged alarm, alarm is off, waiting for reset

Text item – informative text, name of group of data points or branch of the menu tree

Menu branch protected by PIN – PIN must be entered as a 4-digit number

Current date and time of the controller, as provided by real time clock

Analogue value (indicator) – temperature, humidity, pressure etc.

Digital value (indicator) – device or aggregate status (on / off) etc.

Analogue value (setting) – changing of temperature, humidity, pressure etc. setpoint

Digital value  (setting) – changing operation mode, setting a device or plant on or off, etc.

Time scheduler (binary – on / off) – weekly time scheduler for control of plant according to a predefined switching table

Time scheduler (integer) – weekly time scheduler for control of plant according to a predefined switching table, selection of multiple values like Comfort, Standby, Off etc.

Time scheduler (analogue) – weekly time scheduler for control of plant according to a predefined switching table, each event is assigned an analogue value

Others

Menu

Main screen

After installing and launching the application, the main screen is displayed:


The screen has 3 parts:

  • Application name
  • Application menu
  • Area with displayed values

The application name is in the upper part, close to the menu icon. This icon is not available in the Embedded Linux version.
Below there is an area with displayed values, where the menu tree with read values or dialogues for setting are displayed.
The items are listed according to their position in the menu tree. The item which contains a dialogue or submenu is displayed with arrows in the right part of the line. It means that by selecting the item the submenu branch is activated.

Each item has a text with colour depending on the variable status:

  • red - Communication error incl. error text
  • light red - Last known value
  • green - Manually set value
  • blue - Bad quality (value is read from the PLC, but it is marked as Bad quality in the PLC, which may be because of I/O module or 3rd party device communication error)
  • black - Read value
  • grey - Unknown, value is being read

The navigation in the tree follows over clicking the menu item which supports this function. It is not possible to change the value if it has not been read and is being read, or if it is in communication error or of bad quality.

To make the navigation easier, there is the complete menu path listed below the header. By clicking this path the user navigates one level higher. This information is not displayed on the main page and in the value edit mode.

Editing a value

The editing mode is displayed if the corresponding variable is editable, i.e. if its value can be changed by the user. Editable values are:

  • Date and time (real time clock in the process station to control the time schedules)
  • Analogue value (temperature, humidity, or pressure setpoint etc.)
  • Digital value (switching a device on or off, operation mode change etc.)
  • Time scheduler (weekly scheduler for time-based automatic switching of operation modes or device states).

In the setting header there is a icon for confirming of changes (tick symbol on the right), and cancelling of changes (arrow at the left). The symbols are white until the value is edited. Then they change colours to indicate that the value has been edited.

A special item is an Alarm. If an alarm requires user intervention, like acknowledging or reset, the item is displayed similar to an editable item with alarm status icon as in the table above. Alarm can be acknowledged or reset similarly to editing a multistate value.

Date and time

Editing of time is only possible if the time display item has the “editing allowed” arrow at the right-hand side. Date and time are usually just for information, they can be changed only in the PIN-protected menu branches. When editing, the default values are current date and time of the PLC. The date / time format is DD MM RR HH:MM. If a date is changed, the number of days in month is recalculated together with the leap year calculation.

{{:en:mervis-ide:35-help:mmr_tpg_edit.png |Editing of an event
|

\\Deleting of an event\\

A new item is added by clicking the „+“ button. The item is added to the current list (weekly scheduler or exceptions). Added or edited values are marked by a red stripe at the icon. Maximum number of items depends on the PLC, and is at least 40 events a week and 10 exceptions.

Time schedulers

are of three types:

  • Binary – true / false (on/off)
  • Integer – One of several states (selection from more states)
  • Analogue – analogue value in limits given by definition in the HMI menu editor

The difference between them is the displayed and editable value type only. While binary and integer schedulers are set as digital value, the analogue scheduler is edited as an analogue value. There is always the time of transition at the event.

The time and date are set according to the type of the event.

  • Weekly schedule item: time and date of the event, optionally more weekdays to copy the event to
  • Exception item: Starting and ending day of the exception

It is also possible to move the event to another weekday or day.

Every single change must be confirmed by the green tick in the upper right corner. Finally, all changes must be confirmed together to be sent to the PLC. Before the complete schedule is sent to the PLC, it is optimized and redundant events are deleted.

