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Home / Technical Articles / Ladder logic for special motor control circuits – jogging and plugging

Special motor control circuits

Ladder logic is often used to implement various motor control circuits. Beside standard motor control circuits, there are also special control circuits designed to allow jogging (brief energization of the motor to adjust its positioning) or to prevent plugging (sudden direction reversal).

Ladder logic for special motor control circuits - jogging and plugging
Ladder logic for special motor control circuits - jogging and plugging (photo credit:

Let’s see how these motor control circuits work through ladder logic:


Certain types of loads such as presses, cranes, and hoists require their motors be started and stopped repeatedly for very short periods of time to bring the machinery into a specific position. This is known as jogging.

From a control circuit standpoint, jogging is essentially a start operation without a seal-in function.

To provide jogging capability for a nonreversing starter, an auxiliary relay can be utilized as shown in Figure 1.

Non-reversing Jogging Circuit
Figure 1 – Non-reversing Jogging Circuit

When the JOG pushbutton is pressed, the S coil picks up. This coil closes the contactor for the motor, so the motor starts. When the S relay’s Type A contacts close, the seal-in circuit is not complete because the AUX relay’s Type A contacts are still open. The motor will run only as long as the JOG pushbutton is held closed.

When the START pushbutton is pressed, the AUX coil picks up. When the AUX relay’s Type A contacts close, the S coil picks up. At this point, both Type A contacts connected in series to form the seal-in circuit are closed, so the start pushbutton is sealed-in.

Releasing the START pushbutton will not stop the motor. Pressing the STOP pushbutton, however, will cause both the AUX and S coils to drop out thereby opening the contactors and stopping the motor.

Providing jogging capability for a reversing starter is considerably more complicated, as is evident in Figure 2.

Reversing Jogging Circuit
Figure 2 – Reversing Jogging Circuit

Two contactors are provided for the motor:

  1. F coil closes the forward contactor and
  2. R coil closes the reverse contactor.

The jogging function requires gang-operated pushbuttons. When the JOG-F pushbutton is pressed, the F coil picks up and remains picked up as long as the JOG-F pushbutton is held closed. Releasing the pushbutton stops the motor.

Similarly, pressing the JOG-R pushbutton picks up the R coil, which remains picked up as long as the pushbutton is held closed.

Pressing the F pushbutton also picks up the F coil, but when the Type A contacts of the F relay close, the F pushbutton is sealed in. The motor will remain running in the forward direction until the STOP pushbutton is pressed to drop out the F coil.

Pressing the R pushbutton picks up and seals in the R coil. The motor will remain running in the reverse direction until the STOP pushbutton is pressed to drop out the R coil.

Go back to special motor control circuits ↑


Sudden reversal of a motor’s direction is called plugging. Sometimes plugging is desired, for example, to suddenly stop a motor. In some applications, plugging subjects the driven equipment to unacceptably high torques and must be prevented.

Anti-plugging Circuit
Figure 3 – Anti-plugging Circuit

Using a timer in the control circuit, as shown in Figure 3, can prevent plugging. Timers can be purchased with a wide variety of operating characteristics. The timer used in this example is of the delay after pickup type.

This means that when the timer coil is picked up, the preset delay time elapses and the timer contacts change state. The coil must remain picked up until the delay time elapses or the timer contacts will not change state.

Go back to special motor control circuits ↑

Reference // Industrial power distribution by Ralph E. Fehr (Purchase hardcover from Amazon)

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Edvard Csanyi

Electrical engineer, programmer and founder of EEP. Highly specialized for design of LV/MV switchgears and LV high power busbar trunking (<6300A) in power substations, commercial buildings and industry facilities. Professional in AutoCAD programming.


  1. You are doing good, I always learn something from you. I am having Higher National Diploma in Electrical engineering and I want to be like you, please can you help me?
    Oct 28, 2019

    I will be very happy when you reply me

  2. Bouhamida Kamel
    Jun 25, 2019

    Bon sujet merci

  3. Michael Jones
    Jun 04, 2018

    Good control schemes and detail.

  4. Mohammed Kebier
    Jul 04, 2017

    I think in the third diagram their should be two aditional thinks:
    1: a direct wiring from the (400v) fuse to the first pin of the timer contact.
    2: a maintien contact (the timer should have an additional contact wired in series with R//F) to permanently energise the timer coil after poshing the stop button, so the timer will start counting to dely the unpluging, than the timer will open the timer contact to permanantly di-energise the coil on hold (F/R).

    For more cotion i would suggest a frain diagram.

  5. Manoj Badave
    Feb 02, 2017

    All of your articles are are very useful, especially for the beginners. I suggest all my juniors to follow your articles.

  6. Enrique (Hank) Vazquez
    Feb 01, 2017

    This would translate readily to PLC logic. Keep up the good work!

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