The process of manufacturing CDs and DVDs has changed the way in which the world looks at and listens to entertainment. Prior to the introduction of CD/DVD mass-production, less sophisticated means, such as vinyl records, tapes and VHS were used to mass-produce music and movies. But now, with the revolution of CD and DVD manufacturing, we take a step up. Music and movie fans no longer have to purchase bulky records or poorly manufactured tapes in order to listen to music or enjoy their favorite movies. With the birth of the compact disc, anyone can easily slip this small, shiny circle into their car stereo or home entertainment center for their listening and/or viewing pleasure. But how did the mass-production of CDs and DVDs become such a powerful force in the world? What was the indispensable step that made the manufacturing of CDs and DVDs possible, and in the process shaped a new mold for the way the world enjoys its entertainment?
Those interested in getting answers to these evolutionary questions, need first to understand that CD/DVD manufacturing is an intricate process. Complex and time-consuming procedures along with amazing chemical processes combine to produce the formation of a disc. It is crucial to understand, when examining the advancement of CD/DVD technology, the process of replication. Many steps are taken to manufacture discs: glass mastering, photoresist or non-photoresist mastering, post mastering, and electroforming. But the most vital step in the process of manufacturing is replication.
Replication of CDs and DVDs is the step that takes place after the quality of the glass master has been determined to be ready for large-scale production. This is the critical point in the manufacturing process. It is the point in which the album creates a super-star out of a singer. CD and DVD replication has made it possible for listeners from Tokyo to New York and everywhere in between to have access to the same discs. It is a process that has truly revolutionized the fashion in which the world listens to music and sees movies.
The replication process involves a few steps, and each must be understood to learn how the process works. Replication takes place in a factory using a CD molding machine. This machine uses high-temperature polycarbonate injectors to insert hot molten plastic into the mold cavities, forming a disc. Each molding can produce 900 discs per hour! Then cool water is run so that it gathers around the molding. The plastic solidifies and the molding is opened. The entire process takes only three to five seconds to complete.
Next, after molding, a vacuum handler moves the disc onto a cooling station. The disc now contains all of its digital information at this point, but does not yet have the reflective layer that makes the disc playable. Then the disc passes into a chamber to undergo a process called “sputtering”. During the sputtering process, metal is coated onto the data side of the disc; the side not containing the record label.
After metallization, lacquer is coated onto the metal layer. This provides the right surface for the DVD or record label to be printed. It is crucial that the ink used in printing the label is compatible with the lacquer coating. It is also important for people to remember the necessity of ink being compatible when using a pen to write on a CD or DVD as the disc might fracture and be ruined if it’s not.
Thus, the process of replication is complete. The replication process has been revolutionary in ensuring the mass-production of CDs and DVDs. It has literally changed the way in which millions of music and movie lovers enjoy their entertainment. Next time you’re in the music aisle of your favorite store or at the local video shop, take a moment to think about the process of replication. It has truly been instrumental in making CD/DVD manufacturing a leading force in the world.
By 422737 from Pixabay