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Whatever Happened to Original Kollmorgen Brushless Servomotors?


In an earlier blog we told of the rivalry that existed between Pacific Scientific and Kollmorgen before their arranged marriage under the Danaher umbrella. At the heart of this competition were their respective brushless servo motors. This is the second in a series of two blogs that will look back at those two manufacturers’ introductory servo offerings.

Kollmorgen jumped into the brushless servo motor competition with Goldline, a series that continues to be offered 30 years later.

The Goldline is a premium neodymium-iron-boron magnet motor ranging in size from ¾ hp to 40 hp in 5 frame sizes. The Goldline B is a low-inertia design, while the Goldline M is for matching high inertia loads. Additionally, there are explosion-proof Goldline motors offered for use in hazardous locations.

Like all motors of the 1980’s, the Goldline was introduced with Military Spec (MS) connectors. Although widely accepted, the MS connectors didn’t offer good protection against liquids. M23 connectors were later adopted for their fluid resistance capabilities.

As the Goldline series continued to evolve, 480 VAC motors became available in both BH for low inertia motors and MH for high inertia motors. This high voltage version, hence the H, corresponded to the launch of the ServoStar S600 drives in 1999.

Goldline motors remain available today, but most applications have migrated towards Kollmorgen’s Silverline and other less expensive motors.

Introducing the Kollmorgen Silverline

The Kollmorgen Silverline was launched in 1996 as a less expensive alternative to the Goldline. Offered in smaller sizes, it was considered to be Kollmorgen’s version of the Pacific Scientific Sentry series. The Silverline was intended to be driven by inexpensive trapezoidal current control drives, which were crude and became increasingly rare by the year 2000.

The Silverline was ultimately private labeled by a number of low cost control manufacturers. After just three years on the market, the Silverline was superseded by arrival of the Goldline XT.

The Kollmorgen Goldline XT

Known informally as the “Motor with the Blue Cap,” the XT proved to be a good balance of power, toughness, and value. It came in 4 frame sizes ranging in power from 1/3 HP to 12 HP. Customers could get the XT with NEMA or metric mounting, with versions that could run on 120 VAC or 480 VAC drives.

There were no real shortcomings with the XT series, but in 2003 Kollmorgen launched the AKM series that led to XT’s demise. Quite frankly, the AKM performed altogether better than the XT, and at a more reasonable cost. The AKM series has hundreds of thousands of possible permutations in size, mounting, and feedback options with attractive lead times. 

The AKM continues to be a solid performer, finding wide use through private label agreements around the world.

Getting Your Kollmorgen Goldline XT Motor Repaired

Motor Systems Inc. proudly keeps the Goldline legacy alive today in our role as the factory-authorized Kollmorgen Goldline XT motor repair center. Contact us if you are interested in extending the life of your highly-valued servo motor.

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