2Basic Ladder Logic Programming

2Basic Ladder Logic Programming
Programmable Logic
Controllers:
An Emphasis on Design and Application
Second Edition
Kelvin T. Erickson
Missouri University of Science and Technology
Dogwood
Valley
Press, LLC
Copyright © 2011 Dogwood Valley Press, LLC. All rights reserved.
No portion of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in
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excerpted for review and critical purposes.
This book was set in Times New Roman and printed on acid-free paper.
Printed in the United States of America
ISBN 978-0-9766259-2-6
Dogwood Valley Press, LLC
1604 Lincoln Lane
Rolla, MO 65401
1-573-426-3507
http://www.DogwoodValleyPress.com
10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
Dedicated to Fran, Esther, David and Amanda
CONTENTS
vii
Preface
Chapter 1
Introduction to PLCs
1.1
Introduction
1.2
Automatic Control in Manufacturing
1.3
Control System Classifications
1.4
History of the PLC
1.5
PLC Versus Other Technologies
1.6
Basic PLC Architecture
1.7
Chapter Summary
References
1
1
1
2
6
13
15
20
20
Chapter 2
Basic Ladder Logic Programming
2.1
Introduction
2.2
Simple Ladder Logic
2.3
Basic Ladder Logic Synbols
2.4
Ladder Logic Diagram
2.5
PLC Processor Scan
2.6
Programming with NC Contact
2.7
Start/Stop
2.8
Transitional Contacts and Coils
2.9
Chapter Summary
References
Problems
23
24
24
29
38
44
53
54
60
66
66
67
Chapter 3
Memory Organization and Addressing
3.1
Introduction
3.2
IEC 61131-3 Memory Model
3.3
Modicon Unity Memory
3.4
A-B ControlLogix/CompactLogix Memory
3.5
A-B PLC-5 and SLC-500/MicroLogix Memory
3.6
Siemens S7 Memory
3.7
GE Memory
3.8
Chapter Summary
References
Problems
79
80
80
82
92
99
118
134
144
144
147
ii
Contents
Chapter 4
Input/Output Modules and Installation
4.1
Introduction
4.2
Discrete Modules
4.3
Analog Modules
4.4
Specialized Modules
4.5
Installation Wiring
4.6
Chapter Summary
References
Problems
155
156
158
172
179
184
200
200
203
Chapter 5
Timers and Counters
5.1
Introduction
5.2
IEC Timers and Counters
5.3
Modicon Timers and Counters
5.4
A-B ControlLogix Timers and Counters
5.5
A-B PLC-5/SLC-500 Timers and Counters
5.6
Siemens S7 Timers and Counters
5.7
GE Timers and Counters
5.8
General Timer and Counter Situations
5.9
Examples
5.10
Chapter Summary
References
Problems
205
207
207
208
217
227
233
247
256
257
279
280
281
Chapter 6
Sequential Applications
6.1
Introduction
6.2
Function Chart
6.3
Implementing Function Chart in Ladder Logic
6.4
Complicated Reset Operation
6.5
Parallel Branching
6.6
Key Questions in the Sequential Design Process
6.7
Manual and Single-Step Sequential Operation
6.8
Transitions When PLC Has No Set/Reset Coils
6.9
Chapter Summary
References
Problems
309
310
311
317
340
361
371
371
374
374
379
380
Chapter 7
Comparison and Computation
7.1
Introduction
7.2
Conversion of Physical Quantity
7.3
IEC Comparison and Computation
7.4
Modicon Comparison and Computation
7.5
A-B ControlLogix Comparison and Computation
7.6
A-B PLC-5/SLC-500 Comparison and Computation
7.7
Siemens S7 Comparison and Computation
7.8
GE Comparison and Computation
7.9
Application Caveats
7.10
Examples
437
438
438
442
443
455
463
473
485
492
493
Contents
iii
7.11
Chapter Summary
References
Problems
520
520
522
Chapter 8
Other Ladder Logic Blocks
8.1
Introduction
8.2
Other IEC Function Blocks
8.3
Other Modicon Function Blocks
8.4
Other ControlLogix Function Blocks
8.5
Other PLC-5/SLC-500/MicroLogix Function Blocks
8.6
Other Siemens S7 Function Blocks
8.7
Other GE Function Blocks
8.8
Examples
8.9
Chapter Summary
References
Problems
573
573
575
575
588
606
625
641
655
678
680
682
Chapter 9
Other Function Chart Implementations
9.1
Introduction
9.2
Counter-Based Sequence
9.3
Shift Register-Based Sequence
9.4
Sequencer Function Blocks
9.5
Unstructured Sequence
9.6
Chapter Summary
References
Problems
687
689
689
718
740
764
769
769
771
Chapter 10 PID Control
10.1
Introduction
10.2
Feedback Control Performance
10.3
PID Controller
10.4
PID Controller Tuning
10.5
PID Control Enhancements
10.6
Operational Aspects
10.7
PLC PID Function Blocks
10.8
Examples
10.9
Chapter Summary
References
Problems
773
776
780
784
793
813
825
826
848
864
864
866
Chapter 11 Function Block Diagram
11.1
Introduction
11.2
IEC 61131-3 Function Block Diagram
11.3
Modicon Function Block Diagram
11.4
ControlLogix Function Block Diagram
11.5
Siemens S7 Function Block Diagram
11.6
GE PACSystems Function Block Diagram
11.7
Examples
879
880
881
884
887
905
908
910
iv
Contents
11.8
Chapter Summary
References
Problems
933
933
935
Chapter 12 Structured Text
12.1
Introduction
12.2
IEC 61131-3 Structured Text
12.3
Modicon Structured Text
12.4
ControlLogix Structured Text
12.5
PLC-5 Structured Text
12.6
Siemens S7 Structured Control Language
12.7
GE PACSystems Structured Text
12.8
Examples
12.9
Chapter Summary
References
Problems
941
942
942
951
951
953
955
957
959
971
971
972
Chapter 13 Instruction List
13.1
Introduction
13.2
IEC 61131-3 Instruction List
13.3
Modicon Instruction List
13.4
Siemens S7 Statement List Language
13.5
GE Instruction List
13.6
Examples
13.7
Chapter Summary
References
Problems
973
973
973
978
978
982
983
991
991
992
Chapter 14 Sequential Function Chart
14.1
Introduction
14.2
IEC 61131-3 Sequential Function Chart
14.3
Modicon Sequential Function Chart
14.4
ControlLogix Sequential Function Chart
14.5
PLC-5 Sequential Function Chart
14.6
Siemens S7 Sequential Function Chart
14.7
Examples
14.8
Chapter Summary
References
Problems
993
994
994
1012
1021
1029
1037
1046
1082
1082
1083
Chapter 15 Troubleshooting
15.1
Introduction
15.2
General Troubleshooting Procedures
15.3
Troubleshooting I/O Modules
15.4
Processor Status Indicators
15.5
Program Problems
15.6
Communication Problems
15.7
Designing for Fault Diagnosis
1085
1086
1088
1091
1099
1103
1105
1107
Contents
15.8
Chapter Summary
References
v
1109
1109
Chapter 16 Sensors and Actuators
16.1
Introduction
16.2
Discrete Sensors
16.3
Analog Sensors
16.4
Discrete Actuators
16.5
Analog Actuators
16.6
Chapter Summary
References
Appendix - Thermocouple Conversion Polynomial Coefficients
Problems
1111
1113
1113
1127
1166
1173
1184
1184
1186
1192
Chapter 17 Communication Networks
17.1
Introduction
17.2
Network Protocols
17.3
Ethernet
17.4
Foundation Fieldbus
17.5
CIP-Related Protocols
17.6
PROFIBUS (DP, PA, PROFInet)
17.7
P-NET
17.8
WorldFIP
17.9
INTERBUS
17.10 SwiftNet
17.11 AS-i
17.12 Seriplex
17.13 Modicon Protocols
17.14 Allen-Bradley Proprietary Networks
17.15 GE Proprietary Networks
17.16 Ladder Logic Communication Blocks
17.17 Heartbeat Logic
17.18 Chapter Summary
References
1199
1201
1202
1209
1210
1213
1220
1226
1229
1233
1235
1237
1238
1240
1242
1244
1245
1274
1276
1276
Chapter 18 Human-Machine Interface
18.1
Introduction
