(Topic ID: 107890)

Chinese knock-offs could derail pinball comeback


By SuperPinball

4 years ago



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  • 293 posts
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  • Latest reply 4 years ago by Chrisbee
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    #201 4 years ago
    Quoted from Pinfactory2000:

    Their wages could rise 500% in the next decade and still only be 1/2 our manufacturing wage. And that assumes our wages dont go up a cent.
    Its going to be very long time until we can compete on that level domestically...If ever. Frankly, not sure why we would want to.
    Even if Chinas wages went up 1000% we'd simply move to the next 3rd world country to exploit cheap labor. There's no shortage of it...Nor are there shortages of countries that would LOVE US manufacturing investment.

    I agree with you, but there are some things to consider.

    First, China is 1/3rd of the world's population. Other countries can be exploited for cheap labor, but not near the scale of China. Second, like in China, there would be an exponential increase in wages. The growth could potentially be faster in smaller countries, as just a few large factories would have a huge influence. The last is resources. China is abundant with them, 3rd greatest in the world next to Russia and the US. Factor in transportation of raw materials and the inability to harvest at the source. We have the advantage of abundant natural resources. We need to start making a shift back in the other direction sooner than later.

    Good thread!

    #202 4 years ago
    Quoted from thedefog:

    Didn't know you were into guitars.

    Finding out about the perfect fakes took the fun out of being a collector for me.

    Now unless I see a $200 garage sale bargain, I can only assume that all vintage guitars are fakes.

    When I took the replica to the big guitar show, I actually was hoping that the experts would be able to detect the forgery and point out to me why it was a fake. I wanted to learn some trick that I did not already know.

    Instead, every dealer was waving cash around and telling me "Do not leave this show without seeing me last!".

    #203 4 years ago
    Quoted from vid1900:

    Finding out about the perfect fakes took the fun out of being a collector for me.
    Now unless I see a $200 garage sale bargain, I can only assume that all vintage guitars are fakes.

    I worked at a Guitar Center for a short period of time and saw a lot of vintage guitars come in. Occasionally there were mismatched Fenders, but I'm not sure there were fakes while I was there. There very well could have been and we wouldn't have ever known. This was nearly 10 years ago, so I may have left before it became more of an issue.

    My favorites are acoustic guitars, especially the 50's stuff. I've got a Takemine EAN15C that I think is one of the best sounding acoustic guitar in the world. Really well balanced between the lows and highs, great sustain. I played guitars for hours in that store, all eras, all brands. For whatever reason, that model grabbed me.

    #204 4 years ago
    Quoted from thedefog:

    I agree with you, but there are some things to consider.
    First, China is 1/3rd of the world's population. Other countries can be exploited for cheap labor, but not near the scale of China. Second, like in China, there would be an exponential increase in wages. The growth could potentially be faster in smaller countries, as just a few large factories would have a huge influence. The last is resources. China is abundant with them, 3rd greatest in the world next to Russia and the US. Factor in transportation of raw materials and the inability to harvest at the source. We have the advantage of abundant natural resources. We need to start making a shift back in the other direction sooner than later.
    Good thread!

    700 Million people in china lack basic necessities like reliable power/energy. That 2X the entire US population. There are literally hundreds of millions of people that will be exploited before there will even be pushback on wages in any material way. Then its off to Africa, India, Asia etc. its a long road. Regardless, I don't see an end game where we are kings of heavy manufacturing again (specialty, high dollar manufacturing? Absolutely...And maybe thats where pins sit). Heavy manufacturing is a way out and up for china but we've already been there, done that. Onward and upward.

    #205 4 years ago
    Quoted from thedefog:

    For whatever reason, that model grabbed me.

    I know exactly what you are saying.

    I've got a 20th anniversary Taylor that is simply the greatest acoustic guitar in the world (to me). I bought it at the Guitar Center on Sunset in Hollywood totally on impulse. I sure did not need another guitar, but I could not put it down. I've got older and more valuable guitars, but that Taylor is the shit.

