(Topic ID: 239958)

Is JJP Quality Control Becoming Inconsistent?

By PanzerFreak

2 years ago


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  • Latest reply 69 days ago by BMore-Pinball
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    Topic poll

    “Is JJP Quality Control Inconsistent? ”

    • No 20 votes
      23%
    • Yes 67 votes
      77%

    (87 votes)

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    #1 2 years ago

    First off I created this thread as I think JJP is designing and coding the best pinball machines on the planet right now and want to see them around long term. All of the issues below are not related to parts quality (great), cabinet quality (great), boards (great), but rather how the games are being assembled at the factory.

    There's been more reports recently of JJP quality control being inconsistent. I don't want to say that their QC has dropped across the board as I don't believe that is the case. Customer A can have a game built 2 weeks ago that plays perfectly but Customer B with a game built last week has multiple issues. I'm not talking about small tweak issues either, that's understandable as these are mechanical devices that in some cases travel across the country (or across the globe). There's been reports of soldering joints on Pirates coming loose due to the wiring harness being too tight, lose side rails on various titles, the molded beast heads on Hobbit coming loose, and I just read from another Pinside member who received a NIB Pirates where the coils for the upper playfield flippers were installed reverse...

    I currently own JJP's 4 games that they have built to date. The one that has had the least amount of issues is over 5 years old, my WOZ ECLE. My Hobbit LE was an earlier build and I had to install a bunch of fix updates including replacing the ramp flaps which was a major pain in the ass. My Dialed In LE was blowing a fuse out of the box, turns out the apron was touching the auto shooter which caused a short. Easy fix thankfully, Ted Estes provided troubleshooting assistance which was amazing and the game is put together well. I just received a Pirates LE built on 2/4/19 that has had zero hardware issues which knock on wood seems odd when customers with build dates 1 week newer have issues (the reverse flipper coil example above is one).

    I'll say this, JJP does listen to community feedback about issues found on games and implements those changes at the factory. However, those changes appear to be done on some games and then not on others. Some games are having screws / nuts tightened consistently but then not on others. In other words quality control does not appear to be consistent and that is the last thing owners of a $8.5k-$12.5k pinball machine should be worried about.

    So what's going on at the JJP factory? Is staff one day or week putting games together better then the staff working the next week? Is it one person on the line causing all the issues and it's just a lottery as to whether or not your game is put together by him or her? Why are some games being play tested and or going through final checks when others don't appear to be? Is the factory manager / supervisor regularly making sure that games are being put together correctly?

    What do you think?

    #2 2 years ago

    A better question:

    Is all pinball quality suspect?

    Or another question:

    Is all pinball quality consistently inconsistant?

    #3 2 years ago
    Quoted from pinballinreno:

    A better question:
    Is all pinball quality suspect?
    Or another question:
    Is all pinball quality consistently inconsistant?

    Consistently consistent? Now my head hurts lol. There's been a lot of other threads regarding QC at Stern and other companies so I didn't want to make it a wide ranging topic. JJP is known for offering quality built products so the uptick in QC issues seems odd.

    #4 2 years ago

    I think no manufacturer is perfect, but Stern has full time employees trained and measures in place which produce the most consistently reliable product in the industry.

    JJP must work harder to model it to run a successful pinball company.

    #5 2 years ago
    Quoted from Vino:

    I think no manufacturer is perfect, but Stern has full time employees trained with measures in place which produce the most consistently reliable product in the industry.
    JJP must work harder to emulate it to run a successful pinball company.

    Yeah, I hear ya there. Stern seems to have the opposite problem of JJP with cabinet and parts QC issues (brought upon by themselves) but the games are being put together well at the factory.

    #6 2 years ago

    Issue is these are complex machines built 100% by human hands

    But, there should be better QC before they leave.
    Seems owners are getting machines from all manufacturers with issues that could and should of easily been caught.

    Got a new Maiden today and a flipper rubber was already broken and coming off - easy fix as my distributor had one in his truck, but how does that happen?

    #7 2 years ago

    Look under the hood of a Stern vs JJP. So many more opportunities for issues. Plus Stern rolls out Pro models with the least moving parts first. This is a good way to troubleshoot and get the staff in a groove to be ready for the more complex LE's and Premiums. Plus...making pinball is hard, right?