18.2
HMI Types
18.3
HMI Panel Design
18.4
Graphical HMI Design
18.5
Graphical HMI Development
18.6
Chapter Summary
References
1281
1283
1283
1287
1290
1296
1305
1305
Chapter 19 Control System Security
19.1
Introduction
19.2
Factory Automation Network Security
19.3
PLC Processor Security
1307
1307
1308
1312
vi
Contents
19.4
Chapter Summary
References
1325
1325
Chapter 20 Selecting a PLC
20.1
Introduction
20.2
Selection Factors
20.3
PLC Families
20.4
Chapter Summary
References
1327
1328
1329
1331
1337
1338
Chapter 21 Control Projects
21.1
Introduction
21.2
Typical Control Design Project
21.3
Example Control Requirements Definition
21.4
Standardization
21.5
Testing
21.6
Chapter Summary
References
Problems
1341
1341
1342
1350
1357
1414
1428
1428
1430
Chapter 22 Example Projects
22.1
Introduction
22.2
Coal Handling System
22.3
Multi-Unit Chemical Process
22.4
Chapter Summary
References
1433
1433
1433
1439
1444
1444
Appendix A Number Systems and Conversions
1445
Appendix B Electrical Diagram Symbols
1451
Appendix C Piping and Instrumentation Diagram (P&ID) Symbols
1454
Glossary
1457
Index
1473
PREFACE
The field of automatic control has been undergoing a transformation over the past
twenty years. Twenty years ago, the engineering undergraduate had a course in feedback
control theory and those interested in control engineering secured a position in the
aerospace or chemical industries. Due to various factors, the number of control engineering
positions in the aerospace industry has been declining, but the number of control
engineering positions in manufacturing has been dramatically increasing to the point that
the majority of control engineering positions is now in manufacturing and involves PLCs.
This book presents the subject of programming industrial controllers, called
programmable logic controllers (PLCs) with an emphasis on the design of the programs.
Many texts teach one how to program the PLC in its languages, but little, if any, attention is
paid to how does one attack the problem: “Given a set of operational specifications, how
does one develop the PLC program?” This book develops the design process: the tasks
involved, breaking the program into manageable pieces, standard code for the various parts,
and handling the sequential parts of the problem. The emphasis is toward those who will be
programming PLCs.
Because of its popularity (now and in the future), ladder logic is the language that is
used for the majority of the text. The industry trend is toward using the IEC 61131-3
(formerly IEC 1131-3) standard, and so it is the primary language. However, IEC 61131-3
is only a voluntary standard and individual manufacturers have some freedom in the
implementation. Therefore, the Allen-Bradley ControlLogix, Modicon, Siemens S7, and
GE implementations of the 61131-3 standard are covered. Because of their large installed
base, the Allen-Bradley PLC-5/SLC-500 PLC languages are also covered.
Due to the limitations of ladder logic, the IEC 61131-3 standard defines four other
languages: function block diagram, structured text, instruction list, and sequential function
chart. These four languages will become more popular in the future. Therefore, this text also
covers these languages.
Since a typical manufacturing plant may contain discrete, continuous, and batch
processes, all of these applications are treated in this text, although the emphasis is on
discrete and continuous processes. The emphasis is on a methodology that can be applied to
any automation project, regardless of the size.
Throughout, the book contains example problems demonstrating good design practice.
In addition, these problems are solved with each PLC covered in the book. The text
culminates in two full-length case studies where the application of the design techniques to
a large problem is illustrated.
This book takes a practical approach to the design of PLC control systems. Some
mathematical theory is used to backup the presentation on PID controllers. However, the
theory is not detailed and can be omitted.
Except for Chapters 1 and 13, every chapter begins with a scenario that reflects the
experience of the author and his colleagues in the challenging world of factory automation.
vii
Preface
viii
These scenarios present a small problem and the solution and are intended to illustrate
troubleshooting techniques.
Objectives
The main objectives of this text are to teach:
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
PLC programming languages (with emphasis on IEC 61131-3)
Approach to sequential problems
Good program design practice
Simple PID control tuning
Introduction to sensors and actuators
Factory communications
Human-machine interface (HMI) concepts
Content Overview
The book starts by introducing programmable logic controllers (PLCs) and their
distinguishing characteristics. Chapters 2 – 5 cover basic ladder logic programming:
contact, timer, and counter instructions. As part of the basics, the memory structure of the
five particular PLCs and installation topics are treated. Chapter 6 covers ladder logic
program design for sequential applications, probably the most significant contribution of
the text. Chapters 7 and 8 treat computation, comparison, and advanced ladder logic
instructions. Alternate sequential implementations in ladder logic are covered in Chapter 9
and PID controller tuning is covered in Chapter 10. Chapters 11 – 14 cover the other four
IEC programming languages: function block diagram, statement list, instruction list, and
sequential function chart. PLC troubleshooting is covered in Chapter 15. Sensors and
actuators appear in Chapter 16. Chapter 17 introduces factory communication networks.
Operator interface, often called human-machine interface (HMI), issues are treated in
Chapter 18. Control system security is addressed in Chapter 19 and PLC selection is
introduced in Chapter 20. Chapter 21 presents the perspective of an entire automation
project, bringing together the various pieces of PLC control design. Chapter 22 outlines two
full-length project case studies. One case study is for a process that is primarily discrete and
the other case study is for a process that is primarily continuous in nature. Details about
number systems and drawing symbols are included as appendices, rather than interrupt the
flow of the text material.
The Audience
This book primarily serves the academic market, at the junior or senior undergraduate
electrical, mechanical, or industrial engineering or engineering technology level. This text
is also suitable for the two-year technical school market. There is nothing in the material
that requires a college degree, though the material will be more challenging than the typical
PLC textbook for this level of student.
