The simple answer, if a playfield exhibits true "planking", no it is not.
I cannot evaluate as there are no proper photos of this planking I could review.
Insufficient wood drying prior to manufacture and CNC routing can cause premature cracks.
This can also be found in playfields that have improper storage conditions prior to assembly.
This happened in the past with other titles from titles from Bally/Williams/Gottlieb as well, but these playfields were sold as seconds and not often used in game production.
"Ribbing" as described can be commonly found in playfields that were improperly prepared/sanded prior to screening and coating. This can also be caused by the application of the clear coat itself. All the photos I have seen on this thread have some form of ribbing.
There is a difference as noted.
Stern games had ribbing problems all the way back into the early 2000s, so new members need to stop saying this a "new" problem, if that becomes a separate argument. It is not. I remember unboxing multiples of LOTR and TSPP, that all had this evidence, but not "planking". They also had ink screening problems as well with things being misaligned, which has also been brought up in the past.
I have certainly seen some 40-50 year old NOS playfields with planking due to improper storage, mostly out of the wood warping with age.
If a person wants a "perfect" playfield game, look to past for examples to acquire, although there is no guarantee you will find them without substantial work. Very few games unless stored in correct climate controlled conditions are going to be "perfect" anyway after 20-50 years, but they do exist.
Today, manufacturers often cut every material corner they can to be able to make games quickly as the pinball revival is not guaranteed for longevity.
They are also working with market of customers that are not versed in the industry or past standards.
The trend will not improve until people stop buying games or refuse the present standard of construction.
I have not seen substantial improvements in a forward direction in nearly 15 years in this area alone, except JJP with their QC efforts in materials and features within the designs themselves.
I don't understand why people believe this will change presently with words, as manufacturers are not going to change as a result of PinSide comments.
The pinball market remains tenuous as a medium of entertainment, as it has for nearly 40 years after closure of the EM era.
Most people that buy games are not here.
Those are here that are informed get told they are wrong, and those that are wrong, seem to get cheerleaded to the front of the line.
There is nothing wrong with a bit of skepticism on quality of materials used today for pinball construction which have degraded, as enthusiast suspicions are accurate.
Pinball machines today are built with the mindset of "an industrial disposable coin operated device being sold for limited private ownership".
They are not built to the same level of quality of motorcycles or automobiles today, as they were in the past decades.
Operators know it, even if private owners might not, and are accepting the realities as well, as they hold no upper hand now in the market, but would MUCH rather owner ANY game made BEFORE 1999 than today in terms of long term reliability and durability (including playfields), unless able to profit from general interest of a new title.
In my region, lots and lots of people want to have pinball on route locations including business owners, but they do not understand they simply are not profitable for the operator themselves and simply an "add on" to route against AMI Jukeboxes, Big Buck Hunter HD, Megatouch, redemption, cigarette dispensers, or even photo booths!