Hitachi Seiki HistoryHitachi Seiki
was a very old Japanese company that expanded and in 1981 started making CNC turning centers in Congers, NY and later made CNCs in Itasca, IL. Hitachi-Seiki CNC lathes and horizontal milling machines from the 1980s to 2002 still are on the US market today. By 2001, over 4,000 units of the HT20 & HT 23J, as well as the VM40J, had been produced. Like many companies, they fell victim to the early 2000 recession, and in 2002 they were acquired by Mori Seiki Kosan. Though the company that made these machines are out of business, numerous other companies still provide service, parts, and retrofits for Hitachi-Seikis. Some machinists still like the easy interface and other functionality of this equipment.
Hitachi Seiki CNC Controllers
Hitachi originally installed Yasnac controllers made by Yaskawa Electric. But today, some Hitachis are Fanuc-equipped. According to operators who know both Fanuc and Yasnac, the differences between the controllers is insignificant. The Yasnac lathe controller has its followers who like the conversational programming that became available in 2001 on the Seicos-J control. Mills with the Secios M (Yasnac I-80) are semi-conversational with a programmers assist. It is possible to retrofit Hitachi Seiki lathes and horizontal milling machines with new controllers from unrelated companies with good results. Many of the used Hitachi Seiki lathes have already been retrofitted with new CNC controls. Membranes on these controllers can wear out. If you are buying a Hitachi Seiki, replacement keyboard membranes can still be purchased.
Hitachi Seiki CNC Lathes
When shopping for a used Hitachi Seiki CNC Lathe
, youll generally find that the newer the lathe the more horsepower and spindle rpm are possible. The largest outer diameter that you will be able to turn is the chuck size, and it varies from 10 to 15 on the various models.
There is a wide range of CNC lathes available as used. Below are samples of the types of lathes that you may find for sale along with their corresponding chuck size, machine length maximum, and the controller names. The HT Series (named for HiTEC) was the most popular series by the year 2001. Hitachi-Seikis had face-to-face index times of 0.1 sec, a unique backspin torque limiter clutch to minimize damage at mishaps, one-touch full travel tailstock and 12 or 16 VDI turrets available with and without live tools. They also had acceleration/deceleration rates of 30 m/min in the X and Z axis.
HT Series Samples of Machines Available
HT-25D CNC Lathe 1988, Chuck size 10, 3600 rpm, machine length 24
HT-40S, CNC Lathe 1992, Chuck size 15, 1800 rpm, machine length 63, Seicos A10L control
HVP23J CNC Lathe 1994 2000, Chuck size 10, (varies) 2000-4000 rpm, machine length (varies) 23.6 24.8, Seicos control
HT-20SIII CNC Lathe 1995, Chuck Size 10
HT-23SIII CNC Lathe 1997, Chuck Size 10, 3600 rpm, machine length 12, Seicos L Multi CNC Control
HT-40G CNC Lathe 1994-1997, Chuck size 15, 2000 rpm, machine length 43, Seicos CNC control
HT-20RIII CNC Lathe 2001, Chuck Size 13.3, 5000 rpm, machining length 15.7, Seicos L Multi Seiki CNC Control
HT-30J CNC Lathe Chuck size 15, 2500 rpm, machine length 29, Seicos J300L CNC control
TF-20 CNC Turning Center 1999, SEICOS LIII Control
Vertical Milling Machines & CNC Machining Centers
Milling is a machining process of using rotary cutters to remove material from a workpiece to create a part. Vertical milling machines make smaller parts and the super-size parts are usually made on a horizontal machining center. Because of the ever-increasing complexity and features being added to both kinds of machines, both kinds may be referred to as machining centers. Most CNC milling machines have the ability to move the spindle along the Z-axis which allows for freedom to engrave and make much more complex parts. When a fifth axis is added, making the machine a 5-Axis machine, the B axis controls the tilt of the tool to make extremely complicated geometries. Most selections for CNC milling machines begin with the size parts you plan to machine.
Hitachi Seiki Vertical Milling Centers (VMC)
Hitachi Seiki produced vertical milling machines in the late from 1988 until the late 1990s. Most available used Hitachi-Seiki VMCs are in the VK series. The MK model appears to be one of the oldest. These vertical mills have travels that vary greatly.
Used Hitachi Seiki Vertical Milling Centers are becoming harder to find, but here are some examples of the series names, years and travels that may come available:
4MK-V Vertical Mill with 33.88 x 14 travels
VK45 VMC Vertical Milling Center, 40 x 22 x 22 travel, 20 station ATC
VK55 VMC Vertical Milling Center -1988, 4500 rpm, 40 x 22 x 20 travel
VM40II VMC Vertical Milling Center 1996, 2000 rpm, 22 x 16 x 16 travel
VM40III VMC Vertical Milling Center 1998, 8000 rpm, 22 x 18 x 23 travel
Hitachi Seiki Machining Center
SUPER HICELL 400 CNC Lathe and Machining Center The last machining center made in 2002.
Hitachi Seiki Horizontal Milling Centers
The HC series by Hitachi Seiki represents their horizontal milling center lines. Samples models of used Hitachi Seiki horizontal Mills are as follows:
HC-400 Horizontal Milling Center, 1987 20 x 18 x 18, 6,000 rpm, 20 ATC, 40 Taper
HG-400 Horizontal Milling Center, 1992, 22 x 23 x 20, 12,000 rpm, 60 ATC, 40 taper
HC-500 Horizontal Milling Center
HC-6340 Horizontal Milling Center
HC-630 Horizontal Milling Center, 1997 35 x 21 x 28, 4,500 rpm, 60 ATC, 50 Taper
4MK-H Plain horizontal mill 1980, 48 x 10 x 18 travel, 1200 rpm
HT-G Series: HT25G, HT30G, HT40G, HT50G (were all available in 2001)
Heavy duty cutting turning centers available in block turret or with a tooling turret. Chuck sizes 10, 12, 15 and 18
CS Series: CS15, CS18, CS20, CS25, CS30, CS40, CS20W, CS25W, CS20Y, CS25Y (2001)
This light-duty lathe series had chuck sizes from 6.5 (CS15) to 10 (CS25Y)