In addition, this text serves the professional market. Economic and regulatory pressures
in the manufacturing, chemical, petrochemical, pharmaceutical, and food industries have
forced control engineers to design new systems or retrofit existing control systems. Hence,
there are many control engineers (primarily chemical and electrical) who need to rapidly
Preface
ix
educate themselves in an area of technology in which they are probably only somewhat
familiar. This book is valuable to this audience.
Second Edition
The second edition primarily updates the Modicon, Siemens, and GE controllers to the
current processors, but there are other changes throughout. The Modicon sections focus on
the Modicon Unity processors. For the older Modicon Quantum/Momentum processors,
see the first edition of this text. The Allen-Bradley material has been updated to focus on the
ControlLogix processor, though the PLC-5/SLC-500/MicroLogix processors are also
covered. Coverage of the ControlLogix add-on instruction (AOI) has been added. The
Siemens S7-1200 has been added to the Siemens sections and the material on the
S5-compatible timers and counters has been removed. The GE PACSystems processor has
been added and the material focuses on this processor with references to the earlier
processors as appropriate. The PLC history in Chapter 1 has been updated. In Chapter 2, the
section about converting relay logic to ladder logic has been removed and replaced with a
section on using the transitional contacts and coils. The examples in sections 9.2, 11.7 and
21.4 now utilize user-defined data types and user-defined function blocks. In addition, all of
the chapter problems have been replaced with new problems. Lastly, the accompanying CD
contains the PLC projects for each example problem and has an additional set of solved
problems.
Acknowledgements
The author wishes to acknowledge the beneficial suggestions and comments of many
colleagues. Steve Ingracia provided the sample panel specification in Chapter 4. Bill
Bichler, Dean Ford, and Esther Erickson reviewed drafts of the first edition of this book and
provided many suggestions and corrections to improve the final product. Ken Ball provided
more information on the history of the PLC and John Crabtree provided helpful suggestions
for the second edition. I especially thank Esther and Fran Erickson for correcting the entire
manuscript for grammatical errors, and Fran for doing the initial typesetting.
Portions of this material were taught in industrial short courses and university courses
and the students are acknowledged for their help in pointing out errors in the text and where
the presentation was unclear.
The following are trademarks or registered trademarks of Schneider Electric: 984,
BP85, Concept, FactoryCast, M340, Modbus, Modbus Plus, Modicon, Momentum, PL7,
Preventa, Quantum, TSX Micro, Twido, and Unity. The following are trademarks or
registered trademarks of Rockwell Automation and its various subsidiaries: Allen-Bradley,
CompactLogix, ControlLogix, Data Highway Plus, DH+, FlexLogix, Guard I/O,
GuardPLC, MicroLogix, Logix 5000, Pico, PLC-2, PLC-3, PLC-5, PLC-5/11, -5/12, -5/20,
-5/20C, -5/20E, -5/26, -5/40E, -5/46, -5/80E, -5/86, Point I/O, Rockwell Automation,
Rockwell Software, RSLinx, RSLogix 5, RSLogix 500, RSLogix 5000, RSNetWorx, SLC,
SLC-500 and SoftLogix. SIMATIC is a registered trademark of Siemens AG. The
following are trademarks of GE Intelligent Plarforms: CIMPLICITY, Logicmaster,
PACSystems, Series 90, VersaMax, and VersaPro. Foundation is a trademark of Fieldbus
Foundation. ControlNet is a trademark of ControlNet International, Ltd. DeviceNet is a
trademark of the Open DeviceNet Vendors Association (ODVA). PROFIBUS and
PROFInet are registered trademarks of Profibus Nutzerorganisation, e.V. P-NET is a
x
Preface
registered trademark of the International P-NET User Organization. Seriplex is a registered
trademark of the Square D Company. Ethernet is a trademark of Digital Equipment
Corporation, Intel, and Xerox Corporation. Ethernet/IP is a trademark of ControlNet
International under license by ODVA. SERCOS interface is a trademark of the Interests
Group SERCOS interface e.V. (IGS). VisSim is a registered trademark of Visual Solutions,
Inc., Westford, Massachusetts. MATLAB and SIMULINK are registered trademarks of
The Mathworks, Inc., Natick, Massachusetts. Microsoft, Windows, and Visual Basic are
registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation. NFPA 70, NFPA 70E, and National
Electrical Code are registered trademarks of the National Fire Protection Association.
Disclaimer
Information furnished herein is believed to be accurate and reliable; however no
responsibility is assumed for any errors. The user assumes full responsibility for the
accuracy and appropriateness of this information.
2 Basic Ladder Logic Programming
Chapter Topics:
•
•
•
•
Basic ladder logic symbols
Ladder logic diagram
Ladder logic evaluation
Start/stop logic
OBJECTIVES
Upon completion of this chapter, you will be able to:
• Understand basic ladder logic symbols
• Write ladder logic for simple applications
Scenario: A program with a long scan time may not detect short-duration events.
A manufacturer of small gasoline engines had an intermittent problem on the final
assembly line. Sometimes, a defective engine would not be automatically removed from the
line for repair at a “kick-out” station. If an operator noticed a problem with an engine, he/she
inserted a bolt into a certain hole in the engine carrier. A proximity sensor before the
kick-out station sensed the presence of the bolt, and the PLC activated a hydraulic solenoid
to push the carrier (and engine) off the main conveyor and into the repair area. A view of this
station is shown in Figure 2.1. Further investigation revealed that the duration of the on
pulse of the proximity sensor was approximately 3/4 seconds. One PLC controlled all of the
stations on the assembly line and its ladder logic program was quite large. As indicated in
the PLC status, the time to scan the ladder logic program was slightly less than 1 second.
Hence, it was very likely that a pulse from the proximity sensor could be undetected by the
PLC processor. The proximity sensor could be off at the start of the ladder scan, generate an
on pulse from a passing bolt in the carrier, and be off at the start of the next ladder scan.
Solution: Logic to examine the proximity sensor is placed in a ladder logic routine that is
executed every ½ second. If the proximity sensor is detected to be on, an internal coil is
turned on for at least 1.5 seconds. The main PLC program is changed to examine this
internal coil to determine when to activate the hydraulic solenoid and push a carrier off the
main conveyor.
23
24
Basic Ladder Logic Programming
Engine on Carrier
Bolt
Repair Area
Hydraulic Ram
Main conveyor belts
Proximity sensor
Note: Main conveyor is
moving out of page
Figure 2.1. Kick-out station.
2.1 INTRODUCTION
Now that the PLC has been introduced, let us move on to programming the PLC. The
first, and still most popular programming language, is ladder logic. Using examples, the
language is developed from the electromechanical relay system-wiring diagram. After
describing the basic symbols for the various processors covered by this text, they are
combined into a ladder diagram. The subsequent section details the process of scanning a
program and accessing the physical inputs and outputs. Programming with the normally
closed contact is given particular attention because it is often misapplied by novice
programmers. To solidify these concepts, the start/stop of a physical device is considered.
