(Topic ID: 138841)

CPR playfield quality

By kjgolf

4 years ago

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  • 48 posts
  • 27 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 3 years ago by kjgolf
  • Topic is favorited by 8 Pinsiders


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#25 4 years ago
Quoted from KevinCPR:

Sorry Vid... love you, but I've spoke up many times when this thread is cited. It is what *NOT* to expect from a new CPR playfield. Remember, with hundred(s) made in each run, all we ever hear about (or the ones that get publicized) are the odd few in each run that people highlight. Just like the ones in your thread. If that was the standard quality of our runs, we'd be out of business. What you are showing are the *exceptions* . Big big difference. Sorry, but that's the way it is. What to expect ? Take a look at any of our closeup galleries. They are all a randomly selected sample from a run. NOT cherries, or special quality. I still get jazzed seeing the new playfields coming back from clearcoat. They are truly nearly ALL "cherries".

And this is the statement of the century, when it comes to these kind of things. It's a testament to the usual magnitude of these kind of "flaws" that pop up, noticed years after the fact. So easy to miss, that even quality sticklers like Gatecrasher didn't notice. I guess neither did we. You better be darned sure that when a customer is doing an exchange, I personally hunt specifically for a sweet replacement (best I can find) in order to "put out the dissatisfaction fire"... not start a new issue with something else the customer will find on the replacement. Think about it. You don't replace a playfield that twisted in shipping, to an unhappy customer, with another playfield that has dings in the clearcoat... You just don't.

It's not a story. Sometimes thing happen to the wood after shipping, not clearcoating. EVERYTHING leaves here virtually flat. If something arrives "real bad" (and it sometimes happens - sometimes religiously to the same person(s) over and over - like Gatecrasher) that for a time we thought about making a shipping blacklist. Not to blacklist the customer, but the shipping route! There is no way with the randomness of playfield selection that a single guy can get "real bad" warped arrivals every single time. The odds are immense, with ALL of them flat here on my racks to begin with. Things happen going from Canada to destinations, through hot and freezing cold sorting centers, humid balmy trucks, etc... sometimes a playfield will just drink it all up and go from 7-8% humidity... to 20-25% humidity... and it WILL twist. It's just amazing that that it happens to the same people, who do the same exchanges, yet the second attempt always arrives flat. When both left flat. It's perplexing. By the way, when the customer rejected return arrives - I rarely see any twist, and it's almost like it disappeared. But I've seen pictures from the customer end before, so I know they aren't bullshitting.

*I* am the "QC"... there is no staff or department, I assure you. I want to blow away any notion that there is some special grading staff here that is blind. If anybody is blind, it's simply me. I'm the one who individually lays out each playfield for grading, with the Gold/Silver/Bronze stamps in hand, under the 8000 lumen lights on the photography table. I look over the whole thing, glare the spotlights all over the clearcoat, and the tabletop is a hard flat surface that immediately reveals if there is any twist/warp (because it will rock corner to corner). I grade and stamp each playfield appropriately. I've become a pretty picky tinkerer in doing it, as I know what is demanded out there.
This Playboy as shown in the photo simply baffles me.
Playboys were from ~2010, so this is a playfield from nearly 6 years ago. Not blaming Gatecrasher, but it looks like something was pressed into the clear from above. The ridges and ripple shapes are just way too oddball. Clearcoat is not a magical process, and it's not rocket science. When gunned on, it sits like a thin puddle, and self levels. Plus there are sandbacks and several layers done by the end of the process. To finish with that spotty rippley gouging is just not possible off the gun. It had to happen after the fact.
It also doesn't look like it's hard to miss. If Gatecrasher didn't see it, either the camera is very set-up for the shot, or maybe it happened during a truck squeeze between Gatecrasher and the new owner. I don't know.
Could it have left here like that in 2010 ? Possibly. But I'd give it a 5% chance or so. Remember, this was a *replacement* for an unhappy Gatecrasher. You better believe I went over the replacement to send him a flawless one back... that is just standard fare.
These things always stump me, and thank god our wood, glues, inks, and clears have come SUCH a long way since 2010. Cyclones (those damn oval windows that contracted and cracked the black ring around them), Shuttles (dropouts in woodgrain around insert openings), High Speed (hotdog insert crackles) ... all these particular runs that had their strange idiosyncracies that reared their head on a quarter or so of the run... which thankfully were 4-6 years ago, and we've never looked back. An era of CPR going through different wood mills, and different insert makers. Sometimes things bit us on the ass, when we were 4-5 years into experience by that point.
Things have settled down, by today in 2015, that consistency in our supplies, our processes, and our clearcoater have brought us to a nice comfortable stasis... it's very very hard to find a "bum" CPR playfield in our runs. To the point that bronzes make up only around 5% of our run length these days. Around 10% silver. 85% Gold. We couldn't be happier.
Do playfields arrive to customers twisted any more? Rarely. Maybe 1 or 2 a year.... out of 1000 ! Our custom wood stock simply rocks, now.
Do playfields arrive with missed gouges, chunks, or crevaces in the clear? Only if they somehow get past my eyes, and our clearcoater's eyes, and the guy packing's eyes. Three people. Before they even get here, our clearcoater also glares them under big spotlights looking for stuff, well before they arrive back to my shop... or they just don't make it onto his truck. He will hold them back, re-shoot, and use the 3M Perfect-It process to eliminate the smallest of bumplets he may see. He simply hates them, and he's picky to a fault.
In the end, this Playboy guy can certainly contact me. I mean, it's second hand now and 5 years after sale, but there is always something I can do for him. If he is willing to ship it up here, we can send it back through clearcoating for a whole re-topping. I'm actually eager to see this squiggley gouge area with my own eyes. We can fix it no problem. No charge.
Classic Playfield Reproductions

Very classy thing to do by CPR reclearcoating the playfield for no charge. And great explanation as well. Cheers to CPR!

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