    The action is set so low (from the factory) that friends who only play electric always want to play it.

    #206 4 years ago
    Quoted from vid1900:

    I know exactly what you are saying.
    I've got a 20th anniversary Taylor that is simply the greatest acoustic guitar in the world (to me).

    They choose you, no doubt. When you're afraid to put it down even for a second because you're afraid someone else might get it, that is usually the sign to buy. The Takamine was not a planned purchase either.

    Now back to China. China china china. Making stuff cheap. End of the world.

    Nope, would rather derail about guitars.

    #207 4 years ago
    Quoted from ZenTron:

    iPhone was designed and engineered by Apple in the USA which is #5 in Fortune 500. The parts are all sourced and supervised by Apple. All thats being done in China is putting the things together aka the manufacturing in buildings which have suicide nets wrapped around them.

    Companies like Foxconn are not just assemblers. Be it Eastern Europe or Asia, these companies exist to not just assemble stuff, but help companies industrialize their products, make it producible, drive costs down through sourcing and optimize their designs. They are full end to end shops from design, sourcing, building, packing, warehousing, and logistics.

    While you can simply contract out 'factory work' - that is not the limit of what these major companies do.. and nearly all companies rely on their production partner to help optimize their products for manufacturing.

    Apple may come up with an idea - but its the Foxconns of the world that work to make it a reality that can be built by the millions.

    #208 4 years ago
    Quoted from accidental:

    It depends on what percentage of the production costs of a pinball is in the human assembly time.
    My understanding that it is really only human wages that are cheaper in China. That and local supply chain efficiencies, which isn't much of a factor for extremely low volumes that pinballs are produced in.

    The assembly costs charged by these factories is tiny. But virtually everything is cheaper there because from the ground up things are cheaper. Space, labor, energy, shipping, etc. All your component costs would go down, all your subassemblies, all your labor, all your overhead, etc. Add into that the network of manufacturing they have there... so your ramps are cheaper, your wood, your displays, your plastics, etc etc

    #209 4 years ago
    Quoted from someoneelse:

    I only drive German cars.
    And...I only wear underwear made in Germany (and their suppliers are German, too!).
    In general i never touch any clothes made in Asia.

    You also don't live in a country of 'free trade'. Tariffs, controls, taxes, etc all to protect domestic industries from having to compete with imports. Artificial limits that prop up domestic industries and labor laws that works as long as you can rely on other countries to supply what you can't do economically yourself under your ideals.

    #210 4 years ago

    It is just not labor costs
    It is also automation
    Homepin has a machine that will assemble all his circuit boards
    This machine can churn out motherboards at one per minute, and it is only running half pace

    #211 4 years ago
    Quoted from PopBumperPete:

    It is just not labor costs
    It is also automation
    Homepin has a machine that will assemble all his circuit boards
    This machine can churn out motherboards at one per minute, and it is only running half pace

    Uhh... every assembly place has such systems. Stern isn't building their PCBs by hand... that kind of stuff is all farmed out to plants that do this work.

    Even modest factories would have several of these lines.. you have an integrated line that goes straight through picking, placing, and soldering all in an automated system. You then go and place components manually that could not be auto-placed.

    #212 4 years ago
    Quoted from flynnibus:

    Uhh... every assembly place has such systems. Stern isn't building their PCBs by hand... that kind of stuff is all farmed out to plants that do this work.
    Even modest factories would have several of these lines.. you have an integrated line that goes straight through picking, placing, and soldering all in an automated system. You then go and place components manually that could not be auto-placed.

    That was my point, Homepin is not farming this stuff out. Most of the work is being done inhouse

    #213 4 years ago

    Average chinese wages have gone up 300% over the last decade. The labour pool is shrinking ,one child policy,

    Regardless the development cost for a machine will still remain high andgoing to china wont help that.

