CFC graphical programming language enables tasks to be implemented conveniently

25 November 2018

Traditionally Bachmann controllers have been partly programmed via the Codesys-based M-PLC user interface. The company is now in the process of replacing this programming interface with the PLC Developer which has been created to support the system programmer in all phases of software development.

For some two years now, the IEC 61131-3 based Structured Text (ST) programming language has been used for implementing complex programming tasks in the PLC Developer. The CFC/FBD (Continuous Function Charts/Function Block Diagram) graphical programming languages have now also been integrated. 

CFC has several strengths compared to the other programming languages: It is intuitive and is easy to program and understand; code can be easily reused; complex application logic can be encapsulated and the data flow analysis during debugging often brings important findings.

Bachmann placed particular importance to some features when developing the CFC Editor: The tool can not only be operated easily with the mouse, but can also be operated using the keyboard. This has been shown to be more efficient in practice for implementing projects.

The PLC Developer is also provided with clearly designed tooltips: Context-sensitive information is provided about the data type, the initialisation value, function block interfaces or the code documentation. It also features an intelligent context-sensitive autocompletion function for simplifying function calls, including predefined code blocks. The comprehensive code navigation system also allows easy handling of extensive applications.

The tool features a clearly designed debugging system in order to reach results quickly: The actual values are shown directly in the diagram; Boolean values are highlighted according to their value with a user-defined colouring. A breakpoints management function is also included for repeatable debug sessions and a debug framework for processing program sections in stages.

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