vinyl record manufacturing process
The Cutting Process
Cutting Process — Step 1
Master lacquer in the process of being cut on our Neumann Lathe.
Cutting Process — Step 2
Carl inspecting test cut prior to cutting the master lacquer.
Cutting Process — Step 3
This view through a macro zoom lens shows grooves being inscribed into the lacquer disc via the cutter head. Note the lacquer thread being drawn into a tube on the right. Carl performs critical groove depth and width calculations on all projects, before proceeding with the actual cut.
The Plating Process
Plating Process — Step 1
The lacquer is cleaned with a solution of soap and water.
Plating Process — Step 2
The Lacquer is then spray coated with a solution of tin chloride and liquid silver.
Plating Process — Step 3
Next the Lacquer is submerged into a nickel sulfate bath and electro chargers fuse the nickel solution onto the silver coated disc. This process takes approximately 1.5 hours.
Plating Process — Step 4
The master lacquer with “father “or stamper attached is removed from the nickel solution.
Plating Process — Step 5
The metal “father” or stamper, depending on the process ordered, is separated from the lacquer master.
Plating Process — Step 6
Precision punching of the center hole is critical to centering the stamper on the press.
Plating Process — Step 7
The stamper is trimmed to a diameter of 12 ½”.
The Pressing Process
Pressing Process — Step 1
Poly vinyl pellets are poured into a hopper.
Pressing Process — Step 2
The vinyl pellets are heated in a extruder and formed into a “biscuit”.
Pressing Process — Step 3
The vinyl “biscuit” is placed between both nickel stampers, one above for the A side and one below for the B side. Paper record labels are positioned on the top and bottom of the biscuit. With 380 degrees of heat and 100 tons of pressure, the biscuit is molded into a record. The pressing cycle takes 28 – 30 seconds per record.
Pressing Process — Step 4
Molded record “hot” off the press…..notice excess flash around the outside edge.
Pressing Process — Step 5
Trimming the flash off the edge of the record.
Pressing Process — Step 6
Finished records are stacked and allowed to cool thoroughly before being packaged.