Cincinnati Mills with Acramatic 220 Control
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    Default Cincinnati Mills with Acramatic 220 Control

    I have been challenged by my boss with resurrecting three Cincinnati milling machines that have been sitting idle since before I was born (22 years). Each is controlled by an Acramatic 220 "solid state" control with tape reader. All but one will (usually) turn on, but not allow proper control in manual mode or tape. One was "converted" (albeit not successfully) to computer control that emulates the tape. It runs windows 3.1, and doesn't seem to do anything. I have inspected the circuit cards as best I can, but I can't properly test them because I don't know how, and have been unable to find information regarding these controllers of any sort online. Are there any old hands on here that could bestow some guidance, or anyone who knows of a company that can still work on these? I'm having a blast simply exploring the inner workings of these machines, but will admit that I am out of my element to some degree. I have provided a dropbox link to some photos, as the files are too large to add here directly. Dropbox - Cincinnati Machines Thanks!

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    Quote Originally Posted by ElectroNick View Post
    I have been challenged by my boss with resurrecting three Cincinnati milling machines that have been sitting idle since before I was born (22 years). Each is controlled by an Acramatic 220 "solid state" control with tape reader. All but one will (usually) turn on, but not allow proper control in manual mode or tape. One was "converted" (albeit not successfully) to computer control that emulates the tape. It runs windows 3.1, and doesn't seem to do anything. I have inspected the circuit cards as best I can, but I can't properly test them because I don't know how, and have been unable to find information regarding these controllers of any sort online. Are there any old hands on here that could bestow some guidance, or anyone who knows of a company that can still work on these? I'm having a blast simply exploring the inner workings of these machines, but will admit that I am out of my element to some degree.
    Ha ! Acc 220 ! Nixie tubes ! The nixie tubes are probably worth more than the machine now.

    My favorite control, had one on an H40. They are dumb dumb dumb but the damn thing always worked. Bendix, Westinghouse and K&T gave me plenty of grief

    If you have an electronics guy handy the boards are all pretty simple. That control has no memory, it just reads the tape and does what the tape says like NOW. Not sure if it even has a buffer of any sort, don't think so. The tape readers were mechanical, sounded like a little machine gun in the cabinet. The H40 at least had resolvers. But it was an unusual system, it had three resolvers per axis, geared together. One did inches, the next did hundredths, and the last did thousandths. You never had to home it because it never lost its position - it couldn't. With 40" of travel the main X resolver never made a complete turn. Resolution is .001" but it holds that okay.

    I don't remember if the feedrates were controlled by tape, or if you had to set a dial as it was running ? It's been a while. Spindle speeds, too, those were manual I am pretty sure.

    It has no circular interpolation but you can do chatter milling. That comes out a lot better than you'd expect, with enough steps you can get some decent contours.

    A little more surprising is, it doesn't have linear interpolation either. If you give it an x and y number, it goes at the same speed in both axes until the smaller number is reached, then continues along the other axis until it gets to that number. Unless you specifically program a linear move in small increments it will go at a 45 first, then straight along the axis to the longer number. (INTOL and OUTTOL in APT works great for that. I programmed mine in APT all the time, worked well. Good thing it had 8" tape reels tho. Took five minutes to rewind the tape )

    It's all relay logic, nothing too complex inside but you really need the books. They came with full logic diagrams so someone, somewhere should have them. There's a guy elsewhere snivelling that Fives made a mistake on his order and didn't kiss his ass enough, maybe you should try them for a maintenance manual for an Acc 220

    The H40 at least (and I think the vertical was the same) was a two-axis machine with the third axis positioning. There was a rotating depth stop for the Z axis and a quick-change spindle nose, so you could easily change tools and it automatically rotated your depth stop. That also controlled the feedrate in Z ? It was kind of halfway between a mechanical machine and nc.

    They were pretty beefy and could take a nice cut, and got good finishes. I probably made more money with less hassle with that thing than the newer "better" mills. Young and dumb, sold it for a K&T If you do hogging type work, it might be a better candidate for a retro than many newer mills. It's pretty strong. And the table is huge - bigger than 40" x 20", usually a 40" machine doesn't have that much Y.

