Ladder Logic Outputs

In ladder logic there are multiple types of outputs, but these are not consistently available on all PLCs.

Some of the outputs will be externally connected to devices outside the PLC, but it is also possible to use internal memory locations in the PLC. Six types of outputs are shown in below Figure.

The first is a normal output, when energized the output will turn on, and energize an output.

The circle with a diagonal line through is a normally on output. When energized the output will turn off. This type of output is not available on all PLC types.

When initially energized the OSR (One Shot Relay) instruction will turn on for one scan, but then be off for all scans after, until it is turned off.

The L (latch) and U (unlatch) instructions can be used to lock outputs on. When an L output is energized the output will turn on indefinitely, even when the output coil is deenergized.

The output can only be turned off using a U output.

The last instruction is the IOT (Immediate OutpuT) that will allow outputs to be updated without having to wait for the ladder logic scan to be completed.

Output Instruction

When power is applied (on) the output x is activated for the left output, but turned off for the output on the right.

Output Instruction in PLC

one shot relay

An input transition on will cause the output x to go on for one scan (this is also known as a one shot relay)

one shot relay

Latch and Unlatch

When the L coil is energized, x will be toggled on, it will stay on until the U coil is energized. This is like a flip-flop and stays set even when the PLC is turned off.

Latch and Unlatch

Immediate Output

Some PLCs will allow immediate outputs that do not wait for the program scan to end before setting an output.(Note: This instruction will only update the outputs using the output table, other instruction must change the individual outputs.)

Immediate Output

Note: Outputs are also commonly shown using parentheses -( )- instead of the circle. This is because many of the programming systems are text based and circles cannot be drawn.