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(Topic ID: 55164)

World's Best Pinball Factory


By jpop

7 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 16 posts
  • 13 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 1 year ago by vicjw66
  • No one calls this topic a favorite

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    #1 7 years ago

    If you were building the world's best pinball factory what would it look like? How would things be put together, would there be a new type of assembly line, and would it wired so people could watch or help out virtually? Or will be it always relegated to the paradigm it is with people standing up, in a block building, boxes of parts on palletes and a general manufaturing ecosystem that was invented by Eli Whitney or Henry Ford as progressive assembly?

    Harley just changed their hands-on approach to the joy of the owners, but the dismay of the experienced workers. Jpop

    #2 7 years ago

    All depends on what your line rate is.

    If you want to make one machine a day, you've got inifinte possibilities on how to set up your work flow.

    If you want to make one machine a minute, you've got to be highly compartmentalized and have *everything* be standardized work. No possible way to build quality in the high-volume environment without all tasks/tools/procedures/parts being highly specialized.

    Being a former automotive plant quality engineer (helped build SUVs for 7 years), I noticed a lot of improvements from the automotive world I could apply to a pinball assembly line. Items such as;

    Quality gates - building quality in-station and eliminating issues before they're passed down-stream.
    Andon - Emprowering the assemblers to notify of quality issues and even stop the line if needed.
    Tooling fixtures and jigs - helps reduce build variations.
    Mutilation protection - Now that pinballs are collector/art pieces, taking care to avoid scratches/dents/etc....

    I could go on-and-on....

    Later,
    EV

    #3 7 years ago

    I'd want an all pic-n-place robotic assembly line.

    All puny humans would be employed simply to design and play test.

    #4 7 years ago
    Quoted from vid1900:

    I'd want an all pic-n-place robotic assembly line.
    All puny humans would be employed simply to design and play test.

    I'm with you. Sure has improved the fit and finish of many products.

    #5 7 years ago

    Robots are nice, but you need very tight GD&T (geometric dimensioning and tolerance) to have them be useful. As in, around +/- 0.5mm or so. Plus, robots are expensive.

    In a typical auto assembly plant, the only truly robotic functions are the welders that put the body shell together, the paint booths, and the fixed glass install. Everything else is carried along conveyors to operator work stations and assembled by hand.

    For pinball, I would imagine that you could automate the assembly of the cabinet, but that's about it.

    Later,
    EV

    #6 7 years ago
    Quoted from vid1900:

    I'd want an all pic-n-place robotic assembly line.
    All puny humans would be employed simply to design and play test.

    +1 for pick-n-place & robots

    they call it human error for a reason

    #8 7 years ago

    pinball assembly seems to have too much randomness and room for sloppy assembly, especially underneath. Too much variance. Jpop

    #9 7 years ago

    I think one of the biggest costs can be training the workers (and then monitoring them to make sure they are doing it right for the first 10-20 assemblies). It would be neat if the engineer recorded himself building a one-off pilot build, moving to each section of the assembly line. Then each worker could wear HUD glasses with video set at semi-transparency or only have video on one eye (since they are becoming more mainstream and cheaper). Have a pause button mounted to a wrist-strap in case they aren't keeping up.

    Each section of the assembly line trains in their section for 20 pieces, then they give the glasses to the next section (cut down on number of glasses needed).

    * Any new trainees could be quickly taught what to do
    * Any future owners would have a DVD that follows the machine, and not only know exactly how things go together, but it documents every piece needed to assemble (how many times do you buy a pin, and parts are missing that you don't even realize are missing, and the manuals aren't detailed enough for you to know any better)

    #10 7 years ago

    Damn it herb... Beat me to it! Nice one.

    #11 7 years ago

    My favorite Pin "factory" would be a small shop with only a few people involved, building a pin per week... with love and passion. (and wishing them the possibility to grow and become major players)

    #12 7 years ago

    I agree with jim33, finding the right people that care about there work. It's not the easiest thing to find these days.

    #13 7 years ago

    We have a Honda parts plant here (injection molding) and the CEO told me they went through 2000 employees last year. They employ 500. That's a 400% turnover. Ridiculous. (They gave up 200 in their first round of mandatory drug screening.)

    #14 7 years ago
    Quoted from jpop:

    pinball assembly seems to have too much randomness and room for sloppy assembly, especially underneath. Too much variance. Jpop

    Or are they are work of art and each one is different from the other? Each one has it's own personality and even functions a little different from the others. It's part of what makes pinball so great.

    #15 7 years ago
    Quoted from smokey_789:

    We have a Honda parts plant here (injection molding) and the CEO told me they went through 2000 employees last year. They employ 500. That's a 400% turnover. Ridiculous. (They gave up 200 in their first round of mandatory drug screening.)

    That is sad. I worry about the future of the younger people I care about. Will they rise to the top because it's so hard to find quality people or will everything just be chaos?

    6 years later
    #16 1 year ago
    Quoted from jpop:

    If you were building the world's best pinball factory what would it look like? How would things be put together, would there be a new type of assembly line, and would it wired so people could watch or help out virtually? Or will be it always relegated to the paradigm it is with people standing up, in a block building, boxes of parts on palletes and a general manufaturing ecosystem that was invented by Eli Whitney or Henry Ford as progressive assembly?

    I’m going with Eli Whitney or Henry Ford. You can criticize them for advancing slavery in America or being extremely anti-Semitic and an early supporter of Hitler, but at least they weren’t you.

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