    If a 100 000 machines were being made annually the labour savvings will mean something otherwise imo not really savings in going to china

    #214 4 years ago
    Quoted from flynnibus:

    Uhh... every assembly place has such systems. Stern isn't building their PCBs by hand... that kind of stuff is all farmed out to plants that do this work.

    PnP machines do the majority of the work with wave soldering on virtually all PCBs anymore anywhere, even small scale. Anything surface mount is not done by hand unless it is ultra cheap electronic crap. Generally only a handful of components need to be hand-done (header pins, connectors, jacks, etc.).

    #216 4 years ago

    I don't understand why anyone is debating whether China can manufacturer a quality product. Last I checked, iPhone's are assembled in China by Foxconn. Does anyone really think that is a piece of junk? I'm sure other example abound.

    If Stern designed the pin and outsourced the manufacturing to a Chinese company, I have no doubt it can be done with high quality. It could just as easily turn out to be bad quality. But all it takes is someone experienced with Chinese manufacturing to make sure it is done correctly.

    Whether this makes any business sense is a separate debate altogether.

    #217 4 years ago

    There was an article about the shipping industry recently that stated:

    "Shipping is cheap. So cheap that, rather than fillet its own fish, it is cheaper for Scotland to send its cod 10,000 miles over to China to be filleted and returned to Scotland."

    That blew my mind. The money they saved on the manual labor more than covers the shipping to and from.

    Here is the article I saw on reddit:
    http://www.fastcoexist.com/3016687/10-fascinating-facts-about-the-hidden-industry-that-touches-90-of-what-you-own

    Also what I think is the source of the factoid:
    http://www.heraldscotland.com/scotland-to-china-and-back-again-cod-s-10-000-mile-trip-to-your-table-1.826905

    #218 4 years ago
    Quoted from dasvis:

    Bought a cheap Chinese made bench grinder stand @ Harbor freight last week. Was not expecting much - but damn, it's well made & sturdy.

    Let us know if it is still running a year from now, assuming steady useage. Otherwise a Delta grinder (also made in China, but to the specifications of an American design) is a better choice.
    Case in point, Harbor Freight's "Chicago Electric" 3/4" drive Impact Wrench. I use it for maybe three minutes of run time a year (tire rotation & winter tire exchange on four vehicles). When it was four years old, removing tight wheel bolts and lug nuts the impact clutch started to disengage. Taking it apart once I was able to get it going. Now when it does this, I simply bang the nose of the tool on the concrete floor to reengage it. This was well past their silly 90 Day warranty. Whaddya want for $60.00? I know the $700.00 Bosch version would still be perfect.

    If I had a shop or car repair was my trade, no way would I use this junk. For occasional use, it is fine.

    #219 4 years ago
    Quoted from PopBumperPete:

    That was my point, Homepin is not farming this stuff out. Most of the work is being done inhouse

    To which someone would say... WHY? Creating PCBs is not their core competency and replicating all that manufacturing, skillset, and QA is just wasteful unless he plans on being a electronics assembly company that just happens to do pinballs on the side.

    #220 4 years ago

    FYI, Bally Wulff in Berlin assembles their own circuit boards for their slot machines.

    #221 4 years ago
    Quoted from flynnibus:

    To which someone would say... WHY? Creating PCBs is not their core competency and replicating all that manufacturing, skillset, and QA is just wasteful unless he plans on being a electronics assembly company that just happens to do pinballs on the side.

    Why not

    That is what Mike knows, electronics
    He has been in the industry for more than 40 years.

    #222 4 years ago

    For the same reason a CEO hires a secretary... its not an effective use of his time, space, and budget to sink that kind of money into something so easily put off to someone who can do a flawless job. It's not a place you differentiate yourself with - it's pure commodity work.

