PCI's History of Innovation
From its inception, 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 contributed to the state-of-the-art of Pulse Width Modulated (PWM) power and have received numerous patents for our many developments.
PCI is founded in Hatboro, PA by Jerry Goff who had a vision to develop a new generation of controls for brushless motors and drives. Joe Marinko and Joe Venditto were co-founders. Their focus was on developing rugged, high bandwidth, PWM motor drives for the new permanent magnet brushless motor market. The first PCI facility was a classroom in a converted school house.
Technical and business success enables expansion into a larger facility in Horsham, PA.
PCI further expands by supplying engineered solutions for various industrial applications that achieve high bandwidth and precise control of power electronics. Applications include Ceramic Punching, specialized Electro-Discharge Machining, and precision automobile engine piston machining.
PCI becomes a major supplier of high reliability motor drives for critical weather radar platforms such as NEXRAD, ARSR4 and TDWR. These drives are still in use today.
PCI is awarded a contract to develop its first Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) gradient amplifier, using Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) to replace inefficient linear amplifiers.
PCI’s first MRI product is a single cabinet, 3 axis gradient amplifier capable of 220 Amps and 380 Volts with a 12 kHz current loop bandwidth. It helps our customers improve MRI performance and advance in the MRI industry by enabling their MRI scanner to achieve higher scan speeds, increased resolution, and lower amplifier power dissipation.
PCI releases its second generation MRI gradient amplifier taking MRI performance to new levels. It is a 4-cabinet, 3 axis amplifier capable of 440 amps and 650 volts, which again significantly increases the speed and precision of the MRI scanning process.
PCI develops the FLX1 and FLX2 (FastDrive) digital servo amplifiers, which feature fiber optic communication, 20 kHz PWM frequency, 25µS update rate, and 6 kHz bandwidth. All are major innovations at the time.
PCI participates in the National Center for Machining Science (NCMS) consortium. The company combines its high performance motor controls with its low noise, high bandwidth gradient amplifier technology to produce a 125 HP spindle motor drive for high speed milling up to 20,000 RPM.
PCI makes 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.
MTS Systems Corporation purchases PCI and creates the MTS Center of Electronic Excellence located in Horsham, PA.
PCI supplies servo drives for a pick-and-place robot that uses switched reluctance linear motors.
PCI completes development and launches the MP-FLX family of digital servo drives featuring an integrated controller, dual axis packaging, and the fastest current loop update rate then available (25 µsec). It sets new standards for bandwidth and dynamic range.
PCI moves to its present facility in Montgomeryville, PA.
PCI enters the Functional MRI (fMRI) arena with the release of ultra-low noise 380V and 725V gradient amplifier systems, for use in research settings.
The 430 Amp, 950 Volt gradient amplifier is introduced.
MTS sells the PERFORMANCE CONTROLS, INC. name and gradient amplifier product rights to Hitachi Medical Corporation. PCI continues to operate in Montgomeryville, PA and retains its talented technical staff.
PCI launches the GA-300 single axis gradient amplifier for MRI. The GA-300 features very low noise and superior reliability and uptime.
PCI launches the QDCM1400, which is capable of 30 kHz current loop bandwidth, at 1300 Volts and 600 Amps. This new-generation technology enables still faster rise times and greater signal-to-noise ratio (SNR).
PCI develops the DCD family of energy efficient, battery powered servo drives for brushed servo motors used in applications such as Automatic Guided Vehicles (AGV).
PCI launches the ACD family of energy efficient, battery powered AC servo drives for brushless servo motors, thus meeting the needs of a rapidly changing electric vehicle market.
PCI develops the DHT digital servo drive for sensorless control of brushless motors in 175°C environments, such as found in oil and gas drilling. This innovation eliminates the highest failure mechanism in motor/controller systems - the motor feedback sensors.
PCI applies its PWM techniques to the SHD, a digital servo drive for surgical power tools. The SHD reduces motor heating and improves torque-speed performance.
PCI introduces the QDCM800 to replace the QDCM700.
ATEX-rated amplifiers are delivered for a power generation application.
Motor drives are produced for Pathfinder, for their downhole oil and gas exploration operations. The extremely rugged amplifiers operate reliably in the high temperature and harsh vibration environment of a downhole drilling operation.
The groundbreaking QDCM2100 3-Axis Gradient Amplifier is introduced. Rated at 2100 VDC and 700 Amp (peak) per axis, it is the most advanced gradient amplifier to date for use in MRI applications.
The FAA's Terminal Doppler Weather Radar (TDWR) towers are upgraded from brushed DC servo motors to brushless DC servo motors.
PCI delivers form, fit and function replacements for the legacy NEXRAD radar DC servo-amplifiers to NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration).
Expanding its MRI amplifier product offering, PCI introduces its SA2-50 Shim Amplifier. The dual-axis SA2-50 is used to improve the magnetic field homogeneity of MRI systems.
The GA301 Gradient Amplifier is launched. Building on the legacy of over 10,000 delivered GA-300's, the successor GA301 features a high performance hybrid analog/digital architecture.
In a major technological breakthrough, PCI launches its 100% digital D-SERIES™ platform. It delivers unprecedented performance, reliability, flexibility and cost efficiency across PCI’s family of D-SERIES™ amplifiers. With the InSight™ software toolkit, D-SERIES™ technology provides users tools for optimizing system performance, reducing installed costs, maximizing system uptime, and adding new functionality in the field.
The DA1500-1 Gradient Amplifier is launched. The 1500V, 700Apk rated DA1500-1 is the first in a planned family of gradient amplifiers to be built on the D-SERIES™ platform.
On April 1, 2018
AccSys Technology, Inc.,
a well-known and leading maker of Linear Accelerators for medical and other applications merged with Performance Controls, Inc. The merger acknowledged the importance of PCI and AccSys products to Hitachi’s Healthcare Business Unit and created a center of excellence for the manufacture of high performance amplifiers and linear accelerators used in Hitachi’s imaging and therapy products.
PCI continues its long history of developing PWM amplifiers that solve our clients’ challenges by providing innovative, engineered solutions for Power, Precision, and Performance beyond the ordinary.