Printed Circuit Board Assembly & PCB Design SMT Electronics Assembly Manufacturing Forum

Printed Circuit Board Assembly & PCB Design Forum

SMT electronics assembly manufacturing forum.

Rating SMT Machines

Hi all, I am doing some research on SMT machines. I would... - Oct 14, 2002 by Peterson  



Rating SMT Machines | 14 October, 2002

Hi all,

I am doing some research on SMT machines. I would like as many people as possible to rate the following machines 1-5. The number 1 would be the best, number 5, the least desirable of the 5. I realize that there are dozens of factors to consider when choosing a machine. If you can, please limit your evaluation to the cost, ease of use, tech support, reliability.

here are the 5 I would like ranked:

panasonic, fuji, mydata, siemens, universal. I know this isn't a scientific study...I am just looking for industry preferences.


reply »

Sean D


Rating SMT Machines | 14 October, 2002

Hey Peterson,

Just as another resource, I've seen Circuits Assembly Magazine post equipment surveys in their website.

I believe there should be a link on their site at

The survey index I noticed was at

At least this can help you with gathering some technical data on each platform and address some of those additional concerns if you are still looking for data.

As for the ratings, being a rep I'll leave that to the equipment users.

Good luck, Sean D

reply »


Rating SMT Machines | 14 October, 2002

I have programmed/operated all but the siemens...

fuji-1 it is the fastest machine, and for high volume. Use also Unicam makes it easier to program. Now Im just talking the CP, the IP im not to fond of use something like the universal...

MYDATA-2 We just purchased a MY-12 and it seems like it will be good for low volume high mix product such as our proto builds. I also have Circuit Cam with the Pads converter.

Universal-3 I would not recommend this unless its just for a IP ie.. placing large components. I also recommend the single beam, we had problems with a double beam with it picking from one side and needing the other sides camera.

Siemens-4 I have heard there ok, but have not operated etc the machine.

Panasonic-5 I dislike this machine had nothing but problems with it so we got rid of it and kept/got more fuji....

reply »


Rating SMT Machines | 15 October, 2002

All of these machines are excellent. Each has survived the test of time and abuse to hold unique positions within segments of the industry. So, your question is difficult to answer without proper framing. It's like asking what is the best vehicle.

Here are the five I would like ranked:

Blue Bird TC/2000 School Bus, Mack RD688S Tri-Axle Dump Truck, Mini Cooper Sport LE, Dodge Caravan SE, Toyota Camry V6 XLE

Now, if I included a Ferrari Testarossa, it would be simple.

reply »


Rating SMT Machines | 15 October, 2002

Assuming the criteria being which would perform the best in some type of demolition derby, I would rank (from 1 to 5, 1 being the best) in the following order:

dump truck, school bus, Mini Cooper, Caravan, and then the reliable Toyota Camery. Sorry, I would have to put the Ferrari dead last if it was included.

Hope your not using this data to present to the boss who will decide what to buy. Each machine could out perform the other depending on what your using it for.

reply »



Rating SMT Machines | 16 October, 2002

Dave is right...they are all great machines and all have benefits that cause them to differ...

They all jockey for the top spot with in PNP machines.

Dave makes a point with his analogy, all are good machines but have specific purposes. Daves range is a little obscure. I would do it more on the American pick up truck: Dodge Ram, Ford 250, Chevy Silverado, Toyota Tundra, Cadillac Escalade. All workhorses all have specific functions.

If you are loading Dirt or School Children then you know the machine, trying to look trendy you know the machine, speed you know the machine..... cost and repair conscious you know the machine.

I guess what I am trying to say is there are more factors to consider.


reply »



Rating SMT Machines | 16 October, 2002

I've worked with Panasonic, Fuji, Siemens, and Universal. I cannot rate Mydata since I have no experience with them.

Here are my ratings based on personal preference: 1=Siemens 2=Fuji 3=Universal 4=Panasonic

My reasoning behind this is: 1) Siemens has a new visual platform that is very easy to use when programming, they have the fastest cycle time when going into actual production, and the least amount of downtime due to feeder changes, etc.

2) Fuji also has a nice visual platform, but the tables are noisy when placing and cycle time never seems as good as advertised.

3) Universal does not have as good a platform, and downtime occurs often due to waffle pack changer on GSMs.

4) Panasonic. Poor platform, poor performance compared to other 3.

Just my personal opinions... N

reply »

Bob Kondner


Rating SMT Machines | 18 October, 2002

I like the MyData I have for high mix and prototype.

Have not used the others.

reply »


Rating SMT Machines | 18 October, 2002

I have three Mydata machines and I am very happy with them. The machines are easy to program as well as operate. They are not as fast as some of the other machines but if you change assemblies often you will likely make up some time in setup and changeover. Their tech support is good and the machines seem to be pretty reliable. I work for a contract manufacturer in Florida and we see alot of 100 to 500 piece runs and these machines are perfect for this type of work.

reply »



Rating SMT Machines | 19 October, 2002

Dear Peter,

I'm involve in mostly Japanese brand SMT machines. I would vote for Panasert.

reply »



Rating SMT Machines | 19 October, 2002

Hi ..

