From its conception nearly 30 years ago PERFORMANCE CONTROLS, INC.® (PCI), has had the same mission: To design and manufacture power amplifiers that provide performance and features beyond the ordinary. During our history, we have repeatedly contributed to the state-of-the-art of Pulse Width Modulated (PWM) power, and have received numerous patents for our many developments.
|1980||While enjoying a successful career as an engineer at Bridgeport Controls, Jerry Goff had a vision to develop a new generation of machines using brushless motors and drives. When his idea was not accepted by Bridgeport, he founded PCI in Hatboro, PA with a focus on developing rugged, high bandwidth, PWM motor drives for the then new Permanent Magnet Brushless Motor market.
The first generation of products included the DCM, DCMM, BLM and BLMM families of servo drives, primarily used in Frequency Agile Magnetron Tuners, Laser Scanners, Photo Plotters, Wafer Spinners, and industrial robots. PCI also designed custom PWM power supplies and servo amplifiers for a multitude of defense applications, including the Mark 92 and Terrier Fire Control RADAR.
|1986||Continuing to successfully meet the challenges from our customers, PCI quickly outgrew our facility, necessitating a move to a larger facility in Horsham, PA.|
|Mid 80’s - 90’s||PCI built upon its successes and expanded by supplying engineered solutions for various industrial projects that required high bandwidth and precise control of power electronics, such as Ceramic Punching, specialized Electro-Discharge Machining, and precision automobile engine piston machining.
PCI became a major supplier of high reliability motor drives for RADAR platforms such as NEXRAD, ARSR4, and TDWR, which are still in use today.
|1990||PCI’s reputation for precise power control expanded to new markets and we were awarded a contract to develop our first Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) gradient amplifier, using Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) to supplant the linear amplifiers then employed.|
|1993||PCI’s first MRI product was a single cabinet, 3 axis gradient amplifier capable of 220A and 380V with a 12 kHz current loop bandwidth. This helped our customer advance in the MRI industry by enabling their MRI scanner to achieve higher scan speeds, increased resolution, yet lower amplifier power dissipation.|
|1996||PCI released the next generation in MRI gradient amplifier technology, which was a 4 cabinet, 3 axis amplifier capable of 440 amps and 650 volts, which again significantly increased the speed and capability of the MRI scan.|
PCI developed the FLX1 and FLX2 (aka FastDrive) digital servo amplifiers, which had an option for a fiber-optic communications network. These motor drives had a 20 kHz PWM frequency, and thanks to a cutting edge 25uS current loop update rate and proprietary switching techniques, had a 6 kHz current loop bandwidth.
PCI participated in the National Center for Machining Science (NCMS) consortium and combined our high performance motor controls with our low noise, high bandwidth, gradient amplifier technology to produce a 125 HP spindle motor drive for high speed milling (20 kRPM).
|1998||PCI made a quantum leap in the state-of-the-art for MRI amplifiers with the release of a 700V gradient amplifier with peak current of 430A in a single, lower cost, cabinet.|
|1998||PCI was purchased by MTS, Inc. and merged with Custom Servo Motors to create the MTS Automation Division, with the PCI site in Horsham as the Center of Electronics Excellence.|
PCI was awarded a significant contract to develop and manufacture servo drives for a Pick-and-Place robot that used switched reluctance linear motors and moved to our present facility in Montgomeryville, PA.
Subsequent to the move, PCI completed the development and launch of the MP-FLX family of digital servo drives with integrated controller that offered dual axis packaging as a cost and size savings. The MP-FLX had the fastest digital current loop in the market at 25uS, which combined with proprietary PWM control, enabled the drives to have the extremely high bandwidth and dynamic range typical of PCI products
|2000||PCI entered the Functional MRI (fMRI) arena with the release of ultra-low noise 380V and 725V systems, used in research settings.|
|2001||PCI made another advance in MRI technology with the release of the 430A, 950V gradient amplifier.|
|2003||MTS exited the automation components market and split the Automation Division, selling the MRI gradient amplifiers and the PERFORMANCE CONTROLS, INC.® name to Hitachi Medical Corporation. In addition to the name, PCI retained the design team and many employees that were responsible for our prior success.|
|2004||PCI launched the GA-300 for MRI, which is an ultra-low noise amplifier that has significantly improved our clients’ systems’ uptime.|
|2005||Launched our present flagship MRI product, the QDCM1400, which is capable of 30 kHz current loop bandwidth, at an output of 1300 volts and 600 amps, enabling still faster rise times and greater Signal-to-Noise ratio (SNR).|
|2006||PCI developed the DCD family of energy efficient, battery operated servo drives for a variety of brushed servo motors used in applications such as Automatic Guided Vehicles (AGV).|
|2007||PCI added the ACD family of energy efficient, battery operated AC servo drives for a variety of brushless servo motors, thus meeting the needs of a rapidly changing electric vehicle market.|
|2008||PCI developed the DHT digital servo drive for sensorless control of brushless motors in 175°C environments, such as oil and gas drilling, which eliminates the highest failure mechanism in the motor/controller system - the motor feedback sensors.|
|2009||PCI applied our PWM techniques to the SHD, a digital servo drive that reduces the heating in the motor for surgical power tool applications as well as improving the torque-speed performance.|
|Today||PCI continues our long history of developing PWM amplifiers that solve our clients’ challenges by providing innovative, engineered solutions for Power, Precision, and Performance.|