Start/stop is a very common PLC application and occurs in many other contexts. An
optional section on relay to PLC ladder logic conversion concludes the chapter.
2.2 SIMPLE LADDER LOGIC
Ladder logic is the primary programming language of programmable logic controllers.
Since the PLC was developed to replace relay logic control systems, it was only natural that
the initial language closely resembles the diagrams used to document the relay logic. By
using this approach, the engineers and technicians using the early PLCs did not need
retraining to understand the program. To introduce ladder logic programming simple switch
circuits are converted to relay logic and then to PLC ladder logic.
In all of the ladder logic examples used in this chapter, tags (symbols) are used for all
inputs, outputs, and internal memory in the examples to avoid having to deal with
input/output addressing. This addressing, treated in Chapter 3, is generally different for
each PLC manufacturer.
Example 2.1. OR Circuit. Two switches labeled A and B are wired in parallel controlling a
lamp as shown in Figure 2.2a. Implement this function as PLC ladder logic where the two
switches are separate inputs.
Solution. The switch circuit action is described as, “The lamp is on when switch A is on
(closed) or switch B is on (closed).” All possible combinations of the two switches and the
consequent lamp action is shown as a truth table in Figure 2.2b.
To implement this function using relays, the switches A and B are not connected to the
lamp directly, but are connected to relay coils labeled AR and BR whose normally-open
2.2 SIMPLE LADDER LOGIC
120 V
A
Lamp
B
Neutral
(a)
A
off
off
on
on
B
off
on
off
on
25
Lamp
off
on
on
on
(b)
Figure 2.2. Parallel switch circuit: (a) switch circuit; (b) truth table.
(NO) contacts control a relay coil, LR, whose contacts control the lamp, Figure 2.3a. The
switches, A and B, are the inputs to the circuit. When either switch A or B is closed, the
corresponding relay coil AR or BR is energized, closing a contact and supplying power to
the LR relay coil. The LR coil is energized, closing its contact and supplying power to the
lamp.
The output (lamp in this case) is driven by the LR relay to provide voltage isolation
from the relays implementing the logic. The switches, A and B, control relay coils (AR and
BR) to isolate the inputs from the logic. Also, with this arrangement, the one switch
connection to an input relay can be used multiple times in the logic. A typical industrial
control relay can have up to 12 poles, or sets of contacts, per coil. For example, if the AR
relay has six poles (only one shown in Figure 2.3a), then the other five poles are available
for use in the relay logic without requiring five other connections to switch A.
Before the PLC was developed, engineers had already developed a graphical electrical
circuit shorthand notation for the relay circuit of Figure 2.3a. This notation was called a
relay ladder logic diagram, shown in Figure 2.3b. The switches are shown as their usual
symbol, the circles indicate the relay coils, and the NO relay contacts are shown as the
vertical parallel bars.
The PLC ladder logic notation (Figure 2.3c) is shortened from the relay wiring diagram
to show only the third line, the relay contacts and the coil of the output relay. The PLC
ladder logic notation assumes that the inputs (switches in this example) are connected to
discrete input channels (equivalent to the relay coils AR and BR in Figure 2.3b). Also, the
actual output (lamp) is connected to a discrete output channel (equivalent to the normally
open contacts of LR in Figure 2.3b) controlled by the coil. The label shown above a contact
symbol is not the contact label, but the control for the coil that drives the contact. Also, the
output for the rung occurs on the extreme right side of the rung and power is assumed to
flow from left to right. The PLC ladder logic rung is interpreted as: “When input (switch) A
is on OR input (switch) B is on then the lamp is on,” which is the same as the statement
describing the switch circuit in Figure 2.2a.
Notice that the original description of the switch circuit in Figure 2.2a,
The lamp is on when switch A is on or switch B is on.
translates into a relay circuit described as
A parallel connection of normally-open contacts,
which describes the PLC ladder logic in Figure 2.3c.
26
Basic Ladder Logic Programming
120 V
120 V
120 V
Lamp
B
A
BR
AR
LR
Neutral
(a)
120v
Neutral
A
AR
B
BR
AR
LR
BR
Lamp
LR
W
(b)
120v
Neutral
Lamp
A
B
(c)
Figure 2.3. Parallel switch relay and ladder logic circuits: (a) equivalent relay
circuit; (b) equivalent relay ladder logic circuit; (c) equivalent PLC ladder logic.
Example 2.2. AND Circuit. Two switches labeled A and B are wired in series controlling a
lamp as shown in Figure 2.4a. Implement this function as PLC ladder logic where the two
switches are separate inputs.
2.2 SIMPLE LADDER LOGIC
120 V
B
A
Lamp
Neutral
(a)
A
off
off
on
on
B
off
on
off
on
27
Lamp
off
off
off
on
(b)
Figure 2.4. Series switch circuit: (a) switch circuit; (b) truth table.
Solution. The switch circuit action is described as, “The lamp is on when switch A is on
(closed) and switch B is on (closed).” All possible combinations of the two switches and the
consequent lamp action is shown as a truth table in Figure 2.4b. To implement this function
using relays, the only change from Example 2.1 is to wire the normally-open contacts of
control relays AR and BR in series to control the light, Figure 2.5a. The wiring of switches
A and B and the wiring of the lamp do not change. The relay circuit diagram, shown in
Figure 2.5b is different from Figure 2.3b only in the third line. As for example 2.1, the PLC
ladder logic notation (Figure 2.5c) is shortened from the relay wiring diagram to show only
the third line, the relay contacts and the coil of the output relay. The PLC ladder logic rung is
interpreted as: “When input (switch) A is on AND input (switch) B is on then the lamp is
on.”
Notice that the original description of the switch circuit in Figure 2.4a,
The lamp is on when switch A is on and switch B is on.
translates into a relay circuit described as
A series connection of normally-open contacts,
which describes the PLC ladder logic in Figure 2.5c.
Example 2.3. As a third example, consider the implementation of a logical NOT function.
Suppose a lamp needs to be turned on when switch A is on (closed) and switch B is off
(open). Implement this function as PLC ladder logic where the two switches are separate
inputs.
Solution. Figure 2.6 shows the truth table, relay implementation and ladder logic for this
example. The only difference between the relay implementation in Figure 2.6b and Figure
2.5a is the wiring of the relay BR contacts. The logical NOT for switch B is accomplished
with the normally closed (NC) contact of relay BR. The PLC ladder logic rung in Figure
2.6c is different from Figure 2.5c only in the second contact symbol. The PLC ladder logic
is interpreted as: “When input (switch) A is on (closed) and input (switch) B is off (open)
then the lamp is on.” This particular example is impossible to implement with a
combination of only two normally open switches and no relays.
Notice that the original description of the Example 2.3,
The lamp is on when switch A is on and switch B is off.
translates into a relay circuit described as
A series connection of a normally-open contact and a normally-closed contact,
which describes the PLC ladder logic in Figure 2.6c.