    #8 2 years ago
    Quoted from BMore-Pinball:

    Issue is these are complex machines built 100% by human hands
    But, there should be better QC before they leave.
    Seems owners are getting machines from all manufacturers with issues that could and should of easily been caught.
    Got a new Maiden today and a flipper rubber was already broken and coming off - easy fix as my distributor had one in his truck, but how does that happen?

    Yeah good point. One would think that all of these companies would have a final checklist they go over before a game gets packed that includes checking various items on the playfield / cabinet.

    #9 2 years ago

    Of the two JJP games I have purchased, both had at least one issue that was obvious (WOZ had a standup switch shorted, DI had a opto plug partially plugged in, diverter mech. needed some serious tweaking) and other issues that are not as easily to spot (cabling too tight etc..). Every game I purchase weather new or not gets gone over with a fine tooth comb. Obviously you cant check everything but you can go over quite a bit. I will say though that the overall quality from WOZLE to DILE is lower. Decals instead of direct print cab, the interior or DI was a little dusty. WOZ was just mint when I got it, seems like it was tended to much better, though we are talking about their first game out the door so.. Within the two games I have bought I do not see any noticeable difference in quality control.

    #10 2 years ago

    I believe the nature of the games themselves lend to challenges from a QC standpoint. Ultimately, the most perfect game will have problems after it's been rattled, moved, banged, etc. Can't really engineer that out..... To think in this day and age that these things are still largely built/ assembled by hand is amazing, period.

    I've seen both manufacturers provide outstanding support, as QC shifts about. Suspect that as JJP is facing a reality of churning more games to realize a profit, they are experiencing the same thing that Stern has already been through.

    I'm ever optimistic that both companies believe in their product, and are trying to deliver the best product while keeping the doors open.

    Even though pinball is seeing a surge, it is soooo tiny compared to other "toys" designed for disposable income. Grateful for both.

    My answer.....ECLE was a game that can never afford to be made again at the level/ care that was given to it.....just my opinion.

    #11 2 years ago

    So far I've been lucky with all my NIB purchases from Stern & JJP as I have yet to buy a game when it first comes out. Maybe thats why I've avoided problems fresh out of the box.

    #12 2 years ago
    Quoted from GravitaR:

    So far I've been lucky with all my NIB purchases from Stern & JJP as I have yet to buy a game when it first comes out. Maybe thats why I've avoided problems fresh out of the box.

    and wise, you are...I've had some pretty good battles w first runs on both sides, but ultimately got them rock solid...nature of the beast, I suppose...

    #13 2 years ago

    I have a potcLE on order, but I am shocked about the number of owner issues that have needed to be addressed. The factory simply has to do better.

    #14 2 years ago

    Anyone who votes “No” needs to receive a NIB like I did on Tuesday. Three out of five flippers f**ked. Upper playfield flippers reversed and left lower flipper inoperable after five games.

    We’re not talking about a single switch, opto, or lamp. These are the main components to every pinball currently made.

    These aren’t shipping related issues. These are “I don’t give a shit” assembly and QC issues emanating directly from the factory floor. I call bullshit on factory testing before shipping. One push of the flipper button was all that was needed.

    #15 2 years ago

    As far as JJP quality being consistent, I can only report my Dialed In LE s/n 0770 just picked up at TPF was nearly perfect. Just a couple very minor issues that were easily corrected. Build date Feb 2018.

    #16 2 years ago

    I bought 3 JJP machines. All of them had a large amount issues POTC being the worse and still not right. They are great with support and acknowledge assembling process flaws. .

    I hope they do a better job training their assembly techs in the future. It reflects on the company .

    #17 2 years ago

    I think the answer to the question is readily apparent...just read the JJPOTC thread.

    If Jack is still using temp workers, this is going to continue to happen. You aren't going to find decent moderately skilled workers in a high COL area like NJ when they are only getting paid $10-$12/hr through an agency. And as soon as you get one trained, and lay them off because the line is slow, you have to start all over again. Things like poor solder connections are very easy to train out of someone. I just think they are rushing too much and not truly doing QC on these machines before they leave the factory.

    And Jack, don't take this as a negative slam...I really want to see you succeed! You guys make some neat stuff.

