background image

Plant

Record Industry is situated in the Waarderpolder, an industrial area in Haarlem, very near to Amsterdam and Schiphol Airport. The factory building is 6500 m2 and facilitates vinyl production, storage of compound and printing of paper parts and packaging.

We have all departements necessary to produce a vinyl record under one roof. Below you will find a brief description about how a vinyl record is made, illustrated with pictures taken in our plant.

Cutting Room

From the supplied master tape or high-resolution digital files we make a cut in the cutting room. The audio is being cut on a cutting lathe in a lacquer, which has an acetate layer or on a DMM, which has a copper layer. The difference between the two is that a DMM is more suitable for longer programs like classical repertoire or albums, a lacquer is better for 12" items. For both the lacquer and the DMM, the cutting lathe works with a stylus (DMM a diamond stylus, lacquer with a Sapphire stylus) that etches a groove in the layer. The stylus has two coils, positioned between two magnets. The audio material is being led to the magnets, which causes both horizontal and vertical vibrations to the stylus. The depth of the groove depends on the intensity of the audio material. Each lacquer or DMM disc is single sided so two must be cut for a regular two sided record.
Cutting Room Cutting Room Cutting Room
Cutting Room Cutting Room Cutting Room

Galvanic

The next step is the plating or galvanic. In this step of the process, the stampers which we use to press the records, are produced.

The lacquer with the groove is sprayed with silver, which forms a layer on the lacquer. Than the lacquer with the silver layer is put into an electro-forming bath which bonds a nickel layer onto the silver. If this layer is substantial enough, the nickel layer will be separated  from the lacquer and a first master is ready. This master is called the negative. As the DMM is already a metal plate, we do not need to spray it with silver, the nickel grows directly onto the copper layer.

From the negative a positive is made, in the same way as the negative was made. The negative is put in the electro-forming bath, a nickel layer 'grows' on the negative. After this step the two layers are separated from each other, leaving now not only the original negative but also a positive. The negative is a back-up copy which is archived.

From the positive, the stampers are produced, again in the same electro-forming bath. The stamper is a negative, each record needs two stampers, one for the A side and one for the B side. In this way we are able to develop more than one set of stampers from the same lacquer or DMM. The stampers are used on the presses to actually press the grooves in the vinyl. We can press approximately 1000 to 1500 records with one set of stampers.

Galvanic Galvanic Galvanic

Pressfloor

The vinyl is transported to the press in small granular or pellet form. Before it is placed between the stampers it is formed under high pressure into a small 'puck' or 'biscuit'. The 'puck' is mechanically placed between the stampers with on each side already an A and a B label. The press closes and the stampers press the vinyl 'puck' under high pressure of 150 bar in 20 seconds into a record. The record is taken out of the press mechanically, the edges are trimmed and the record is put mechanically into an innersleeve/discosleeve and then left flat to cool down with after every 5 records also a heavy metal 'spacer' to enhance the hardening and cooling down process.

The records are transported by an assembly-line to a robotised storage system (the collator) where they will cool down for approximately 3 hours for 140 grams records and a overnight (at least 8 hours) for 180 grams records. After the cooling down period the records are ready for packaging.
Pressfloor Pressfloor Pressfloor

Glueing & Folding

The sleeves are folded inhouse, on one of our Winkler & Dunnebier folding machines. We have four machines which can practically fold any sleeve for all formats. One of them is a gatefold machine, which folds a two piece gatefold for 12" with a 8 mm spine.

Glueing & Folding Glueing & Folding Glueing & Folding
Glueing & Folding

Packaging

The packaging is being done at the finishing department where the records are mechanically sleeved in their outersleeve (apart from 7" and 10" which are sleeved by hand) and packed into boxes for transportation. Automatic stickering, shrinkwrapping, unique foil numbering or adding inserts is also done at this departement.

Packaging Packaging Packaging

Quality Control

Throughout this whole process the record is subject to a comprehensive Quality Control. Before an order can be pressed a first testing will be made and played by QC. When an order is planned for production QC will regularly check a record during the time it is on the press. Besided checking the audio QC checks the printed paper parts (labels, sleeves, stickers etc.) by comparing them with the digital proofs. Finally QC will do a last check on the records when they are packed, to make sure the customer receives his product exactly in the way it is ordered.

Quality Control Quality Control