Summarizing these three examples, one should notice that key words in the description
of the operation translate into certain aspects of the solution:
28
Basic Ladder Logic Programming
NC
NC
NO
NO
120 V
120 V
PS101
120 V
PS102
PS101R
PS102R
XV103
XV103R
Neutral
(a)
120v
Neutral
A
AR
B
BR
AR
BR
LR
Lamp
LR
W
(b)
120v
Neutral
A
B
Lamp
(c)
Figure 2.5. Series switch relay and ladder logic circuits: (a) equivalent relay circuit; (b)
equivalent relay ladder logic circuit; (c) equivalent PLC ladder logic.
and
à
series connection of contacts
à
parallel connection of contacts
or
on
à
normally-open contact
off
à
normally-closed contact
These concepts are key to being able to understand and write ladder logic. To many
people these concepts appear strange and foreign at first. However, they will become more
natural as one works problems. Ladder logic is a very visual and graphical language. It is
very different from textual languages like C++, Fortran, Basic, and Java. In contrast, one
can become proficient at ladder logic much quicker than with textual languages.
2.3 BASIC LADDER LOGIC SYMBOLS
A
off
off
on
on
B
off
on
off
on
29
Lamp
off
off
on
off
(a)
120 V
120 V
120 V
B
A
Lamp
BR
AR
LR
Neutral
(b)
120v
Neutral
A
B
Lamp
(c)
Figure 2.6. NOT function ladder logic circuits; (a) truth table; (b) equivalent relay
circuit; (c) equivalent PLC ladder logic.
2.3 BASIC LADDER LOGIC SYMBOLS
At this point, one should start interpreting ladder logic directly and not think of its
implementation with relays. As introduced by the examples in the previous section, the
basic ladder logic symbols are
***
***
***
Normally open (NO) contact. Passes power (on) if *** is on (closed).
Normally closed (NC) contact. Passes power (on) if *** is off (open).
Output or coil. If any left-to-right path of contacts passes power, the ***
output is energized. If there is no continuous left-to-right path of contacts
passing power, *** is de-energized.
30
Basic Ladder Logic Programming
These symbols are ladder logic instructions that are scanned (executed) by the PLC.
In order to avoid confusion, the contact symbols should be equated with certain concepts
as follows:
= on = Closed = True = 1
= off = Open = False = 0
This crucial point will be repeated later when the use of the NC contact is clarified.
Figure 2.7 is an example ladder logic diagram with the basic instructions. The first line
(also called a rung) that determines output labeled Out1 is interpreted as follows: Out1 is
on if inputs A, B, and C are all on, or if inputs A and C are on and input D is off. For Out1
to be on there must be a continuous electrical path through the contacts.
Every PLC manufacturer uses the contact and coil symbols shown in the previous
paragraph, though most vendors show the coil as two open parentheses. There are other
contact and coil symbols, but there is no universal graphic representation for these other
symbols among PLC vendors. The IEC 61131-3 standard has the most contact and coil
symbols and many manufacturers do not implement the full set of symbols.
The industry trend is toward using the IEC 61131-3 (formerly IEC 1131-3) standard,
and so it will be the primary language of this text. Since IEC 61131-3 is only a voluntary
standard, individual manufacturers have some freedom in the implementation. Therefore,
the Allen-Bradley ControlLogix, Modicon, and Siemens S7 implementations of the
61131-3 standard are covered. Because of their widespread use, Allen-Bradley
PLC-5/SLC-500/MicroLogix and GE PLC languages are also covered.
For the remainder of the book, the languages will be presented in the following order:
IEC 61131-3 standard
Modicon (IEC compliant)
Allen-Bradley ControlLogix (IEC compliant)
Allen-Bradley PLC-5/SLC-500 (not IEC compliant)
Siemens S7 (IEC compliant)
GE (IEC compliant)
B
A
C
Out1
K
Out2
D
E
F
G
H
Figure 2.7. Ladder logic diagram with basic instructions.
2.3 BASIC LADDER LOGIC SYMBOLS
31
The Modicon Concept ladder logic is presented first because it is closest to the IEC 61131-3
standard. The Allen-Bradley processors are presented next because of their widespread use
in North America.
2.3.1 IEC 61131-3
The basic ladder logic contact symbols are
***
Normally open (NO) contact. Passes power (on) if *** is on (closed).
***
Normally closed (NC) contact. Passes power (on) if *** is off (open).
***
P
***
N
Positive transition sensing contact. If the state of *** changes from off
to on, this contact passes power for only one scan (until rung is scanned
again).
Negative transition sensing contact. If the state of *** changes from on
to off, this contact passes power for only one scan (until rung is scanned
again).
The basic ladder logic coil (output) symbols are
***
( )
Output or coil. If any left-to-right rung path passes power, the *** output
is energized (on). If there is no continuous left-to-right rung path passing
power, the *** output is de-energized (off).
Negated coil. If any left-to-right rung path passes power, the *** output
is de-energized (off). If there is no continuous left-to-right rung path
passing power, the *** output is energized (on).
***
Set coil. If any rung path passes power, *** is energized and remains
energized, even when no rung path passes power.
***
Reset coil. If any rung path passes power, *** is de-energized and
remains de-energized, even when no rung path passes power.
***
Positive transition sensing coil. If conditions before this coil change
from off to on, *** is turned on for one scan.
***
Negative transition sensing coil. If conditions before this coil change
from on to off, *** is turned on for one scan.
(S )
(R)
(P)
( N)
32
Basic Ladder Logic Programming
***
Retentive memory coil. Like the ordinary coil, except the value of *** is
retained even when the PLC is stopped or power fails.
***
Set retentive memory coil. Like the set coil, except the value of *** is
retained even when the PLC is stopped or power fails.
***
Reset retentive memory coil. Like the reset coil, except the value of ***
is retained even when the PLC is stopped or power fails.
( M)
(SM)
(RM)
Comments about the basic instructions
1. The transition sensing contacts and coils are useful for initialization and detecting
input transitions, for example, a push button press.
2. The set and reset coils are used in conjunction with each other. Figure 2.8 is a short
example using these two coils in conjunction to control a lamp.
3. The retentive memory coil instructions are used in a situation where the state of the
output must be retained when the PLC is stopped or power fails. Normally, PLC
outputs are turned off when the PLC is stopped or power fails. Depending on the
system, it may be important that the state of an output be retained in order for the
system to operate safely through a power failure of the PLC processor or when the
PLC is stopped. For certain PLC manufacturers, this function is provided as part of
the discrete output module.
4. The author discourages use of the negated coil for the following reason. In most
systems the safe position is one in which the output from the PLC is off. Generally,
contacts (often called permissives) are placed in series with the coil, indicating
multiple conditions must be satisfied before the output is allowed to be energized.
With the negated coil the rung conditions must be satisfied to turn off the output
which is opposite to most safety concepts.