    Yea! I have a Pick n Place... I can do a board a minute... ok, 2 hours later I'm done.. and now I have this big piece of electronics taking up space and capital that I have no further use for for a long time..

    Maybe he will buy his own delivery trucks too.. and generate electricity on his own. Why not right?

    #223 4 years ago

    Another reason is intellectual property to slow down the bootlegging process. For gambling-related PCB's; internal controls for gaming laboratory approval and peace of mind.

    #224 4 years ago
    Quoted from MrBally:

    FYI, Bally Wulff in Berlin assembles their own circuit boards for their slot machines.

    And their yearly production units produced are at what scales? 1,5,10,20k units? More? Compared to someone making 1-2 products hoping to get a few hundred units sold.

    Looking closer it looks like HomePin is electronics company that aspires to be a pinball manufacturer. If replacement boards are his core competency and main business, it would make sense to have his own PCB line to a degree.. again depending on volume.

    But like I said earlier.. a company doing something else that also makes pins. They are going to need a lot more energy and time focusing on other bits.. not simple PCB production.

    #225 4 years ago
    Quoted from MrBally:

    Let us know if it is still running a year from now, assuming steady useage. Otherwise a Delta grinder (also made in China, but to the specifications of an American design) is a better choice.
    Case in point, Harbor Freight's "Chicago Electric" 3/4" drive Impact Wrench. I use it for maybe three minutes of run time a year (tire rotation & winter tire exchange on four vehicles). When it was four years old, removing tight wheel bolts and lug nuts the impact clutch started to disengage. Taking it apart once I was able to get it going. Now when it does this, I simply bang the nose of the tool on the concrete floor to reengage it. This was well past their silly 90 Day warranty. Whaddya want for $60.00? I know the $700.00 Bosch version would still be perfect.
    If I had a shop or car repair was my trade, no way would I use this junk. For occasional use, it is fine.

    Uhh, I said STAND - the bench grinder I have attached is a mid-1960's USA made Sears Craftsman.
    Agreed, Chinese tools are generally crap.

    #226 4 years ago
    Quoted from flynnibus:

    For the same reason a CEO hires a secretary... its not an effective use of his time, space, and budget to sink that kind of money into something so easily put off to someone who can do a flawless job. It's not a place you differentiate yourself with - it's pure commodity work.
    Yea! I have a Pick n Place... I can do a board a minute... ok, 2 hours later I'm done.. and now I have this big piece of electronics taking up space and capital that I have no further use for for a long time..
    Maybe he will buy his own delivery trucks too.. and generate electricity on his own. Why not right?

    Aint you Mr Crankypants

    #227 4 years ago
    Quoted from dasvis:

    Uhh, I said STAND - the bench grinder I have attached is a mid-1960's USA made Sears Craftsman.
    Agreed, Chinese tools are generally crap.

    Sorry for the misunderstanding, I read it as "Bench Grinder & Stand" not "Bench Grinder stand @ Harbor Freight. My bad. Their floor jacks are ok. Rags & "rubber" gloves are a good deal plus you get a free flashlight, multimeter, tape measure or knock-off Snap-On screwdrivers with every purchase.

    That Sears grinder of yours will probably outlast both of us. My late Dad bought me the delta one almost 30 years ago. A nice solid machine.

    #228 4 years ago
    Quoted from MrBally:

    Sorry for the misunderstanding, I read it as "Bench Grinder & Stand" not "Bench Grinder stand @ Harbor Freight. My bad. Their floor jacks are ok. Rags & "rubber" gloves are a good deal plus you get a free flashlight, multimeter, tape measure or knock-off Snap-On screwdrivers with every purchase.
    That Sears grinder of yours will probably outlast both of us. My late Dad bought me the delta one almost 30 years ago. A nice solid machine.

    Yeah, I scored that bench grinder at an old car swap meet a couple of years ago for $10.00. Really nice.
    Now, the new Sears stuff is another story...