I have read with keen interest on the various replies on your query..

However, the most important thing that seems to be missing in the replies posted is reference to today's business scenario..which calls for a very fast ROI (return on investment). I have been in this industry for over 12 years now and have seen things change..a lot. I would have looked into the procurement on 2 early return on investment and cost Vs performance indexes. In todays trying business times, everything else is secondary. If I were you, I would have not even considered Fuji or Panasonic, Mydata or Universal. They are white elephants..Good to buy but difficult to maintain. Forget about fast ROIs. Only choice within what you have indicated is Siemens essentially due to throughput which reflects on faster ROI..

Nevertheless, my rankings would be: 1. Siemens 2. Mydata 3. Fuji 4. Universal 5. Panasonic

However, I would like to mention that..personally..I think today the one needs simple, easy to maintain and cost effective m/c something companies like Yamaha, Samsung, Juki, Impulse etc.. can provide adequately. One can buy these.. machine them for over a year...earn enough to buy more of them. If good prod volumes are achieved, squaring off the investment within 6 months is not a far fetched idea...


reply »



Rating SMT Machines | 20 October, 2002

> Hi all, > > I am doing some research on SMT > machines. I would like as many people as possible > to rate the following machines 1-5. The number 1 > would be the best, number 5, the least desirable > of the 5. I realize that there are dozens of > factors to consider when choosing a machine. If > you can, please limit your evaluation to the > cost, ease of use, tech support, > reliability. > > here are the 5 I would like > ranked: > > panasonic, fuji, mydata, siemens, > universal. I know this isn't a scientific > study...I am just looking for industry > preferences. > > Thanks!!!!


As you will note from your other responses, it is impossible to figure out what you are asking because of the lack of information in your question. After being in the industry for 20 years now, I have seen all of these machine manufacturers come and go with different models. The current business climate is, at best, tenuous. The models that you would have had recommended two years ago would be entirely based on throughput and speed rather on effective time of manufacturing. The climate has changed!!!

In your question, you failed to mention whether your environment is fast changeover or fast placement. Judging by the 5 candidates that you gave us you must be looking more at fast placement rather than fast changeover. As you know, each of the manufacturers mentioned make several speeds of machines with varying options. In the final analysis of which machine you buy, it really boils down to this: If the machine isn't running and actually placing parts then your company is losing money. The changeover and programming of your machines is VERY important. It really doesn't matter how fast your machine places parts if it takes several hours to set it up now does it.

The Siemens machine set, while fast at placement was designed primarily for the Telecom markets that required running high volumes with small components to place and limited mix. The basic design, while very good in many ways, has some caveats to it. It also has some quick changeover ideas that they have implemented into it.

The Fuji turret machines were designed for high volume and consequently weren't designed with quick changeover in mind. They have felt the quick changeover evolution and have tried to adapt to this countries need for it by designing machines that would fit that small CM niche. Their IP and QP systems were to bridge that gap but they fall short in many ways.

The Universal machines (I am assuming that you are talking about the GSM and not the Universal/Sanyo) was designed for flexibility and not speed. That is why they partnered with Sanyo on the chip shooter back in early 1990. The SANYO machine is still one of the best and should stand out for 0201 placement capability at high speeds.

The MYDATA systems have been almost exclusively focused on batch processing with some adaptation to in line a few years ago. Of the 5 candidates, this is the candidate with the quickest changeover. There are others that are faster and more capable in other ways but not in your list of 5. Their recent machines have tried to bridge the gap between quick changeover and fast but have found that ANY design has a niche that is pretty well defined (quick changeover) and seldom can be adapted to others (fast placement).

The Panasonic machines also have tried to keep up with a constantly changing industry. They have tried to adapt their machines to a quick changeover scenario with much of their efforts on designing toward 0201 placement. They have done a relatively good job in the last couple of years particularly on their software (Panapro). While their machines do have some strengths they also have some weaknesses. Namely their lack of integration with other off the shelf CIM products like Circuitcam.

As you can see, there are several items to consider when specifying a pick and place machine set. I would highly encourage you to seek out the counsel of someone in your immediate area that has extensive experience in these types of decisions. I have seen MANY engineers limit their career opportunities at their respective companies by choosing the absolutely wrong machine and buying from the best sales hype. One of the absolute biggest considerations in buying a machine of this type is service and support. I didn't even touch on this aspect because it varies widely within any region of the country.

My recommendation is to call the SMTA and seek out local, very experienced help.

