Production of Long Play (LP) Records

When the stampers are made and given a chromium coating (0.1 inch thick) as a scratch-proof seal, it is sent off to the factory for creating mass-produced records.  10 LP records are being made in a factory which is also called the pressing plant. The pressing plant is a short distance away from the recording studio (where the sound was recorded), the work area of mastering engineers (where the mastic disc is made), and the plating plant (where the stampers are created). Pressing plants have the capability to work and able produce around 185,000 records in a day. The record is made of a plastic or vinyl. This is made by melting down a powdered plastic inside of a heating mixer. Once the plastic has melted, it will be mixed until it achieves a jelly like consistency. After which it is drawn through a roller press that molds the plastic into long, thin sheets. These sheets must have the strict specifications for its thickness, and how brittle it is. The plastic sheets are then set to cool where after they are cut into multiple squares. These are called biscuits. The biscuits have to be then softened a little. This is done by reheating them. Then they go through the press. The one operating the press has to ensure that the biscuits inside are laid out in a proper and arrange manner to avoid any errors, or result in a faulty disc. He will then turn on the press to start the process of stamping. The press will create the needed grooves and sound patterns onto the softened plastic biscuits. This pressing method is applicable to all kinds of records (LP, single, 78s, and 45s) as long as the proper stamper is used.
vinyl albums

Vinyl Grooves

After stamping, the biscuits are still square and brought into another machine which labels them. This machine also cuts the square corners to create a round shape and the edges are then smoothed out. After which a hole is drilled into the center through the pasted labels and finishes the disc. There is another version of this method in which the stampers for both sides, the record labels, and a coil of black vinyl plastic is put on the press which functions automatically. The temperatures are then raised to around 300 degrees Fahrenheit, which will make the plastic melt. This melted plastic forms into the stampers and takes the shape along with the grooves. This alternate press method has similarities to injection molding. The machine also create the hole in the center and then with a flash cutter rounds out the discs and smoothens it. Once it goes to the finishing area, every one of the LP records undergoes an inspection prior to getting packed. Once it has been pressed and inspected, it goes to the packaging area and put into a sleeve or envelope made of paper of cellophane. It is slipped into the designed jacket/cover for the song, and then gets shrink-wrapped. The packaged albums go into boxes and are shipped to stores and distributers around.

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