    #18 2 years ago

    On my Hobbit, the big dwarf drop target assembly fell out of the playfield on the first game. Apparently, someone forgot to fasten the screws in the factory. Big deal? Not really, I fixed it in minutes. But it gave me a big shocker, I can tell you that.

    On my Metallica, two targets were switched places. Again, no big deal but it took me a while to discover the issue with the wrong insert lighting up

    On my heavily routed Addams Family, I found one of the wires for GI lighting was actually placed in the wrong molex connector. It was in the columns plug, where it had to be in the rows plug. Ouch! Now that was a pain to figure out. That game is 26 years old and no one ever found out about it. (I did because I had some weird light ghosting issue).

    A friend of mine, zaza, who actually worked as a tech for a big operator has dozens of horror stories about bad QC and games needing reworking right out of the box. Good stories.

    My point is: I think quality control issues belong to every age and to every manufacturer.

    #19 2 years ago

    Pinball is hard. Bouncing around on a truck for hundreds of miles is hard.

    #20 2 years ago
    Quoted from WackyBrakke:

    Pinball is hard. Bouncing around on a truck for hundreds of miles is hard.

    Wiring flippers backwards has nothing to do with shipping.

    #21 2 years ago

    The 15 no votes are from NON-POTC owners

    #22 2 years ago
    Quoted from DerGoetz:

    The 15 no votes are from NON-POTC owners

    Incorrect.

    #23 2 years ago

    Didn’t vote, but I’ve had 1 used JJP and 3 NIB. Their QC leaves something to be desired at times, but they’ve always taken care of me. Can’t wait for Wonka.

    #24 2 years ago

    I voted yes.
    I agree with Robin earlier.

    QC has been the bane of pinball mfg for decades.

    It truly is the nature of the beast.

    Intelligent, skilled, caring workers available on a non permanent, temporary basis is challenging to say the least.

    It was true before and more true now.

    So, consistantly inconsistant. Lol

    #25 2 years ago

    Stern had an increase in issues after moving to the larger facility. This was most likely partly due to new inexperienced employees to fill the new line. They also had issues "the cabinets" most likely due to a new supplier. My guess would be JJP issues are the same

    #26 2 years ago
    Quoted from JY64:

    Stern had an increase in issues after moving to the larger facility. This was most likely partly due to new inexperienced employees to fill the new line. They also had issues "the cabinets" most likely due to a new supplier. My guess would be JJP issues are the same

    Makes sense.

    #27 2 years ago
    Quoted from JY64:

    Stern had an increase in issues after moving to the larger facility. This was most likely partly due to new inexperienced employees to fill the new line. They also had issues "the cabinets" most likely due to a new supplier. My guess would be JJP issues are the same

    Yeah. JJP cabinet and parts quality is excellent, just sucks some games are not being assembled correctly and or play tested. Like I mentioned it's strange that a game made today can play perfectly and one built next week has a bunch of issues.

    #28 2 years ago

    Yeah not sure what happened with POTC and the issues that they can’t get right at the factory; hopefully wonka is much better

    #29 2 years ago

    Don't get me wrong. This game is hands down the best pinball machine I have ever played. Just cumbersome to have to rearrange what should have been assembled correctly at the factory.

    #30 2 years ago

    drones stopped working on di, put in a complaint, still under warranty. they replied with ... looking into it. 3 weeks later still no response back.

    #31 2 years ago

    POTC issues seem to be training or employee related more then previous issues. It has mostly.been things not put together correctly and certainly not tested. Previous titles all had part design issues such as WOZ light boards, hobbit beast mechs and ramp flaps, i didn't keep up with DI enough to know much about it.

    So it's good that the major parts issues did not happen with POTC. Its concerning that they have developed a little bit of issues putting them together though.

    #32 2 years ago
    Quoted from jgentry:POTC issues seem to be training or employee related more then previous issues. It has mostly.been things not put together correctly and certainly not tested. Previous titles all had part design issues such as WOZ light boards, hobbit beast mechs and ramp flaps, i didn't keep up with DI enough to know much about it.
    So it's good that the major parts issues did not happen with POTC. Its concerning that they have developed a little bit of issues putting them together though.

    Yup, it's the assembly of the parts that is the issue. JJP better figure it would as if not the same issues will plaque some Wonka games.