    I have provided a dropbox link to some photos, as the files are too large to add here directly.
    With Irfanview you can easily resize to a decent size file. Takes about two minutes.

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    Do you work in a museum? You could spend a month replacing capacitors and still have a 40 year old paper weight.

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    What year would these have been built? They are contenders for the 'oldest running cnc machine' thread. Thanks for posting the photos. You might call Mike at Cnc Machine Services in MI - CNC Machine Services INC | Cincinnati Milacron MachinesCNC Machine Services He might be able to direct you to someone who could help. The last fellow I knew personally who might know those machines passed away in the early '90s.

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    Except these are not running.

    Is there any chance they could be for sale?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ewlsey View Post
    Do you work in a museum? You could spend a month replacing capacitors and still have a 40 year old paper weight.
    Nattering nabobs of negativism strike again !

    So, you're sitting in the office and this beatup old pickup pulls in. Guy walks in, says, "Hey, I've got a fab shop two blocks away and noticed you have machines. We're doing an earthquake retro downtown and need 250 steel plates, 18 by 24 by an inch thick, needs ... umm, four and four, plus three on each end, fourteen 1" holes drilled and tapped and a big cutout in the middle. Can you do that ?"

    You're looking at fifteen grand-ish of easy work. What do you do ?

    1) Take the enclosure off one of the Kitamura Mycenters and plop a big subplate on, do it in two operations with 1/4" carbide end mills spinning 15,000 rpm, thread mill the holes.

    2) Buy a new Okuma for $120,000

    3) Tell him to go away, you don't need the money

    4) Haul out that old Cincy, put a beginner-type young guy on it to hoist them plates up and down all day, and clear ten grand.

    Let me see, which one makes sense ... yeah, paperweight.

    I'm guessing that ElectroNick's boss made a different choice than you, Mr Ewsley ...

    They are pretty fun to run, actually. And they do a good job at what they were meant for.

    Quote Originally Posted by mud
    What year would these have been built?
    They were from the sixties ... I think my H40 was a '67 but they made them earlier than that, maybe back as far as 1962 ? And they continued but with an Acc 5 up to the early seventies ? The Acc5 was a more capable controller, pretty sure it could do linear interpolation at least

    These were a pretty popular machine for retrofits up until the early eighties. A place called US Machine Tool Corp or something did a lot of them ... there was a vertical model with a five-station turret that was especially popular for retrofit. Made a good drilling machine, the table is big and they are built pretty beefy.

    Another interesting thing about them is they had linear ways decades before anyone else. The ways are sort of round bars with a leg out the bottom, this was before the THK-style ways, but they moved fast and well for their day.

    @ Electo - your tape emulator may be fine. It won't do anything until you tell it to run a tape. That had manual mode where you could drive the machine around and tape mode where you pushed Go and it Went. Not sure it even has a feed hold, the mechanical readers may not even have had a buffer ... but with the tape emulator, until you put it in tape mode and tell it to go, it won't do anything.

    You could run the emulator under OS/2 if you're feeling brave. A better dos than dos

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    I have worked on a few very large cinci machines that were built in the 1940s that were retrofit with the Acramatic Controls. They are a dumby controller. Needless to say a couple are still making chips.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SeaMoss View Post
    Nattering nabobs of negativism strike again !

    So, you're sitting in the office and this beatup old pickup pulls in. Guy walks in, says, "Hey, I've got a fab shop two blocks away and noticed you have machines. We're doing an earthquake retro downtown and need 250 steel plates, 18 by 24 by an inch thick, needs ... umm, four and four, plus three on each end, fourteen 1" holes drilled and tapped and a big cutout in the middle. Can you do that ?"

    You're looking at fifteen grand-ish of easy work. What do you do ?

    1) Take the enclosure off one of the Kitamura Mycenters and plop a big subplate on, do it in two operations with 1/4" carbide end mills spinning 15,000 rpm, thread mill the holes.

    2) Buy a new Okuma for $120,000

    3) Tell him to go away, you don't need the money

    4) Haul out that old Cincy, put a beginner-type young guy on it to hoist them plates up and down all day, and clear ten grand.

    Let me see, which one makes sense ... yeah, paperweight.

