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Programmable Logic Controller Retrofits for CINCINNATI HyPowermatic Milling Machines

For cost effective stock removal in medium to long-run jobs, few machines can beat a horizontal spindle production mill. But cost effectiveness can be lost fast if the machine is plagued with constant down-time. In today’s just-in-time manufacturing environment machine tool reliability is essential. Due to their rugged construction most mills built in the 1970’s or 1960’s are still in good mechanical condition but are suffering from more and more electrical control problems, especially those with the complicated wiring required in rise & fall versions.

With few, if any, new bed mills being built, Industrial Surplus saw a need to extend the life of machines currently in service and designed an electrical control retrofit package centered around a programmable logic controller. The entire electrical panel with its complex relay or pegboard based wiring is replaced as are the operator’s console and limit switches. In keeping with the goal of utmost reliability, each machine is stripped down to the bare casting and rewired. Utilizing customer feedback, the programming and layout has been continuously refined to the point where we are confident we offer the finest PLC system available.

The HyPowermatic family of milling machines built by Cincinnati-Milacron was chosen as the retrofit vehicle because of the broad range of styles and sizes available and for its reputation for strength and durability. These easily rank as the best mills of their type ever built. Good availability of repair parts, both new and used, also were strong elements favoring this line of machines.

Standard 200 Series Machine
All machines are stripped down to bare castings

We maintain an inventory of the most popular machine sizes, ready for conversion. If a customer requires a different configuration, such as a duplex machine, we can usually find one available from one of our contacts. Spindle horsepowers can also be increased or decreased, within a range, to accomodate specific requirements.

Our retrofit package is applicable to the full range of HyPowermatic mills from the most popular 200 Series to huge 500 Series machines with 50 HP spindles. Although most machines that receive retrofits are rise & fall models, plain machines can also benefit from the increased reliability of the new electrics. Plain machine retrofits can utilize a simpler PLC unit and need no trip assembly for vertical motion so the cost of components and labor is less. Purchase of one of our retrofitted plain machines costs only marginally more than non-retrofitted ones available elsewhere but ours come with the benefits of solid state electrics.

Prior to rewiring, each machine is thoroughly tested for any mechanical problems such as spindle runout, bad bearings, hydraulic leaks or lack of adequate pressure. Most tables are resurfaced and most oil seals replaced. Almost all machines receive some repairs but due to their rugged constructon major rebuilding operations such as way regrinding are seldom necessary, allowing us to keep the cost affordable.

Several styles of retrofits have been developed to fit the needs of most applications and budgets:

  1. Basic retrofit of the existing electrical control system with the new PLC. This package retains the original axis drives and all travels, stops, rapids, etc. are set with trip dogs and limit switches. The new Baluff brand switches and solid state electrics acheive the high level of machine reliability which is usually the main goal. This meets the needs of the vast majority of customers.
  2. PLC installation as above but with the use of linear encoders in place of limit switches in one or both axes of travel. This option is usually chosen to control the cutting height of the spindle carrier when changes of cutters or cutting heights are frequent. New positions are programmed into the system on the keypad located on the operator’s console.
  3. PLC installation but with one or more axis drives replaced with servo motors. This is also usually done for the vertical positioning of the spindle carrier. This option provides the greatest accuracy of positioning.
Operator’s console, 300, 400, 500 Series
Condensed electrical box replaces large free standing cabinet

The installation of a solid state programmable controller and other up-to-date components greatly simplifies the wiring and reduces the space required to house the electrics. This allows for the elimination of the separate free standing electrical cabinet that some 200 Series and all 300 and larger size machines come with. A smaller cabinet is mounted directly to the machine, saving valuable floor space and simplifying any movement or transport of the machine that may ever be required.

Profile milling by use of a hydraulic tracing attachment is available. Machines so equipped are programmed for both standard operation and tracer control. A key lock switch on the operator’s console activates the profiling cycle. This option is not available on machines equipped with servo drives.

The use of a PLC unit also allows auto indexing or other workholding fixtures to be easily incorporated into the auto cycles. We can also arrange for the design and construction of automatic parts loading systems.

Full documentation is provided with each machine or retrofit. This includes a manual for operating the new PLC system, wiring and ladder logic diagrams, original operators, parts & service manuals and all literature on the new components.

Hydraulic Profiling Attachment
Machines with Servo Rise & Fall

Field Installations & Contract Retrofits

We also offer our retrofit package to customers who already have HyPowermatic series machines and want them updated. Machines that are shipped to our facility can also have their mechanical systems evaluated, ways reground, etc. Any major repairs would be discussed with the customer.

For customers with mechanically sound 200 Series machines who want their machine retrofitted without the downtime and expense of shipping the unit to our facility, on-site installations of our PLC packages are available. Completed electrical panel, operator’s console and wiring harnesses will be shipped to the customer’s plant. Two of our service people will remove the old electrical system and install the new in one week's time.

Larger 300, 400 and 500 Series machines can also be retrofitted on-site but these require more custom fitting and a longer downtime.


ELECTRICAL: Overall electrical system is guaranteed for one year. Warranties on individual components are extended to purchaser and limited to the manufacturers’ guarantee.

MECHANICAL: Mechanical components such as pumps, gearing, hydraulic motors, etc.are guaranteed for 90 days on an exchange basis.

Service technicians are available free of charge for repair work during the warranty period. Customers beyond a 100 mile radius of Berlin, CT assume the cost of transportation, lodging and meals.

All warranty periods are from the date of arrival of the machine at the purchasers facility.

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