    Early Dialed In games had issues with chipping at the SIM card hole (later correctly with Cliffys installed at factory), rubbers easily breaking (later updated to Titans I believe), and some earlier builds had the ramp flap on the trap door cracking off. They did improve everything thankfully with later build games.

    #33 2 years ago
    Quoted from musketd:

    Yeah not sure what happened with POTC and the issues that they can’t get right at the factory; hopefully wonka is much better

    I feel like this game was - from day 1 - a victim of their "kitchen sink" ambition. All the Panzer-friendly "toys" in the world are no good if the game has Delorean-style reliability issues.

    I trust their next game will be more like Dialed in - plenty of cool stuff but within the realm of sanity. I hope so anyway - JJP needs a hit and producing a game not ridden with headaches will help that. I'm really looking forward to playing their new game.

    #34 2 years ago
    Quoted from CrazyLevi:

    I feel like this game was - from day 1 - a victim of their "kitchen sink" ambition. All the Panzer-friendly "toys" in the world are no good if the game has Delorean-style reliability issues.
    I trust their next game will be more like Dialed in - plenty of cool stuff but within the realm of sanity. I hope so anyway - JJP needs a hit and producing a game not ridden with headaches will help that. I'm really looking forward to playing their new game.

    Yeah, I'm glad they didn't incorporate the triple disk and opening / closing trunk now as both never worked correctly on the prototype I played. After owning both Dialed In and Pirates I think Dialed In has just as many (or close) toys as Pirates. Seems like the issue with Pirates is actually having people consistently put together and configure the mechs correctly on the game.

    Both the chest toy and especially the ship are ambitious toys when you take in all of the parts involved for each. If either isn't put together exactly as they should be it can throw the entire game off.

    2 months later
    #35 2 years ago
    Quoted from PanzerFreak:

    Yeah. JJP cabinet and parts quality is excellent, just sucks some games are not being assembled correctly and or play tested. Like I mentioned it's strange that a game made today can play perfectly and one built next week has a bunch of issues.

    Seems to me if parts can be made well and also cabinets, then the assembly personel needs to be replaced. maybe they need to relocate the assembly to keep quality?

    I'm looking to buy i couple of pins, but haven't got around to it, since i find it totally unacceptable buying stuff that costs almost as much as a car, which is ten times as complex or more, seeing them broken and needing lots of fixes right out of the box.
    It's like buying a new car, and having to call for a tow to get it home for the first time.

    #36 2 years ago
    Quoted from CrazyLevi:

    I feel like this game was - from day 1 - a victim of their "kitchen sink" ambition. All the Panzer-friendly "toys" in the world are no good if the game has Delorean-style reliability issues.
    I trust their next game will be more like Dialed in - plenty of cool stuff but within the realm of sanity. I hope so anyway - JJP needs a hit and producing a game not ridden with headaches will help that. I'm really looking forward to playing their new game.

    What do you mean by this post?
    Do you mean that a spinning disc is to advanced for a toy that costs 10k dollars?
    The moving head of smaug, that seems to break yearly, for some poor customers here?
    That head could be made with 20-year old easy replaceable rc-parts.
    That moving dragon head is a cash-grab, nothing Else.
    What does it cost 500$? You can get a chinese moving head, with ten times better quality for 150$.

    #37 2 years ago
    Quoted from PanzerFreak:

    So what's going on at the JJP factory?

    Well from what they & Lloyd have consistently told me, they have the best goddamn electrical connection in the world! Many problems we are told are due to the electricity being diff'rent in our areas & at shows

    Quoted from PanzerFreak:

    Yup, it's the assembly of the parts that is the issue. JJP better figure it would as if not the same issues will plaque some Wonka games.

    Early Dialed In games had issues with chipping at the SIM card hole (later correctly with Cliffys installed at factory), rubbers easily breaking (later updated to Titans I believe), ...

    They actually made some shit ass replacements, not real cliffys, and tried to pass that off as "a fix" at the beginning if I'm not mistaken; monies out of my pocket to fix that with the real thing.
    Board fried right off the bat; monies out of my pocket to cover shipping of replacement parts.
    Horrible trapdoor mech that had to be dealt with by all.
    Mis-wiring of the Bob stand up lights was a thing early on as well.

    I've only owned a DI and know of the issues related to that game, although we've all heard plenty of issues on most (all?) the games made.

