Pinball - Manufacturing Process

Manufacturing Process

The pinball machine is first constructed with the wiring for the game’s electronic system. It starts off with a color-coded wiring arrangement that is wrapped around pins and connectors on the circuit board. On average one machine carries almost a half of mile of wire. It is then up to technicians to follow a meticulous set of instructions from a diagram that has been engineered to keep things from getting confused. During this time the playing field is set onto foam strips and a bed of nails. The nails are then pressed in the playing board as the bed raises and compress them against the header. Following come the anchors that is then hammered into place. The anchors help secure a metal railing that keeps the balls from exiting the playing field.

After the main construction is processed, it then comes down to fitting a few lampposts, some plastic bumpers, and one hundred and fifteen flashing lights. All of the wiring is permanently fastened and speakers are bolted into the cabinet. Along with this comes the most crucial tool, the spring power plunger, which is set into place.

Finally, a few other toys and gimmicks are added, such as toy villains and other small themed characters. Once everything is tested and seems to be running alright, the playfield is set on top of the lower box. The lower box on computerized games is essentially empty. On older electromechanical games, the entire floor of the lower box was used to mount custom relays and special scoring switches, making older games much heavier. To protect the top of the playfield, a tempered glass window is installed, secured by a metal bar that is locked into place. The expensive, unique, painted vertical backglass is fragile. The backglass covers the custom microprocessor boards on newer games, or electromechanical scoring wheels on older games. On older games, a broken backglass might be impossible to replace, ruining the game's appeal.

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