Good luck!

reply »

Pieter Hoeben


Rating SMT Machines | 21 October, 2002

And how about Assembleon machines?

reply »



Rating SMT Machines | 21 October, 2002

Hi I have work with different brands Fuji, my data, quad, Panasonic. In my experience as a programmer/operator/maintenance (trouble shooting). After working with OEM and CM. I still like Fuji over the other brands

Customer support:

Fuji 1 Quad 2 Panasonic 3 Mydata no comments

Equipment performance

Fuji 1 Panasonic 2 Quad 3 Mydata 4

Change over

Fuji 1 Panasonic 2 Quad 3 Mydata 4

I will like to tell you about programming but There is nothing to compare. Using UNICAM & GERBCAM, it takes about 25minuts to out put a program

reply »



Rating SMT Machines | 21 October, 2002

Fuji: Wonderful machine, very robust, Hardware second to none. Lacking on software

Universal: Love the GSM, great platform. Sanyo HSP�s are ok, like the new 4796, not sure about the 4797 yet, have not had it long enough to give good data.

Siemens: Had nothing but headaches. Granted when I worked with them the HS-50 just came out and we were beta testing them. When they run the run great, but preventive maintenance too involved�

Panasonic: I have not personal worked with them, but through the grapevine. I heard the newer machine are very good. Software second to none. The older equipment is not something I would recommend.

Mydata: I have not worked with, but have done some research. I�ve heard that for the most part they are great machines for low volume, high mix production.

It�s hard to rate them in a particular order; they are all great in their own way. It depends on what your needs are, and how much space you have allocated for production lines�

Hope that helped in some small way�

reply »


Rating SMT Machines | 23 October, 2002

Hi all,

How about the YAMAHA ???


reply »

shrikant borkar


Rating SMT Machines | 27 October, 2002

I also vote for Panasonic. for its speed, and hot line service.

reply »



Rating SMT Machines | 28 October, 2002

Not saying anything new here.

I agree with all the comments posted. I have worked in the industry for over 20 years and have experience on all but Mydata.

Which machines are you looking at? Fuji CP3’s were too maintenance hungry, CP4.3’s bullet proof, early CP6’s were real dogs, but the newer versions are second to none for reliability, speed and accuracy with the CP7 a faster smaller version. Again early QP1’s were a bit dodgy but the later versions could place at 100K CPH 24/7.

Siemens have a similar story. The S20, which was a good concept, was released to early and was very unreliable, the S23 was better and had most issues resolved. The HS50 however is a really good machine; Siemens have learned much and have produced an extremely good product.

From my limited experience with Panasonic they are always playing catch up with the main two (Fuji and Siemens) but are a good product to have.

Universal again in my opinion are a poor cousin to the main manufacturers.

Another thing to look at is the machine type; everyone seems to be concentrating on the chip shooters.

If I had a choice of chip shooter it would be either the QP1 or the HS50, for odd form it would be the GSM2, with possibly a flexjet head fitted to one side (If they are finally working well enough).

But then again, what is the application?

If you are a cell phone manufacturer pumping out the same product at 2 or 3K units per shift use the above, but if you are a CM don’t go near it.

Decisions decisions. As you can see it is impossible to rank the manufacturers with this amount of info (But I guess you have gathered that already).

In general terms I prefer Fuji to Siemens, but that may be because I have 15 years of experience on Fuji and only 7 on Siemens.

If you asked 100 professionals to rank the 5 companies you would be struggling to get the same answer from anyone. One thing you will get is that the top two companies at the moment are Fuji and Siemens. In which order depends on personal experience.

Sorry for repeating what has been said.

It would be interesting to see the summary of your results!!

Best of luck.


reply »



Rating SMT Machines | 6 November, 2002

Hi Peter,

DaveF is can't just rate them without specific purpose or knowing what you really need.

What about Samsung.......Suzuki........

reply »



Rating SMT Machines | 14 November, 2002

In a low vol/high mix which would be the best. 3 Assembleon Topaz Xi's or 1 Universal 4796HSP & GSM

reply »

Jon Fox


Rating SMT Machines | 14 November, 2002

Even though I don't use them, the 3 Topaz Xi's. On larger runs, you could split the workload across all three at one time or run three different jobs(assumming feeder requirements) on the three machines. Even though you could possibly achieve higher throughput with the Universal line, you would have to stop ALL production for a changeover, and with a high mix environment, downtime can really take up more and more of your day with switching over to a new run. Save the Universal line for 75,000 piece or larger runs.

reply »



Rating SMT Machines | 16 November, 2002


An interesting tread, Neat reading.

Just pulled out a guide that was given at Nepcon West2000 entitled: Nepcon West 2000 Pick & Place Evaluation

You might want to call them to get a copy of the report.

As two or three others already pointed out Selection of a new machine, particularly one new to your shop (EMS or OEM) sometimes can't be made easy since you have to weigh all the parameters, sometimes including management.

Usually I have found that once a shop likes a machine for a particular usage, cost, or delivery they just keeping buying more of the same brand for that application. So you could have Fuji and Universal in the same shop or just Panasonic and to make the break to a brand new machine is sometimes difficult. Programming, Maintenance, Operator, Engineer training etc.

As someone else already noted it would be neat to read your a)Selection Criteria with weighting b)Components you intend to place c)Order size, Shop size etc

Good Luck

This message was posted via the Electronics Forum @

reply »

SMT Spare Parts and Feeders

Thermal Interface Material Dispensing