Tag Archives: plc scan cycle explained

PLC Learning Series – Program Cyclic Scan


Programmable logic controllers (PLC) use a cyclic scan. The time that it takes to complete one scan is called Scan Time. Typical scan times range from 10 milliseconds to 10 microseconds. This translates from 0.01 to 0.0001 seconds per PLC scan. Understanding how the program scan will help us in programming and troubleshooting the PLC.

The simplest scan cycle of a PLC consists of 4 steps. Read inputs, execute program, diagnostics, and communication, and update outputs.
We will be looking at each of these steps in a little more detail as we discuss the PLC program cyclic scan. Let’s get started. Keep on Reading!