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Independent Vinyl Pressing

What we do - the record manufacturing process.

Pressing

In the next stage (Galvanic Electro-formation process), the work is handled by specialists in plating procedures, where the lacquer disk (in some cases referred to as an acetate), is meticulously cleaned with special agents and washed with de-ionised water. Next it is bathed with Stannous Chloride to prepare it to accept the metal deposition. It is then rotated to ensure an even thickness and sprayed with silver nitrate and glucose formaldehyde, which react on the surface (to make it electrically conductive). It is then put thorough an electro-forming bath, and with the Lacquer acting as a Cathode, the Nickel in the bath is drawn to the silver and bonds with it creating an exact fitting layer. When the metal layer is substantial enough it is removed and the lacquer thrown away. From this 'Master' several successive metal parts are produced which are:

1. The 'Master which is a negative i.e. ridges instead of grooves.

2. The 'Mother' which is a positive i.e. identical to the finished record, can be played and looks like the gold discs awarded for sales.

3. The 'Stamper' (1 for each side) which is also a negative is then used to stamp out the records.

Overview of pressing:

The stampers are passed to the press shop and used to 'Press' the grooves into preheated polyvinyl thermoplastic discs or 'records' ! The vinyl plus a stabiliser and lubricants are fed into the press, usually in granular or pellet form. The stampers are mounted to the press' top and bottom moulds and the heated vinyl is formed into a 'puck' or 'biscuit'. The biscuit is ejected into the centre of the press with an 'a' and 'b' side label on either side, the press closes and the stampers squash down on the biscuit to form a record. The Heating, Pressing, Cooling (by water), and Releasing only takes about 20 seconds after which the records lift out of the press and are trimmed then left flat to cool down. Initially test pressings are usually made to check the quality of the sound and for any other faults which may arise from time to time.

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