Section protected by PIN

After clicking a menu branch protected by PIN, a 4-digit PIN must be entered in a dialogue. Then the branch is unlocked and all values are accessible.

In the PIN-protected sections there are usually values like parameters, setpoints, RTC setting, and other values which not every user is expected to change.

A timeout (in minutes) keeps the menu branch open for the user without having to enter the PIN again. After expiration of the timeout, the PIN dialogue displays again. The user is not logged off automatically.

Menu contains setting of the application and other functions. It is not available in the Embedded Linux version. Menu provides the following functions:

Open...


Dialog for opening definition files. Definition files are exported from HMI - exported text menu or HMI graphical definition. Supported files are *.txt for text menu definition files and *.xml and *.zip for graphical definitions.

Settings...

The application settings edits the parameters to connect to another PLC than defined in the menu definition file. In the table there is a list of one or more PLCs which are defined in the menu. Select Definition file and a connection to display its properties. If there has to be a different set of connection parameters set, such as if accessing the PLC from the Internet rather than from a local network, select User profile and click the connection. The customized parameters can be edited then.

Name – Conection name, must be same as in Definition file
IP – URL or IP address of the PLC, e.g. 192.168.1.45 or plc1.mydomain.com
Port– TCP port where the PLC listens – for SoftPLC Link the default value is 12345, for SSCP the default value 12346. If the PLC had been reconfigured or is accessed from the Internet over a router, the port number may be different.
User – name of user who is accessing the PLC. At SSCP several users with different rights are defined, consult with the PLC application engineer.
Password– password for the user entered above.
SSCP address – for SSCP protocol only; each PLC has a SSCP address in the range of 0 to 255. Consult with the PLC application engineer. For the SoftPLC process stations, this field nas no meaning.
Proxy ID – for SSCP protocol only; in case the PLC is connected over a proxy server (it is not available from the Internet but it can establish outgoing connections to a proxy server), the proxy server identification is entered here. Not used in this version.
Application password – If entered here, the application requires login after start. It is a measure against unauthorised access if the mobile device is operated by another person than its owner.
Confirm password – The application password must be entered again here.

All changes are applied after they have been confirmed by the user (the „OK“ button).

User profile

By checking User profile the settings are changed from the default configuration (as defined in the definition file) to the user profile, entered in the previous menu item. The application then searches for the PLCs at the IP addresses and ports as entered in the User profile rather than as specified in the definition file.

About

Displays application version and other information.

Exit

The application is terminated, and all connections to PLCs are released. No data are transmitted nor received in the background.
If the application is not terminated and just set to background, depending on the operating system used there may be data transmission even if the application is not in the foreground. Please exit the application in the Exit menu after you finish your work, also for safety reasons.
The menu is displayed after clicking the Menu icon (see the icons table). The application saves the settings and configurations. If a definition file is read, some of the settings are deleted and set to their defaults. An exception is the Application access password. This is saved until the user enters a new password.

Why use the User profile?
In some situations, the mobile device is connected into two different environments: internal network, where also the PLCs are, and the Internet. It may be that the router settings is blocking the internal network access if the mobile device is configured so as to connect to the Internet from the internal network. The Mervis Menu Reader has dual settings option: the basic setting assumes that the PLC is available in the internal network, while the external setting accesses the PLC over the external IP address of the router which must have its external TCP port 12346 mapped to the TCP port 12346 of the PLC. If the mobile device roams between internal network and the Internet, just switch to External settings and back, the IP address configuration needs not to be changed.

It is recommended to protect the mobile device by a central PIN code or by a biometric protection for enhanced security.

Problems and solutions

After the application start,Menu definition missingis displayed
There is no menu definition file present. The file must be created in the HMI Editor, copied to the mobile device, and opened in Mervis Menu Reader, see above: Menu, Open.

Menu is displayed, but it reads Timeout rather than the values
The application did not succeed to establish the connection to the PLC. Check if in the selected profile (menu Settings, Definition file / User profile) the address, port, password, and other parameters are properly defined.

Values are displayed but can not be changed
Make sure that your connection credentials (user name and password) are those with the correct access rights (for the SSCP protocol).