Easy Way to Learn PLC Ladder Logic

PLC ladder logic is a process that lays out the operation to be programmed in a step-by-step sequence which is easily read by looking at the bits being used in the ladder diagram. Ladder logic is one of the most common plc languages used in machinery automation because of how easy it is to read even from a beginner.

In an effort to teach in a clear and easy-to-understand way, I have made a short 3-minute that shows a few rungs of ladder logic to control a solenoid valve to deliver air through the valve which stroke the air cylinder out. This example will show the cylinder being controlled while the ladder logic is in use, giving a direct understanding of the controls.

Things that will discuss in this article:

  • Air Cylinder function
  • Ladder logic to control a solenoid
  • Explaining the ladder logic


This is a lot of information to cover over text or being read through an article so I have made a short 3-minute video to show and simple structure in use to give a clear understanding.

PLC Ladder Logic Controlling an Air Cylinder

The video below shows the use of PLC ladder logic that controls a solenoid valve which controls an air cylinder. This a simple example to give a first-hand view to those looking to learn PLC logic for troubleshooting or for programming

Throughout the video, I will give you a detailed reason so please watch the whole video for the best knowledge share.

I hope that with the video above, you easily picked up the scope of work for this example along with how the ladder logic works.


Programmable Logic Controllers, or PLCs, are an essential component in many industrial automation systems. They are used to control and monitor various processes, such as manufacturing lines, conveyor belts, and machine tools. One of the main programming languages used to create PLC programs is Ladder Logic, which is a graphical representation of the program flow.


If you are new to PLC programming and want to learn Ladder Logic, here is an easy way to get started:

  • Familiarize yourself with the basic concepts of PLCs and Ladder Logic. It is important to understand the role of PLCs in automation systems and how Ladder Logic is used to create programs for them. You can learn about these concepts through online resources, textbooks, or training courses.


  • Practice creating simple Ladder Logic programs. The best way to learn any programming language is to practice writing code. You can use a PLC emulator or simulator to create Ladder Logic programs without the need for physical hardware. Some popular simulators include RSLogix 500 and LogixPro.


  • Understand the different types of Ladder Logic instructions. Ladder Logic programs are composed of instructions that represent different types of operations, such as input and output, timers, and counters. Familiarize yourself with the different types of instructions and how they are used in Ladder Logic programs.


  • Learn how to troubleshoot Ladder Logic programs. It is inevitable that you will encounter errors and bugs when writing PLC programs. Learning how to troubleshoot these issues is an essential skill for any PLC programmer. Practice debugging Ladder Logic programs and get comfortable with the tools and techniques used to find and fix errors.


  • Keep learning and practicing. The more you practice, the more comfortable you will become with Ladder Logic and PLC programming. Make sure to keep learning about new features and techniques, and seek out additional resources to improve your skills.

Learning PLC Ladder Logic can seem intimidating at first, but with some practice and persistence, you can become proficient in this important programming language. By following the steps outlined above, you can start learning Ladder Logic in a structured and effective way.

I will be putting together more programming videos and articles upon request, I already have several ideas and will be starting to add more videos to my YouTube channel which is Shane Welcher

I would love to hear what you guys think so far as I am trying to get this website whipped into shape.

Drop me a comment here or on my YouTube channel.



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PLC Ladder Logic