Tag Archives: plc scan sequence

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!

Understanding the PLC Program Scan

Understanding how the PLC will scan and update your program is critical in programming and troubleshooting your system. Typically a PLC will solve your logic from left to right, top to bottom. The status of the memory from the previous rung, are available for the next rung to use. We will look at a few examples to determine how the PLC will solve logic to illustrate the above program scanning.  Keep on Reading!