    So I would say they are pretty consistent in not have the best quality control. This was actually somewhat obvious to people viewing the whole thing from a few steps back, and not bedazzled by JJP's toybox.

    #38 2 years ago
    Quoted from rs812:

    Anyone who votes “No” needs to receive a NIB like I did on Tuesday. Three out of five flippers f**ked. Upper playfield flippers reversed and left lower flipper inoperable after five games.
    We’re not talking about a single switch, opto, or lamp. These are the main components to every pinball currently made.
    These aren’t shipping related issues. These are “I don’t give a shit” assembly and QC issues emanating directly from the factory floor. I call bullshit on factory testing before shipping. One push of the flipper button was all that was needed.

    Terrible and disgraceful. What make me so pissed of is the fact that i consider theese games as fine pieces of art, especially woz, hobbit and pirates.
    Beautiful and extremely thought thru. Remarkable.

    The feeling i get when they are so piss poor executed is probebly what somebody loving art would feel if picasso was forced to do his most important work on toilet paper.

    #39 2 years ago

    Don't worry, Robert and Deeproot are coming in to kick out all the dull and old pinball industry with their state of the art whatever they are building !

    1 year later
    #40 82 days ago

    JJP definitely needs better quality control, unboxed a GNR Standard today and boy did some things stand out.

    It looks like they overtightened the flipper button and wrinkled the decal on the right side of the game. They also could not adhere the sticker straight on the front coin door, and used so much glue on the back of the machine that it oozed out and dried (but hey, at least that part goes against the wall).

    The vibe I get from this machine is that it was most likely assembled around 5 o’clock on a Friday (when everyone was gearing up to leave for the weekend) and probably even said “good enough, it’s only a standard”.

    I know it’s only just little things but I feel like that is what is most annoying..if little things like this happen than why even have a quality control division of the company?

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    #41 82 days ago
    Quoted from That370Z:

    JJP definitely needs better quality control, unboxed a GNR Standard today and boy did some things stand out.
    It looks like they overtightened the flipper button and wrinkled the decal on the right side of the game. They also could not adhere the sticker straight on the front coin door, and used so much glue on the back of the machine that it oozed out and dried (but hey, at least that part goes against the wall).
    The vibe I get from this machine is that it was most likely assembled around 5 o’clock on a Friday (when everyone was gearing up to leave for the weekend) and probably even said “good enough, it’s only a standard”.
    I know it’s only just little things but I feel like that is what is most annoying..if little things like this happen than why even have a quality control division of the company?
    [quoted image][quoted image][quoted image]

    There's no excuses for minor quality issues like that. Applying decals, glue, and stickers should be a given to be done right. If JJP, Stern, or whoever wants to charge top prices then they also need to offer top quality. I hope the rest of your game is perfect, at least no major issues reported and these ones presented are fixable. There should be some guides here on how to get rid of the cabinet wrinkle by the flipper button.

    At these prices I would bring all 3 issues up to JJP or your distributor. JJP just raised prices on GNR by $1k, they should be held accountable for all quality issues at the prices they are charging. Someone should be inspecting a game in detail before it's packed up, that clearly wasn't done here (or at least well).

    #42 82 days ago

    This thread was started 2 yrs ago. Deja vu.

    #43 82 days ago
    Quoted from PanzerFreak:

    At these prices I would bring all 3 issues up to JJP or your distributor. JJP just raised prices on GNR by $1k, they should be held accountable for all quality issues at the prices they are charging. Someone should be inspecting a game in detail before it's packed up, that clearly wasn't done here (or at least well).

    I’m sure the distributor will have all of these issues rectified in short order.

    #44 81 days ago
    Quoted from Mike_J:

    I’m sure the distributor will have all of these issues rectified in short order.

    0a60f4bc-a93a-4428-b3b4-570e4bc5ba5c_text.gif

    #45 81 days ago

    Every machine I've NIB'd has had fatal QC issues out of the box.

    One of the best was my Monopoly: the left ramp entry was mounted 1/2" above the playfield, such that the shot was completely impossible; even a cursory play-through before it left the factory would have caught that.

    1 week later
    -1
    #46 69 days ago
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    #47 69 days ago

    I think this goes back to recent JJP job postings
    The QC position was the lowest paid one

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