2.3.2 Modicon
The Modicon’Schneider M340 and QuantumPLC processors are programmed in
ladder logic compatible with IEC 61131-3 compliant ladder logic. The IEC 61131-3
compliant ladder logic instructions are described here. The Modicon basic ladder logic
contact symbols are the same as described in section 2.3.1.
The Modicon basic ladder logic coil symbols are similar to those described in section
2.3.1, except that Modicon does not support the following:
A
Alert_5
(S)
B
Alert_5
A turns on Alert_5
B turns off Alert_5
(R)
Figure 2.8. Set and reset coil example.
2.3 BASIC LADDER LOGIC SYMBOLS
33
Retentive memory coil
Set retentive memory coil
Reset retentive memorpy coil
In addition, Modicon has a call and a halt coil. The coil symbols are:
***
Output or coil. If any left-to-right rung path passes power, *** is
energized (on). If there is no continuous left-to-right rung path passing
power, the output is de-energized (off).
***
Negated coil. If any left-to-right rung path passes power, *** is
de-energized (off). If there is no continuous left-to-right rung path
passing power, the output is energized (on).
***
Set coil. If any rung path passes power, *** is energized and remains
energized, even when no rung path passes power.
***
Reset coil. If any rung path passes power, *** is de-energized and
remains de-energized, even when no rung path passes power.
***
Positive transition sensing coil. If conditions before this coil change
from off to on, *** is turned on for one scan.
***
Negative transition sensing coil. If conditions before this coil change
from on to off, *** is turned on for one scan.
( )
( )
(S )
(R)
(P)
( N)
Subr
(C)
Call coil. If any rung path passes power, call subroutine. Section 8.3.4
has more details on this coil.
( H)
Halt coil. If any rung path passes power, halt program. Section 8.3.4 has
more details on this coil.
2.3.3 Allen-Bradley ControlLogix and PLC-5/SLC-500
The Allen-Bradley PLC basic contacts and coils are not as numerous as for the IEC
61131-3 standard. In addition, for many of the instructions, a different symbol is used,
though the function is the same as an IEC 61131-3 instruction. The Allen-Bradley basic
ladder logic contact symbols are
***
Normally open (NO) contact. Passes power (on) if *** is on (closed).
Also called XIC (eXamine If Closed).
34
Basic Ladder Logic Programming
***
***
ONS
***
OSR
Normally closed (NC) contact. Passes power (on) if *** is off (open).
Also called XIO (eXamine If Open).
One-shot contact. If conditions before this contact change from off to
on, this contact passes power for only one scan (ControlLogix, PLC-5,
and certain MicroLogix only). It is analogous to the IEC positive
transition sensing contact except that this contact follows the contact(s)
whose transition is being sensed. The *** is a storage Boolean that
retains the previous state of the contact input (left side).
One-shot rising contact. If conditions before this contact change from
off to on, this contact passes power for only one scan (SLC-500 and
certain MicroLogix only). Must immediately precede an output coil. It is
analogous to the IEC positive transition sensing contact except that this
contact follows the contact(s) whose transition is being sensed. The ***
is a storage Boolean that retains the previous state of the contact input
(left side).
For the Allen-Bradley PLCs, the basic ladder logic coil (output) symbols are
***
Output or coil. If any left-to-right rung path passes power, *** is
energized (on). If there is no continuous left-to-right rung path passing
power, the output is de-energized (off). Also called OTE (OuTput
Energize).
L
Latch coil. If any rung path passes power, output is energized and
remains energized, even when no rung path passes power. It is analogous
to the IEC set coil instruction. Also called OTL (OuTput Latch).
U
Unlatch coil. If any rung path passes power, output is de-energized and
remains de-energized, even when no rung path passes power. It is
analogous to the IEC reset coil instruction. Also called OTU (OuTput
Unlatch).
OSR
(OB)
One Shot Rising
Storage Bit <stor> (SB)
Output Bit <otag>
OSF
(OB)
One Shot Falling
Storage Bit <stor> (SB)
Output Bit <otag>
One shot rising output. If conditions before this block change from off to
on, the specified output bit is turned on for one scan (ControlLogix and
enhanced PLC-5 only). This is more appropriately a function block
because of its appearance. It is analogous to the IEC positive transition
sensing coil. The storage bit retains the previous state of the block input .
One shot falling output. If conditions before this block change from on to
off, the specified output bit is turned on for one scan (ControlLogix and
enhanced PLC-5 only). This is more appropriately a function block
because of its appearance. It is analogous to the IEC negative transition
sensing coil. The storage bit retains the previous state of the block input.
2.3 BASIC LADDER LOGIC SYMBOLS
35
There are no retentive memory coil instructions. The retentive function is handled in
the discrete output modules.
2.3.4 Siemens S7
The three types of S7 processors (S7-200, S7-300/400, and S7-1200) have the same
basic instructions. The only exception is the midline output coil that is not valid for the
S7-200 and S7-1200 processors and the negated and transitional coils valid only for the
S7-1200. The basic ladder logic contact symbols are
***
***
***
(P)
***
(N)
NOT
Normally open (NO) contact. Passes power (on) if *** is on (closed).
Normally closed (NC) contact. Passes power (on) if *** is off (open).
Positive transition sensing contact. If conditions before this contact
change from off to on, this contact passes power for only one scan (until
rung is scanned again). For S7-300/400, the *** is a storage Boolean that
retains the previous state of the contact input (left side). For S7-200/1200
processors, this contact uses vertical bars, rather than parentheses. For
S7-1200, if the state of *** changes from off to on, this contact passes
power for only one scan (until rung is scanned again) and the storage
Boolean is shown below the contact.
Negative transition sensing contact. If conditions before this contact
change from on to off, this contact passes power for only one scan (until
rung is scanned again). For S7-300/400, the *** is a storage Boolean that
retains the previous state of the contact input (left side). For S7-200/1200
processors, this contact uses vertical bars, rather than parentheses. For
S7-1200, if the state of *** changes from on to off, this contact passes
power for only one scan (until rung is scanned again) and the storage
Boolean is shown below the contact.
Invert power flow. If any left-to-right rung before this contact passes
power, the power flow to succeeding elements is interrupted (turned off).
If no left-to-right rung path before this contact passes power, the power
flow to succeeding elements is turned on. Not valid for the S7-200
processors.
The basic ladder logic coil (output) symbols are
***
( )
Output or coil. If any left-to-right rung path passes power, the *** output
is energized (on). If there is no continuous left-to-right rung path passing
power, *** is de-energized (off).
36
Basic Ladder Logic Programming
***
Negated coil (S7-1200 only). If any left-to-right rung path passes power,
*** is de-energized. If there is no continuous left-to-right path of
instructions passing power, *** is energized.
***
Midline output coil. Output coil in middle of rung. Other logic can occur
to the right of this coil. Valid for S7-300/400 only.
***
Set coil. If any rung path passes power, *** is energized and remains
energized, even when no rung path passes power.
***
Reset coil. If any rung path passes power, *** is de-energized and
remains de-energized, even when no rung path passes power.
***
Positive transition sensing coil (S7-1200 only). If conditions before this
coil change from off to on, *** is turned on for one scan.