    #229 4 years ago

    I have some Japanese screwdrivers that are almost 30 years old I still use almost every day.

    Real problem with China tools is the low-grade metal. That's why you get 10 bits in a pack you're gonna chew through them pretty quick (probably because screws are usually Made in USA and better quality than the bits driving them)

    #230 4 years ago
    Quoted from flynnibus:

    To which someone would say... WHY? Creating PCBs is not their core competency and replicating all that manufacturing, skillset, and QA is just wasteful unless he plans on being a electronics assembly company that just happens to do pinballs on the side.

    If you don't do it yourself, there will be bootleg copies coming out of the factory that you get to do it. They're also producing licensed Hankin cocktail tables and replacement pinball boards, so the economy of scale would be working out ok.

    #231 4 years ago
    Quoted from vid1900:

    In 2013 the average factory wage in China was $1.54 (a hour).

    Ha, how the heck do you know all of this stuff Vid? I swear sometimes you come off as a underground criminal mastermind who just happens to like pinball.

    #232 4 years ago

    This reminds me of the part in Dark Knight where the guy tries to blackmail Batman and Morgan Freeman says "Good luck with that".

    If you think Vid is a criminal mastermind, calling him out on a public forum might not be a good idea

    Hopefully the Vidinator will let you slide...this time..

    #233 4 years ago
    Quoted from thedefog:

    They choose you, no doubt. When you're afraid to put it down even for a second because you're afraid someone else might get it, that is usually the sign to buy. The Takamine was not a planned purchase either.
    Now back to China. China china china. Making stuff cheap. End of the world.
    Nope, would rather derail about guitars.

    Takamine's are really sweet, but I was near flabbergasted when my BORN HIPPIE acoustic arrived from GC. one twink to the truss rod, perfect! one of the nicest 65 bucks ever spent, yup Chinese. nicer playing looking and sounding than the Yamaha 225 I had a couple decades ago too. (derailed yet?)

    #234 4 years ago
    Quoted from kvan99:

    Ha, how the heck do you know all of this stuff Vid? I swear sometimes you come off as a underground criminal mastermind who just happens to like pinball.

    The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports annually not only on our own country, but our competition as well. Your tax dollars at work.

    #235 4 years ago
    Quoted from vid1900:

    Finding out about the perfect fakes took the fun out of being a collector for me.
    Now unless I see a $200 garage sale bargain, I can only assume that all vintage guitars are fakes.
    When I took the replica to the big guitar show, I actually was hoping that the experts would be able to detect the forgery and point out to me why it was a fake. I wanted to learn some trick that I did not already know.
    Instead, every dealer was waving cash around and telling me "Do not leave this show without seeing me last!".

    finish the story please

    #236 4 years ago
    Quoted from kvan99:

    Ha, how the heck do you know all of this stuff Vid? I swear sometimes you come off as a underground criminal mastermind who just happens to like pinball.

    http://www.bls.gov/fls/china.htm

    #237 4 years ago
    Quoted from maddog14:

    finish the story please

    I did not commit any fraud, and took the guitar home with me.

    I did not really want to sell it, I just wanted the experts to show me how to detect these perfect replicas.

    I still have it. I can take it to a gig or leave it lying on the bed without worrying about having a $40,000 guitar stolen or damaged.

    #238 4 years ago

    Thanks Gents, I was sure he was a kingpin of some sort but you gents have proved me wrong, he had me there for a while.............(wow).

    #239 4 years ago
    Quoted from vid1900:

    I did not commit any fraud, and took the guitar home with me.
    I did not really want to sell it, I just wanted the experts to show me how to detect these perfect replicas.
    I still have it. I can take it to a gig or leave it lying on the bed without worrying about having a $40,000 guitar stolen or damaged.

    I wouldn't have thought you had. But I was hoping for some wild and crazy adventure.

    #240 4 years ago

    Vid1900 is the pinside international man of mystery.

