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Early 90s Kitamura myc 4

Zeus1050

Aluminum
Joined
Jan 25, 2009
Location
Melbourne
I'm considering a late 80s early 90s Kitamura myc 4. Machine has a Fanuc 11m, ac servos. Looking for opinions on the control and servo reliability, common issues these machines have. I do small runs, not worried about speed, looking for reliability .Machine will be replacing a Tree 1050. Done dealing with Yaskawa and Dynapath. The Tree will be available for sale, cheap if I choose the Kitty. Not interested in " get a Haas". Thank you.
 
They are good quality so reliability depends on how well it was taken care of. The air/oil lubricator doesn't like to sit unused for longer periods of time. The main thing to check is head knod, you have to remove the clamps and grind/scrape them to adjust for wear and not everyone wants to deal with it.
 
The 11M is a very, very reliable control. AC servos are very low maintenance as well. Parts availability is great from ebay, various other companies, and Fanuc. Parts prices from Fanuc though are pricey.
 
I'm curious as to the failure rate of the earlier red cap/ac servo systems. I've had horrible luck with Yaskawa and have not heard stellar reviews on Mitsubishi. I take it the 11m is at the same performance level as the Yaz X3 , Mitsubishi M5 or Dynpath 20? The earliest ac servos are analog? Thank you.
 
Kitamuras are great, i've owned and run a Mycenter #0, #2 and #3 machines for around 6-7 years.
Two of them had Fanuc 0M and the oldest #3 had 11M or 15M, can't really remember for sure as it was a decade ago. Two times i had to call an machine repair electrician, and none of those were machine related issues (power outage during a tool change and forklift operator crushed some wiring ducts while moving the machine)

Loved the rigidity of the boxways and the 2-speed geared head spindle when milling stainless and tool steels (not the #0 drilling phone booth). Also the #3 had an excellent but slowish chain-type 30-tool toolchanger, which could take heavy tools up to 350mm (~14") long. Had some issues with the head knodding due to weight and wear, but it was alright for most jobs when doing all the facing with Y-axis instead of the usual X.

Old fanucs drip feed programs pretty well, but i had some annoying postprocessor issues on Fanuc 0M where the machine froze solid during a 3D toolpath and threw random errors, also some jerky motion no matter how i changed the toolpath and postprocessor parameters. Might be avoidable with a different postprocessor or cam, this was on a oldish Mastercam..

80's machines are getting somewhat old, if i were to run a CNC jobshop again, i'd definately stick to mid 90's or newer machines. But one can't predict how long the components last, it might be possible to run even a 40 year old CNC without problems, but be aware it might break down anytime and have a backup plan.
 
I don’t have statistics, but red cap servos are very reliable. Biggest trouble spot in my experience with old Fanuc controls is the power supply. The old electrolytic capacitors die in them and power output gets noisy or out of range. One would be well served if buying an old control to pretty immediately open up the power supply, make a list if the caps and place an order to Digikey or equivalent and solder them in. You’ll be well rewarded. Of course if there is evidence that the power supply had been replaced in the last 10 years or so the need may not be so critical if the replacement had new caps.

The only Yaskawa servo systems I’ve had trouble with were their old DC models. Sensitive to gain adjustments and the controls were too tolerant of poor encoder pulse duty cycle allowing occasional mis-counting with resulting loss of positional accuracy.

Never had trouble with Mitsu servos. Would stay away from any of their controls using a hard drive for system and data storage. Don’t know if those ever made it to CNC mills or lathes but had a few on EDMs that failed requiring a new hard drive be purchased from Mitsubishi at high cost.
 
Old fanucs drip feed programs pretty well, but i had some annoying postprocessor issues on Fanuc 0M where the machine froze solid during a 3D toolpath and threw random errors, also some jerky motion no matter how i changed the toolpath and postprocessor parameters. Might be avoidable with a different postprocessor or cam, this was on a oldish Mastercam..

We had a kitamura mycenter 3 with 0m control. about 1993. We also have a bunch of other mills with 0m controls, and found that high speed machining code that worked smoothly on the other mills would jerk on the kitamura.

If you still have the 0m machine, I could try to refer back to old notes and parameters to tell you which parameter (yes, 1 parameter) that would smooth it out and make all of those direction changes not shake the machine across the floor.




To the OP:

My only gripe about kitamuras, and this extends from the 1993 machine, to a 1998 H400, to a 2005 HX400IF, the manuals are terrible. I mean garbage, actual shit.

There's lots of information omitted. And what is there is not organized in any meaningful way. Seriously terrible.

The parts and electrical manuals for those machines were not too bad, but the operation and maintenance manuals are bad. I wouldn't expect any better from an even older machine with 11 control.





US support in Chicago is pretty decent though. Don't know who YOU would call down under, but the main US number has always been helpful to talk to on the phone to figure out how to fix or order something.
 
I have an '89 Mycenter 1 and a 2004 5X both with Fanuc. Fairly decent machines when taken care of.
 
We had a kitamura mycenter 3 with 0m control. about 1993. We also have a bunch of other mills with 0m controls, and found that high speed machining code that worked smoothly on the other mills would jerk on the kitamura.

If you still have the 0m machine, I could try to refer back to old notes and parameters to tell you which parameter (yes, 1 parameter) that would smooth it out and make all of those direction changes not shake the machine across the floor.




To the OP:

My only gripe about kitamuras, and this extends from the 1993 machine, to a 1998 H400, to a 2005 HX400IF, the manuals are terrible. I mean garbage, actual shit.

There's lots of information omitted. And what is there is not organized in any meaningful way. Seriously terrible.

The parts and electrical manuals for those machines were not too bad, but the operation and maintenance manuals are bad. I wouldn't expect any better from an even older machine with 11 control.





US support in Chicago is pretty decent though. Don't know who YOU would call down under, but the main US number has always been helpful to talk to on the phone to figure out how to fix or order something.
Actually not that down under, Melbourne FL.....not a huge hub of manufacturing. I do small runs and tooling, repairs lots of prototypes. I have an early 80s Matsurra that runs every day, not fast but reliable. It's had its fair share of Yaskawa issues , most of which I have figured out how to fix. Getting the parts can be an issue. The Tree this Kitty may replace , and maybe it's sister, step thru the as Yaskawa drives like they are made of cardboard. I was considering some decently maintained older equipment with Fanuc on it. If I'm gonna spend bucks to fix it, id like to know it's fixed. Yaskawa lost most of their best in the last couple years and the actual quality of their components pales in comparison to Fanuc. The traces break off the boards, the boards are flimsy ECT. I was also considering a mid 90s Mazak, I've heard varying opinions on the reliability of the drive system.
Thank you to all that chimed it. I don't have an issue putting a well spent 15k into a less expensive, but quality machine. I own it, it's reliable .
 








 
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