CD Manufacture

CD Manufacture

Well Tempered have many years experience in CD manufacturing. Whether you’d like a short run of CDs or a large quantity of boxsets, we will be able to provide you with an exceptional service at a price point suitable for sale.

Compact Disc Manufacturing is a process whereby commercial CDs are replicated using a Glass Master. A CD can be used to store audio, or data (CD-Rom) in various standardised forms.

Glass Mastering
The glass master is extremely delicate and the requirements are very specific. The mastering is performed in a self-enclosed clean environment to avoid any contamination such as hair, dust or smoke. The round plates of glass are 240mm in diameter and 6mm thick with a small area of steel on one side to facilitate handling. The glass is polished until very smooth as even microscopic scratches would affect the quality of the finished product. The glass is then cleaned with chemicals before being washed on a spin coater. The rotation spreads the solvent wash over the master to ensure an even coating.

The glass is then placed into an LBR (Laser Beam Recorder) which writes the information using the source material from the DDPi or Production Master CD. A chemical solution is then used to wash away the part exposed to the laser which forms the pits and the lands.

A layer of nickel is then added to the master through electrolysis. The nickel layer is then separated from the glass and used as the stamper, this is an exact negative of the CD. With the mould ready, the CDs can now be replicated.

In order for the CD to be readable, it must be covered with a micro thin layer of aluminum which is vacuum laid. The aluminum surface acts as a mirror to reflect the laser light back so information can be read.

To protect the CD and its information from harm — scratching, bending, or dropping it — the disc is covered with a layer of varnish. The lacquer envelops the aluminum and seals it from the elements. The disc is then ready for printing.

The CD can then be silkscreen or offset printed with artwork. Silkscreen is normally used for vector graphics for better color matching. Offset is used for photographic artwork using CMYK as the basic color elements. Once the artwork is printed, the disk will be exposed to a high intensity UV lamp which dries the ink instantly. The discs are stacked and then transported for packaging.