***
Negative transition sensing coil (S7-1200 only). If conditions before this
coil change from on to off, *** is turned on for one scan.
( )
(#)
(S)
(R )
(P)
( N)
2.3.5 GE
For the GE PLCs, the basic ladder logic contact symbols are
***
***
***
***
P
***
Normally open (NO) contact. Passes power (on) if *** is on (closed).
Normally closed (NC) contact. Passes power (on) if *** is off (open).
Positive transition sensing contact (POSCON). If *** changes from off
to on, power is passed until *** is updated by a coil or input scan.
Operational details are presented in section 2.8. Valid for PACSystems
and 90-70 processors only.
Positive transition sensing contact (PTCON). If *** changes from off to
on, power is passed for one scan (until rung is scanned again). Valid for
PACSystems processors only.
Negative transition sensing contact (NEGCON). If *** changes from on
to off, power is passed until *** is updated by a coil or input scan.
Operational details are presented in section 2.8. Valid for PACSystems
and 90-70 processors only.
2.3 BASIC LADDER LOGIC SYMBOLS
***
N
37
Negative transition sensing contact (NTCON). If *** changes from on to
off, power is passed for one scan (until rung is scanned again). Valid for
PACSystems processors only.
The PACSystems and 90-70 processors support fault, no fault, high alarm and low
alarm contacts that are used to detect conditions in the I/O modules. Detailed descriptions of
these contacts are contained in GE Fanuc Automation (2000) and GE Intelligent Platforms
(2010). The basic ladder logic coil (output) symbols are
***
Output or coil. If any left-to-right rung path passes power, the *** output
is energized (on). If there is no continuous left-to-right path of
instructions passing power, the *** output is de-energized (off).
***
Negated coil. If any left-to-right rung path passes power, *** is
de-energized. If there is no continuous left-to-right rung path passing
power, *** is energized.
***
S
Set coil. If any rung path passes power, *** is energized and remains
energized, even when no rung path passes power.
***
R
Reset coil. If any rung path passes power, *** is de-energized and
remains de-energized, even when no rung path passes power.
( )
***
***
P
***
***
N
Positive transition sensing coil (POSCOIL). If conditions before this
coil change from off to on, *** is turned on for one scan.There are some
subtle differences between this coil and the PTCOIL, explained in
section 2.8.
Positive transition sensing coil (PTCOIL). If conditions before this coil
change from off to on, *** is turned on for one scan. PACSystems
processors only.
Negative transition sensing coil (NEGCOIL). If conditions before this
coil change from on to off, *** is turned on for one scan.There are some
subtle differences between this coil and the NTCOIL, explained in
section 2.8.
Negative transition sensing coil (NTCOIL). If conditions before this coil
change from on to off, *** is turned on for one scan. PACSystems
processors only.
If the variable being controlled by a coil is defined as a retentive variable, then the coil
symbol includes an “M.” A continuation coil and contact are used to handle ladder rungs
with more than 10 columns:
38
Basic Ladder Logic Programming
Continuation coil. If any left-to-right path of instructions passes power,
the next continuation contact is turned on. If there is no continuous
left-to-right path of instructions passing power, the next continuation
contact is turned off.
( )
Continuation contact. Passes power (on) if preceding continuation coil
is on.
2.4 LADDER LOGIC DIAGRAM
An example PLC ladder logic diagram appears in Figure 2.9. The vertical lines on the
left and right are called the power rails. The contacts are arranged horizontally between the
power rails, hence the term rung. The ladder diagram in Figure 2.9 has three rungs. The
arrangement is similar to a ladder one uses to climb onto a roof. In addition, Figure 2.9
Input (condition)
Instructions
A
B
off
Output
Instructions
C
on
Out1 off
off
( )
D
on
E
off
F
on
E
off
K
Out2
on
( )
H
E
on
on
Out3 off
off
( )
H
Out4 off
on
( )
Function
Block
Instruction
Function
Block
Instruction
Continuous path for logic continuity
Power flows
Figure 2.9. Sample ladder logic diagram.
2.4 LADDER LOGIC DIAGRAM
39
shows an example diagram like one would see if monitoring the running program in the
PLC. The thick lines indicate continuity and the state (on/off) of the inputs and outputs is
shown next to the tag. Regardless of the contact symbol, if the contact is closed (continuity
through it), it is shown as thick lines. If the contact is open, it is shown as thin lines. In a
relay ladder diagram, power flows from left to right. In PLC ladder logic, there is no real
power flow, but there still must be a continuous path through closed contacts in order to
energize an output. In Figure 2.9 the output on the first rung is off because the contact for C
is open, blocking continuity through the D and E contacts. Also notice that the E input is off,
which means the NC contact in the first rung is closed and the NO contact in the second rung
is open.
Figure 2.9 also introduces the concept of function block instructions. Any instruction
that is not a contact or a coil is called a function block instruction because of its appearance
in the ladder diagram. The most common function block instructions are timer, counter,
comparison, and computation operations. More advanced function block instructions
include sequencer, shift register, and first-in first-out operations.
Some manufacturers group the instructions into two classes: input instructions and
output instructions. This distinction was made because in relay ladder logic, outputs were
never connected in series and always occurred on the extreme right hand side of the rung.
Contacts always appeared on the left side of coils and never on the right side. To turn on
multiple outputs simultaneously, coils are connected in parallel. This restriction was
relaxed in IEC 61131-3 and outputs may be connected in series. Also, contacts can occur on
the right side of a coil as long as a coil is the last element in the rung. Of the ladder logic
languages covered by this text, only the IEC 61131-3, Modicon, and Allen-Bradley
ControlLogix allow coil instructions to be connected in series.
This text avoids using a series connection of coils for two reasons:
1. many PLCs do not allow it, and
2. it is counterintuitive to maintenance personnel who often interpret ladder logic in
the context of an electrical diagram.
Also, in IEC 61131-3, all function block instructions are input instructions because the
only output instructions are the coils. The Allen-Bradley PLC-5 and SLC-500 have function
block output instructions (e.g., timer, counter, and computation) which must be
remembered when constructing ladder logic programs for these PLCs.
Example 2.4. Draw a ladder diagram that will cause the output, pilot light PL2, to be on
when selector switch SS2 is closed, push-button PB4 is closed and limit switch LS3 is
open. (Note: no I/O addresses yet.)
Solution. The first question to answer is “What is the output?” The output is PL2, so the coil
labeled as PL2 is put on the right side of the rung. Secondly, consider the type of connection
of contacts to use. Since all three switches must be in a certain position to turn on the pilot
light, a series connection is needed. Thirdly, the type of contact is determined by the switch
position to turn on the pilot light:
SS2 closed
à
PB4 closed
à
LS3 open
à
40
Basic Ladder Logic Programming
SS2
PB4
LS3
PL2
( )
Figure 2.10. Solution to Example 2.4.
A
B
C
D
E
Y
Figure 2.11. Digital logic for Example 2.5.
