When the all-digital Pacific Scientific SC900 servo drive came along in the early 90s, it replaced the less-compact SC700 series. As it turns out, the SC900 did really well in the market and laid the groundwork for things to come.
Employing the typical PacSci ordering code, the last two digits in an SC900 model number denoted the sophistication and the power level respectively.
At the lower end of the series was the SC902, a drive with no interface capability and the smallest power level at 2.7 ARMS continuous. A serial port option card (OC930-001-00) could be added to the SC900 and if acquired together, elevated a SC902 to an SC932.
Similarly, a SERCOS option card (OC940-001-01) puts the SC900 on the SERCOS ring, becoming an SC940. An SC900 drive could also be a complete positioning drive, with the C950-50X-01 card making it an SC950 drive. The SC950 was programmed using ServoBASIC Plus programming language. The original SC900 series went up to 21.2 ARMS continuous with the size SC905.
The Powertec-SC900 Connection
Pacific Scientific acquired Powertec about the same time as the SC900 was being introduced. As the company that pioneered the use of brushless industrial motors up to 400 hp., Powertec made their own brushless drives featuring a design dating back into the 80s. Pacific Scientific saw an opportunity to use synergies with the SC900 architecture to help bring modern technology to Powertec’s offering, thereby delivering the larger power that industrial motors required.
The increased sophistication unfortunately drove up the cost of the SC900-based drives, known later as the Millennium series. Lacking meaningful sales success due to their increased expense, Pacific Scientific later withdrew the Millennium series. Eventually they spun Powertec off.
Pacific Scientific expanded the SC900 series by adding a 400-480 V version, which was called the SCE900. With double the voltage of the SC900, the SCE900 also had double the power. This new version came at about the same time that Pacific Scientific was acquired by Danaher.
SC900 and SCE900 Finding Life Today
A few years later Danaher purchased Pacific Scientific’s competitor, Kollmorgen. Following that acquisition, the SC900 and SCE900 sadly left the Danaher push products list in favor of Kollmorgen’s offerings. Production of the SC900 and SCE900 never ceased, though lower consumption conspired to dramatically increase the cost. New SC900s are still being produced as a means of supporting existing applications.
MSI continues to repair Powertec Millennium drives, as well as the Pacific Scientific SC900 and SCE900 servo drives. Reconditioned SC900 servo drives and SCE900 servo drives are also available through MSI.