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Madell SX1020 Pic & Place machine
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Madell SX1020 Pic & Place machine

by DwayneR on Thu Nov 05, 2009 6:18 pm

Has anyone had any experience with the Madell SX1010 or SX1020 Pick & Place machines?

I've had a look and they look like a most useable product. I'm seriously onsidering purchasing the SX1020.

Before I make the plunge, I'd like to hear of real-world experiences that others have had.


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Re: Madell SX1020 Pic & Place machine

by adafruit on Thu Nov 05, 2009 7:42 pm

sadly, the only real info i could get on madells was akiba's (he should show up here soon) review of visiting their CA factory
and this online review (which was a bit crushing to read since we were hoping madells were great): ... 5166-1.php

I got my SX1010 exactly 1 week ago, a total disapiontment, not even in
my bad dreams I could imagine this is what I will spend $13500. We
needed the machine for prototypes and small batches of very simple
parts, for this reason we also ordered the dispenser option and nozzle

THAT SAID - we do spot madells 'in the wild' - Livid Industries has a machine that i have roughly identified as a Madell although the exact model is unclear, it could very well be a much nicer $30k machine
I'm going to ping them soon and ask for a review!

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Re: Madell SX1020 Pic & Place machine

by freaklabs on Thu Nov 05, 2009 8:02 pm

Yep. Went to the Madell office in CA when I was investigating pick and place machines. I was actually disappointed with them and thats one of the reasons I went with MDC which is more expensive than the Madells. On their low end line, they save cost on the machine by using a low cost feeder setup. The setup isn't as technically sophisticated as MDC's and the tape mechanism for pulling the tape back from the reel consists of a dropweight fishing lure type of thing. So if you have 20 reels, you'll have 20 fishing lures hanging off your machine. Not exactly the type of thing I wanted to see when I'm investigating precision machinery. The worst thing is that you have to constantly watch the fishing lures because when they hit the ground, you have to reset them. It was really bizarre and I was curious how they could sell something like that with a straight face.

One other problem is that Madell is mostly known as an importer of cheap, knockoff manufacturing goods from China. I don't think they've quite made the leap to quality precision machinery yet.
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Re: Madell SX1020 Pic & Place machine

by adafruit on Thu Nov 05, 2009 8:22 pm

they do have a big line tho...i wonder if they make all of them or if some are better than others? its kinda hard to tell from the website :/

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Re: Madell SX1020 Pic & Place machine

by freaklabs on Fri Nov 06, 2009 3:07 am

Just checked the Madell site. The one I saw was the SX1000 series which are the ones that they manufacture in their warehouse. If you look closely at the picture, you can see that they don't have individual feeders. They are all installed into a single holder. The nozzle head advances the tape. They didn't include the picture of the fishing lure.

I think the Livid video (keep wanting to say Vivid...*ahem*) could possibly be the PX3700. I don't think they manufacture those ones themselves since there's no pictures/videos of it other than a stock one and the feeder mechanism is also different. Or it could just be a completely different machine that I don't know about. I've heard rumors of a couple companies in China making PnP machines.
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Re: Madell SX1020 Pic & Place machine

by gsattler on Wed Nov 25, 2009 2:47 pm

My boss went to Madell's LA facility and he was disappointed enough with what he saw that he went from being very excited about the SX1020 to being uninterested. The fishing lure counterweight was also the thing that turned him off to them. I can't say that we ended up doing much better, we bought a used (2002) TWS Automation Mechanical Quadro that has been giving us problems with its feeder operation. I'm trying to fix it/evaluate whether or not to replace it with a MDC Luna EXP 7722/Manncorp 7722FV.
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Re: Madell SX1020 Pic & Place machine

by adafruit on Wed Nov 25, 2009 3:12 pm

The MDC feeders seem to be pretty solid and they're not too overpriced - the advance & pickup is very well designed and completely automated. only time we had problems were with 'digireels', the spliced tape snapped and we had to fix it

Inconsistent behavior was the biggest fear that kept us from going used. maybe now i'd be OK with it since I know what goes wrong :)

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Re: Madell SX1020 Pic & Place machine

by freaklabs on Wed Dec 30, 2009 11:07 am

Yeah, I get a lot of digi-reel tape snapping as well. I normally fix it by using double sided tape. It normally happens when I do prototype runs and don't advance the tape far enough to go deeply into the wheel. Since there's no strain relief on the tape, if I leave the digireel in the feeder, the tape will eventually snap. In fact, I'm looking at a bunch of snapped tapes right now:
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Re: Madell SX1020 Pic & Place machine

by philcovington on Tue Jan 26, 2010 11:27 am

The fishing lure counterweights sound really rinky-dink, but I see that they have a motorized tape peeling option on the website. I guess it is to keep the cost low, but if I were them I'd probably make the motorized tape peeling option standard to avoid the bad perception caused by the fishing weights. LOL.