    #241 4 years ago
    Quoted from asay:

    Not all that surprising, it doesn't have to get shipped over the ocean,.

    Don't assume THAT will protect US products from overseas competition.

    Example:
    Steel.
    Hard to imagine anything bulkier than giant rolls of steel, right?
    No way it would be cheaper to buy steel from China when you factor in the freight?
    Wrong.

    My first job out of college I was a field sales engineer and one of my clients, bethlehem steel was lamenting the fact that they were getting KILLED by overseas steel!

    I couldn't believe it. Their customer was 2 miles away from their plant (literally directly connected by a rail line) and they lost the business to a supplier an ocean away.

    Why? Lots of reasons.... not the least of which was the union clowns I passed sitting around, collected wages 4x their skill level because they were "unionized."

    #242 4 years ago

    College lol

    The other unskilled "union" of overpaid entitled workers driving up the cost of everything

    I'm being both funny & douchey so dont get all sassy

    #243 4 years ago

    Where do you think a majority of the replacement part come from?

    #244 4 years ago
    Quoted from 2RustyBalls:

    Where do you think a majority of the replacement part come from?

    GPE ?

    #245 4 years ago
    Quoted from vid1900:

    I still have it. I can take it to a gig or leave it lying on the bed without worrying about having a $40,000 guitar stolen or damaged.

    Quoted from Luckydogg420:

    Vid1900 is the pinside international man of mystery

    Seriously. Now I want to know what band you are in!

    #246 4 years ago
    Quoted from vid1900:

    I did not commit any fraud, and took the guitar home with me.
    I did not really want to sell it, I just wanted the experts to show me how to detect these perfect replicas.
    I still have it. I can take it to a gig or leave it lying on the bed without worrying about having a $40,000 guitar stolen or damaged.

    Aren't vintage guitars all about the wood? The age of the wood directly contributing to the sound (and feel) aesthetics of the instrument? Is perfectly dried, aged wood that easy to fake? Sounds like a GREAT thing for musicians. Anyone paying $40k for a nice laquer job and old fashioned volume pots probably deserves to get ripped off. That said, I am not a participant in the vintage guitar collector market. I have, however, played some (at least I think they were) genuine vintage fenders (Sadowski guitar shop in NYC) and I'd like to think I could tell the difference.

    #247 4 years ago

    Weight is 70KG - so thats about 150LBS
    So it can't be anything like a real pinball machine

    #248 4 years ago
    Quoted from TheFamilyArcade:

    Aren't vintage guitars all about the wood? The age of the wood directly contributing to the sound (and feel) aesthetics of the instrument?

    Probably more so with acoustic instruments, like where a pinetop has a totally different sound than an Ash top.

    Electric instruments of course have different woods with different tones, but the differences are much smaller.

    Quoted from TheFamilyArcade:

    Is perfectly dried, aged wood that easy to fake?

    The wood itself is not fake, just the finishes are aged.

    Wood is already 100s of years old, and luthiers have been carefully drying wood for 1000 years - an art in itself no doubt.

    Quoted from TheFamilyArcade:

    I'd like to think I could tell the difference.

    I'd like to think that too, especially after spending a lifetime collecting vintage guitars.

    Unfortunately, neither I, nor any expert I've ever show that guitar to has been able to detect that it is a total forgery.

    #249 4 years ago

    Wouldn't the chemicals in the paint be different? The wire in the internals be a different color or braid or maybe adifferent gauge? Screws be different, thread type length (talking fractions of millimetres)

    #250 4 years ago
    Quoted from PinPatch:

    Wouldn't the chemicals in the paint be different?

    They have mastered that.

    Even under UV light the paint and fade are so amazingly perfect.

    Quoted from PinPatch:

    The wire in the internals be a different color or braid or maybe adifferent gauge? Screws be different, thread type length (talking fractions of millimetres)

    All those things are still made, or are even available surplus and thus truly vintage.

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