Putting all the pieces together, only one rung of ladder logic is needed, as shown in Figure
2.10.
Design Tip
The concept of placing the output on the rung first and then “looking back” to
determine the input conditions is very important. Because of the way the diagram is
configured, one has a tendency to consider the input conditions first and then
position the output coil as the last step. As will be shown later, the coil or negated
coil instruction referring to a particular output must only occur once in a ladder
program. Considering the output coil first and the conditions for which it is active
(on) will avoid repeating coils.
Example 2.5. Draw a ladder diagram that is equivalent to the digital logic diagram in Figure
2.11, which is the same as the following descriptions.
In words:
Y is on when (A is on and B is on and C is off) or D is on or E is off.
Boolean logic equation:
Y= ABC+ D+ E
Solution. First, answer, “What is the output?” The output is Y, so the coil labeled as Y is put
on the right side of the rung. Secondly, consider the type of connection of contacts to use.
For this problem, there is more than one type of connection. The three inputs within the
parentheses (the AND gate in Figure 2.11) are connected with “and,” so a series connection
is required for these three contacts. The other two inputs (D and E) are connected with the
three series contacts by “or” (the OR gate inputs), so a parallel connection is required.
Thirdly, the type of contact is determined by the input state that turns on the output, Y:
2.4 LADDER LOGIC DIAGRAM
A
B
41
Y
C
( )
D
E
Figure 2.12. Solution to Example 2.5.
A
C
B
Y
( )
Y
E
Figure 2.13. Output that appears as an input.
A on
à
D on
à
B on
à
E off
à
C off
à
Putting all the parts together, only one rung of ladder logic is needed, as shown in Figure
2.12.
Suppose one changes the D contact in Figure 2.12 to refer to Y, the output (shown as
Figure 2.13). Is this legitimate? Yes, it is legitimate, though probably not something one
would want to do for this example. Even in relay ladder logic, it is legal and there is no
wiring short because the coil for relay Y and its NO contact are not connected. This concept
is called sealing or latching an output without using the set (or latch) coil instruction. In this
example, it is not a good idea because once Y is sealed on, there is no provision to turn it off.
Why?
There are some precautions to observe when programming in ladder logic:
1. DO NOT repeat normal output coils or negated coils that refer to the same tag. To
illustrate what happens when this is done, consider the ladder logic diagram in
Figure 2.14. This is the ladder of Figure 2.9, modified for this illustration. Note
that the coils for both the first and second rung refer to Out1. When the first rung of
the ladder is scanned, Out1 is turned on. However, when the second rung is
scanned, Out1 is turned off, overriding the logic in the first rung. If all of these
conditions are needed to turn on Out1, then they all should be placed in parallel, as
in Figure 2.15. In this illustration, it was obvious there is a problem. Normally,
42
Basic Ladder Logic Programming
A
B
on
on
C
on
Out1 on
( )
D
on
E
on
F
on
E
on
K
off
Out1 off
( )
H
E
on
Out3 off
on
( )
H
Out4 off
on
( )
Figure 2.14. Ladder with repeated output.
when this problem occurs, the rungs are not adjacent, and it is not so obvious.
Compounding the problem, not all PLC programming software checks for this
situation. Therefore, the best way to prevent this problem is to consider the output
coil first and then consider all of the conditions that drive that output.
A
B
on
on
C
on
Out1 on
( )
D
on
E
on
F
on
E
on
H
on
E
K
off
Out3 off
on
( )
H
Out4 off
on
( )
Figure 2.15. Repeated output corrected.
2.4 LADDER LOGIC DIAGRAM
43
2. Use the set (latch) coil and reset (unlatch) coils together. If a set coil refers to an
output, there should also be a reset coil for that output. Also, for the same reason
that output coil and negated coils should not be repeated, do not mix the set/reset
coils with an output coil or negated coil that refer to the same output.
3. Be careful when using the set/reset coils to reference PLC physical outputs. If the
system involves safety and a set coil is used for a PLC physical output, simply
interrupting the condition on the set coil rung will not turn off the physical output.
All of the conditions that prevent the device from being turned on must also appear
on a rung with a reset coil output. For this reason, some companies forbid the use
of the set/reset coils.
4. Reverse power flow in the contact matrix is not allowed. When electromechanical
relays implement ladder logic, power can flow either way through the contacts.
For example, consider the ladder logic in Figure 2.16. If implemented with
electromechanical relays, power may flow right-to-left through the SS2 contact.
When solid state relays replaced electromechanical relays for ladder logic, power
can flow only one way (left-to-right) through the contacts. This restriction was
carried to PLC ladder logic. If the reverse power flow path is truly needed, then
insert it as a separate path, where the power flows from left to right. The reverse
power flow path in Figure 2.16 is added as a separate path in Figure 2.17.
LS1
SS1
PS1
PL1
( )
SS2
PS2
LS2
Reverse
Power Flow
Figure 2.16. Reverse power flow in ladder logic.
LS1
SS1
PS1
PL1
( )
SS2
PS2
LS2
SS2
SS1
LS2
PS2
PS1
Figure 2.17. Reverse power flow in ladder logic corrected.
44
Basic Ladder Logic Programming
Start
Update
Outputs
Read
Inputs
Program
(ladder logic)
Execution
Figure 2.18. PLC processor scan.
2.5 PLC PROCCESSOR SCAN
Previously, the process that the PLC uses to scan the ladder logic has only been
implied. Now it will be discussed in detail. In addition to scanning the ladder logic, the PLC
processor must also read the state of its physical inputs and set the state of the physical
outputs. These three major tasks in a PLC processor scan are executed in the following
order:
Read the physical inputs
Scan the ladder logic program
Write the physical outputs
The processor repeats these tasks as long as it is running, as shown pictorially in Figure
2.18. The time required to complete these three tasks is defined as the scan time and is
typically 1 - 200 milliseconds, depending on the length of the ladder logic program. For
very large ladder logic programs, the scan time can be more than one second. When this
happens, the PLC program may miss transient events, especially if they are shorter than one
second. In this situation, the possible solutions are:
1. Break ladder logic into subroutines that are executed at a slower rate and execute
the logic to detect the transient event on every scan.
2. Lengthen the time of the transient event so that it is longer than the maximum scan
time. If the event is counted, both the on time and off time of the event must be
longer than the scan time. A counter must sense both values to work correctly.
3. Place the logic examining the transient in a ladder logic routine that is executed at a
fixed time interval, smaller than the length of the transient event.
4. Partition long calculations. For example, if calculating the solution to an
optimization, do one iteration per scan cycle rather than execute the entire
algorithm every scan.
Depending on the PLC processor, one or more of these solutions may be unavailable.
Normally, during the ladder logic program scan, changes in physical inputs cannot be
sensed, nor can physical outputs be changed at the output module terminals. However, some
PLC processors have an instruction that can read the current state of a physical input and
another instruction that can immediately set the current state of a physical output, as shown
in Figure 2.19. However, using the immediate input/output instruction incurs a severe time
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