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Fanuc Drill Mate vs. Kitamura Mycenter Zero

Djwade

Aluminum
Joined
Sep 23, 2020
Hi all,

A while back, I picked up a 1992 Fanuc Drill Mate T model 10 and got it hooked up in my garage. Everything is working great, but it has its quirks. Of particular note has been the ATC and the inability to manually swap tooling out, which has made use of my Haimer probe slightly annoying unless I dedicate a tool position to it, which has potential interferences with the tool cover. The naturally low drawbar strength is another potential concern too, though perhaps not an issue.

A 2001 Kitamura MyCenter Zero popped up for sale and caught my interest. It's a newer machine and has an updated fanuc control on it. The price seems good and I could almost certainly sell my Fanuc and get the Kitamura for the same or less.

As such, I was hoping for some input on potential pros and cons.

The way I see it, switching to the Kitamura would offer an updated controller (18i vs OM) and a more conventional tool holding method with a smaller footprint at the expense of the work envelope.

Any thoughts, input or additional factors I should consider are greatly appreciated.
 
Last edited:

barbter

Diamond
Joined
Oct 27, 2007
Location
On Tour...
The early model Robos weren't rigid at all. They were very light milling but mostly drill/tap.
It was the D models that had redesigned casting's and then could sensibly mill.
Add a face/taper spindle, and in my experience (2x model E side by side), the dual contact added another 30% rigidity (reduction in cutting noise).
The Kitty will be more rigid. By far.
But I guess it's turcite which would worry me on an old machine....
 

Djwade

Aluminum
Joined
Sep 23, 2020
The early model Robos weren't rigid at all. They were very light milling but mostly drill/tap.
It was the D models that had redesigned casting's and then could sensibly mill.
Add a face/taper spindle, and in my experience (2x model E side by side), the dual contact added another 30% rigidity (reduction in cutting noise).
The Kitty will be more rigid. By far.
But I guess it's turcite which would worry me on an old machine....

I believe the Mycenter Zero has linear ways as opposed to box ways, would the significance of that impact the Kitamura's rigidity, given it was originally designed to serve in a similar drill/tap capacity?
 

barbter

Diamond
Joined
Oct 27, 2007
Location
On Tour...
Oh okay - if it's linears I stand corrected.
I know in the UK, they were named "Drill Tap Centre" to bypass import regs and taxation.
 

Djwade

Aluminum
Joined
Sep 23, 2020
Oh okay - if it's linears I stand corrected.
I know in the UK, they were named "Drill Tap Centre" to bypass import regs and taxation.

I'll look around to confirm, but assuming it is linear ways, would it be safe to assume it's still more rigid? Or not enough to make an appreciable difference?
 

barbter

Diamond
Joined
Oct 27, 2007
Location
On Tour...
I'll look around to confirm, but assuming it is linear ways, would it be safe to assume it's still more rigid? Or not enough to make an appreciable difference?

I'm sure it will be far more rigid.
One of the guys here has one....sad to say not 100% sure who, so hopefully he'll chip in!

Slide back your way covers on your Robo - measure the rails on each XYZ, and measure the pitch between.
When you view the Kitty, make sure you have your allen keys and tape measure, and your paper saying the Robo dimensions. You can then compare layout.
I'm sure Kitty will be beefier rails, and further apart. Z is the most important.
 

Djwade

Aluminum
Joined
Sep 23, 2020
I'm sure it will be far more rigid.
One of the guys here has one....sad to say not 100% sure who, so hopefully he'll chip in!

Slide back your way covers on your Robo - measure the rails on each XYZ, and measure the pitch between.
When you view the Kitty, make sure you have your allen keys and tape measure, and your paper saying the Robo dimensions. You can then compare layout.
I'm sure Kitty will be beefier rails, and further apart. Z is the most important.

Appreciate the input. I'm planning on going to look at it just to see it in person soon, and I'll make sure to take a look at that.
 

Garwood

Diamond
Joined
Oct 10, 2009
Location
Oregon
I would expect it has box ways. Kitamura has a hard on for box ways. It's kinda their big thing. Making box ways fast. My 2003 kit has a big sticker on it touting the 10 year way warranty.
 

DavidScott

Titanium
Joined
Jul 11, 2012
Location
Washington
I have a 2001 Mycenter 1 which is box way so not quite the same, but does have 2000 ipm rapids. I would bet money the Zero is still far beefier than a Robo, even though i think it is linear way. Do pull the covers back to compare but you should anyway to inspect. Beyond general damage look for lack of lubrication or contamination. I know mine was dual contact but no idea about the Zero. Either way if it has been reground then be very suspect. Mine has around 900lbs of drawbar tension. If you have the serial # you could call Kitamura up and ask them. Nice thing about a used Kit is you still get free phone tech for life, no "registration" fees or such.

Make sure you get all the manuals and schematics, those are worth about as much as the machine if you don't have them.

Size does matter for the rails and blocks but it is only about half of the picture, you need all of the details to really compare.

Is it in use or has it been sitting?

Everything about my Kitamura is super beefy, including the standard 500lb 80 gallon coolant tank.



The new ones are linear Z box X and Y. I think the Zero was linear. The 250 horizontal is linear too. Too bad, I LOVE box ways!!!
 

barbter

Diamond
Joined
Oct 27, 2007
Location
On Tour...
What I will also add though, is the Robo has travels of
X500
Y400
Z330

Kitty is
X305
Y254
Z305

BIG difference....
 

Djwade

Aluminum
Joined
Sep 23, 2020
What I will also add though, is the Robo has travels of
X500
Y400
Z330

Kitty is
X305
Y254
Z305

BIG difference....

This is part of the dilemma as well. I certainly want the most capable machine I can, and thus far I haven't needed a work envelope larger than what the Kitty has, but I'm sure as soon as the Fanuc is gone, I'll need that envelope.
 








 
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