A CD ROM or CD Audio is made from plastic and has an aluminium coating. The digital information is applied in the form of a spiral track onto the plastic. What are known as ‘pits’ are formed on the upper side of the CD during the injection moulding process (also called “pressing”). These are microscopic little bumps and indentations on the plastic. The reflective aluminium layer enables the laser beam of a CD player to subsequently read this “mountain-valley landscape” from below and convert it into audio or data signals.
Step 1: Pre-mastering
This stage involves putting together all your data. As part of this process, we configure the format and integrate the copy protection system. Then the data is ready for mastering.
A glass master is produced
A powerful laser beam writes the prepared data onto a photo-resist layer, creating what are known as “pits”. After the laser process, the photo-resist layer is chemically cleaned to allow it to then be metallised with nickel. The glass master is now ready.
The ‘father’ is produced
The glass master is used as the template to produce the ‘father’, a nickel disc approximately 300µm thick. The father can now be used as a stamper, but only for small runs.
Only the ‘mother’ is suitable for large runs
The ‘mother’ is then produced from the father. Practically any number of stampers can be made from the mother. We call this process the ‘family development’.
Now the pressing can begin
For the pressing process, the stamper is placed in the mould of the injection moulding machine. The pit structure (containing the information) of the mother is filled with liquid polycarbonate. The CD is cooled down and then later coated with aluminium. The thin aluminium layer is sealed and protected with a scratch-resistant UV lacquer. The CD is now complete and ready to play.
Nice and colourful: sounds good, looks great
The CDs have still to be printed of course. Using silkscreen or offset processes we print text, images or graphics onto the CD – creativity knows virtually no bounds. We will be glad to show you samples of particular printing techniques. All the lacquers and colours guarantee a high level of durability.
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