I wonder how the overall build quality is for this machine?

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Re: Madell SX1020 Pic & Place machine

by emmr on Sat Mar 20, 2010 4:59 pm

I purchased a 1010 from them last year, it is practically a joke.
I will save a long description of what this chinese made in usa machine is, as just by hearing or reading Madell I feel my blood pressure sky high, and I will sumarize this by saying that this machine is simply an unfinished, under development and assembled by amateurs product.
Whoever pays for it is participating in an experiment as a pure guinea pig, but usually if you offer your nerves, patience and general health for an experiment you are supposed to get paid and not vice versa. Personally I found problems and solved them, offered them the solution too. Many improvements they made on the 1020 are originated by users that instead of buying something that works found themselves debugging both hardware and software.

If anyone is looking at their dispensing option, they use a free software written by another user. The problem is, that he gave up on this non-practical option and is not supporting the program any more. Macro apertures can't be read, any simple pad if drawn at any angle other than 90 deg steps is not understood by the program, same for edited pads.

The machine has limited rotational placing capabilities, you can not chose placement at any angle, only at 90 deg steps.
A major drawback is the system itself, working in steps units, not imperial or metric.

I know several other unsatisfied customers, some of them considering taking legal actions against Madell Technologies.
What they do is pure fraud, their customers can be called "victims" if we look at the whole picture.

I am not using this piece of junk, a total waste of money, hundreds of hours and lost orders.
I opted for this "new" machine as I was afraid that by buying a popular brand used one I take a big risk and also I was afraid it will be too complicated to learn how to operate it, maintenance costs and etc.
After my adventure with the SX1010 I purchased an old Philips for half the money I spent at Madell, including several hours of labour paid to a certified technician who checked and calibrated it. Guess what? It took less than half day to start running boards out of it, and the setup, after several boards I made, takes less than one hour.

Try doing that with the SX1010.
I tried to use it as a dispenser, just to justify it's existance, but even this option is not working properly, as the step motor on the Z is loosing steps, and the frame that holds the PCB is not leveled.

Madell refused to make any refund, at one point they asked the machine to be returned for their inspection and they were willing to refund up to 70-80% in a 60 days period. As I could't trust them I refused. I know about at least one customer that ordered the machine, made a 20% down payment then after visiting them cancelled the order and never received his money back.

My advise to anyone considering doing business with them even after reading these posts is to prepare a list of things used for the typical boards, take a kit and go there, ask to see how YOUR kit with your parts is set-up and assembled. Don't trust any promises they make.
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Re: Madell SX1020 Pic & Place machine

by scsi on Wed Mar 24, 2010 12:07 pm

Hey emmr, nothing personal, but all that you are saying would have sounded fair if you were describing your disappointment with a brand new BMW and switched to Mercedes or Lexus. Madell's SX line is practically an electric bicycle that takes you from point A to point B in reasonable time and effort when all the expectations are set correctly. It's priced fairly well for a bicycle too and they do publish their prices on their web site unlike many other guys in this business.

In my opinion, it is great to have an opportunity to go and buy a functional PnP for under $10K, but please do not expect it to be an Audi or something or even compare to a used Philips in any way.

Also, let's be clear about that dispenser software you've mentioned. It is the gerber converter that is written by a guy and not the dispensing software itself.

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Re: Madell SX1020 Pic & Place machine

by Switch on Tue Jan 21, 2014 7:10 pm

I am new to this forum and came across this post in my frustration with Madell Technology.
I realise this is an old post but I am adding to it to warn other potential victims that are considering buying a pick and place machine from Madell.
I have to agree 100% with emmr's comments. After paying $20k for the SX1010 (with options) I thought it would have been capable of doing something useful, sadly it's not.
It has assembled around 50 boards and now the power unit has just given up the ghost.
It wastes so many components with their patented feeder system (not all of them work by the way) that I have nick-named it the "pick & Waste" machine.
Build quality? Forget it, there isn't any.
We need to urgently assemble 75 panelized boards which I am currently doing by hand with a vacuum pick-up rather than wasting any more time on this machine.
No reply from Madell after sending a polite but stern e-mail (none expected).

If anyone has had any luck in persuing any legal action I would be interested to hear.
They should not be selling machines that simply do not do what is implied on their web-site.
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