MASTER CONTROL RELAYS (MCRs)
In an electrical control system a Master Control Relay (MCR) is used to shut down a section of an electrical system, as shown earlier in the electrical wiring chapter. This concept has been implemented in ladder logic also. A section of ladder logic can be put between two lines containing MCR’s. When the first MCR coil is active, all of the intermediate ladder logic is executed up to the second line with an MCR coil. When the first MCR coil in inactive, the ladder logic is still examined, but all of the outputs are forced off.
Consider the example in Figure 8.1 MCR Instructions. If A is true, then the ladder logic after will be executed as normal. If A is false the following ladder logic will be examined, but all of the outputs will be forced off. The second MCR function appears on a line by itself and marks the end of the MCR block. After the second MCR the program execution returns to normal. While A is true, X will equal B, and Y can be turned on by C, and off by D. But, if A becomes false X will be forced off, and Y will be left in its last state. Using MCR blocks to remove sections of programs will not increase the speed of program execution significantly because the logic is still examined.
If the MCR block contained another function, such as a TON timer, turning off the MCR block would force the timer off. As a general rule normal outputs should be outside MCR blocks, unless they must be forced off when the MCR block is off.