CD Pressing - CD Manufacturing - CD ROM duplication
CD manufacturing or CD pressing is often confused by the public, and referred to as "CD ROM duplication". CD ROM duplication would refer to the burning of a CD ROM, which is impossible because of the way in which CD ROMs are created- the correct term within the industry is CD ROM replication, CD pressing or CD manufacturing.
CD Pressing refers to full CD manufacturing- the creation of a glass master CD and the mass stamping of data directly onto a CD-ROM. CD pressing is the most cost-effective way of creating large quantities of CD-ROMs; any company wanting to create a large quantity of CDs will want to seek information about CD manufacturing. CD pressing is done at specialised plants, which begin by taking your data and transferring it onto what is called a 'glass master'. For all CD manufacturing, a glass master must be produced in a cleanroom to prevent any imperfections. From this glass master, a set of stamps is created- these physically press the data directly into the surface of the CD-ROM. The next stage of the CD manufacturing is the transportation of the discs to be litho or screen printed.
CD manufacturing within the EU is a highly regulated and specialised industry, any material going for CD pressing must be licenced for duplication by the copyright holder, particularly in the case of audio. The top plants in the EU all use class 100 clean rooms for their glass mastering applications, and adhere to the strictest quality control standards. All of this is useful when you consider that the major CD manufacturing plants will produce up to a million units a day! Outside of the EU, CD pressing is a more hazardous procedure- often companies advertising cheaper CD manufacturing will provide a substandard product, using cheap materials and obsolete equipment. The production and creation of a glass master alone for CD pressing alone is a highly specialised and labour-intensive endeavour, including stringent checks and scans for surface imperfections at three separate stages of production.
We advise all of our customers to be wary when considering CD manufacturing work outside of the European Union, not only because there are huge variances in product quality, but because the countries do not adhere to the same copyright standards; indeed, you may find that your CD pressing plant is also producing unauthorised copies of your material for sale in foreign markets. To summarise, CD pressing or CD manufacturing is the industry standard for mass-produced media, and its cost per unit falls drastically as the number of units being manufactured increases. Just make sure you're not asking for CD ROM duplication!