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Ladder logic is a programming language that creates and represents a program through ladder diagrams that are based on circuit diagrams. It is mainly used in developing programs or software for programmable logic controllers (PLCs), which are used in industrial applications.
The language evolved from originally being a method for documenting the design and construction of relay racks used in manufacturing and process control, with each relay rack represented by a symbol on the ladder diagram that has connections to devices below them that look like vertical rails. The relay symbols themselves look like rungs in a ladder.