    I'm guessing that ElectroNick's boss made a different choice than you, Mr Ewsley ...

    They are pretty fun to run, actually. And they do a good job at what they were meant for.


    They were from the sixties ... I think my H40 was a '67 but they made them earlier than that, maybe back as far as 1962 ? And they continued but with an Acc 5 up to the early seventies ? The Acc5 was a more capable controller, pretty sure it could do linear interpolation at least

    These were a pretty popular machine for retrofits up until the early eighties. A place called US Machine Tool Corp or something did a lot of them ... there was a vertical model with a five-station turret that was especially popular for retrofit. Made a good drilling machine, the table is big and they are built pretty beefy.

    Another interesting thing about them is they had linear ways decades before anyone else. The ways are sort of round bars with a leg out the bottom, this was before the THK-style ways, but they moved fast and well for their day.

    @ Electo - your tape emulator may be fine. It won't do anything until you tell it to run a tape. That had manual mode where you could drive the machine around and tape mode where you pushed Go and it Went. Not sure it even has a feed hold, the mechanical readers may not even have had a buffer ... but with the tape emulator, until you put it in tape mode and tell it to go, it won't do anything.

    You could run the emulator under OS/2 if you're feeling brave. A better dos than dos
    There are plenty of large capacity CNC machines that are 20+ years newer than those.

    Odds are pretty good that something will crap out in that machine if you put it into use after sitting for decades.

    I wonder if the owner realizes how much it actually cost them to have those machines sitting there doing nothing for decades.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Garwood View Post
    There are plenty of large capacity CNC machines that are 20+ years newer than those.

    Odds are pretty good that something will crap out in that machine if you put it into use after sitting for decades.

    I wonder if the owner realizes how much it actually cost them to have those machines sitting there doing nothing for decades.
    Since I have actually OWNED those types of machines - both the Cincy and "big machines 20 years newer" I can tell you that the Cincy is way more dependable than the "newer" controls. One thing I loved about it was, every time I flipped the switch, it turned on. The other controls, if I didn't leave them up, or if the moon was in the wrong phase, uh-oh.

    Basically, you have no idea what you are talking about. "Odds are ..." why do people with zero experience in a subject pull this stuff out of unowhere ? You're just guessing. One of my regrets with the H40 was that I did sell it to get a "newer control." The addition of linear interpolation wasn't worth it. Until you get MUCH newer, the controls are not reliable.

    And it didn't cost him SHIT to have it sitting there for decades. I'm sick to death of all this pseudo-financier crap. "If he'd done this with the space, if he'd done that with the space ... bla bla bla." If grandma had wheels, she'da been a rollerskate.

    BUT SHE DOESN'T. SO LIVE WITH IT. IF HE'D BOUGHT APPLE AT $2 A SHARE, HE'D BE WEALTHY AS CROESUS, TOO. SO WHAT ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by SeaMoss View Post
    Since I have actually OWNED those types of machines - both the Cincy and "big machines 20 years newer" I can tell you that the Cincy is way more dependable than the "newer" controls. One thing I loved about it was, every time I flipped the switch, it turned on. The other controls, if I didn't leave them up, or if the moon was in the wrong phase, uh-oh.
    Are you retarded or something?

    We all know that the hallmark of a truly reliable machine is to breakdown and sit unused for 22 years. That might as well be the definition of "dependable".

    Every time you flip the switch on one of these things, it turns on. Of course, then it doesn't work in manual or automatic mode so you have to post on practicalmachinist.com for help because everyone who has run one is in a coffin.

    I would love to hear the roaring laughter at Fives when you call up and ask for some control parts or for them to send you a field service guy to fix it up.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ewlsey View Post
    Are you retarded or something?
    Yeah, most likely. I thought this was a place for guys who liked machining and liked making stuff and liked a challenge. Not overprivileged yuppies who couldn't drill two holes in a straight line even with their Windows-based controller, 12" color monitor and conversational programming.

    I guess if you can't do it, it can't be done.


    Good luck on this, Mr ElectroNick. Hope you get this running, it's good training in the basics of real trouble-shooting and a pretty nifty machine for its purpose, if you like machines.


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