Both replication and duplication are processes to duplicate your CD or DVD. So what is the difference? Why is one more expensive than the other?
We start with the master CD or DVD that you give us. We run it though a software program such as Eclipse to create a Glass Master. A Glass master is a Glass plate with photo-resin that gets burnt by a laser beam driven by the software. This Glass master is then inserted in a electrolytic bath to create a Nickel stamper. The Nickel stamper is then placed in a replication equipment. The replication equipment costs Hundreds of Thousands of dollars and requires at least 10 feet by 20 feet of temperature and dust controlled space per machine. Replication equipment has either one or two injection molders based on whether it is a CD or a DVD equipment with a cooling conveyer belt to a downstream finishing line.
When the injection molder runs, it injects hot plastic (polycarbonate) in the mold to form a clear plastic disc. This disc goes through a cooling conveyer and is deposited with a thin layer of aluminum. This layer is then coated with clear lacquer to prevent oxidation. Finally the shining CD goes through an online QC scanner which removed any defective CDs. The DVD process is similar except a DVD is made by gluing two half layers of polycarbonate substrates. The whole process takes anywhere from 2.2 seconds to 5 seconds based on the age of the CD or DVD manufacturing equipment. On average for a 3.6 seconds cycle time, 1000 CD or DVDs can be produced in One hour. Although, it takes only one hour to produce a Thousand CD or DVDs, the creation of the stamper, QC checking of the stamper and QC of the molded replica’s take much longer time and are expensive. As a result, 200 CDs replicated cost at least 3 to 4 times 200 duplicated CDs. Your optimal price breaks are 1000 units or higher, although, if you are willing to pay the price we can offer you as little as 250 replicated CDs or DVDs. Each replication equipment costs Hundreds of Thousands of dollars and requires at least 10 feet by 20 feet of temperature and dust controlled space.
We start with the master CD or DVD that you give us. The master is then inserted in a multi-disc duplication tower and the blank CDR or DVDR are loaded either by hand or though a robot. The duplication tower looks like the picture below.
The data is “burned” onto multiple discs based upon the number of bays in a duplication tower. Your information is digitally extracted from your master source and transferred to the blank discs. The master and the copy are verified bit for bit and the copy is eitheraccepted or rejected. The data side of a recordable disc usually has a slight color to it, (yellow, green, blue, or purple, depending on the type of media.)
There is little difference from each of these methods on the finished product. Both processes extract the data and duplicate it on a copy bit for bit. The biggest factor on choosing weather to duplicate or replicate is the quantity you want to make. Replication is generally used for quantities over 1,000 and duplication is used for anything less then that. The replication pricing can be as low as $0.20 for large quantities.