Supply Chain Innovations
There are a myriad of new methods for manufacturing records coming to the marketplace, all aiming to make the process of vinyl creation as ecologically friendly as possible.
In our last article, we explored some recent, more sustainable PVC vinyl pressing compound options. In this piece, we introduce some other innovations available that could also be of consideration when conceiving your next creation. With so many different options, it can be overwhelming to figure out what is the best fit for a specific project, as there is currently not one hero product. That is why we are here to walk through each process, unpacking the advantages and challenges they individually hold.
One company promises on-demand cutting of vinyl albums. There are a number of potential sustainability benefits with this method. First, the exact amount of product needed will be made, which should reduce wastage or scrappages in the production process. Additionally, smaller labels and independent artists can get appropriate stock numbers, alleviating the worry of unsold products. This offering is yet to come to market and emissions data is yet to be shared however the possible benefits make this one to watch.
Another organisation has begun using a new technique of injection moulding rather than pressing to create records. This process uses PET rather than PVC, the benefit of which being that 100% recycled PET materials can be utilised, including reclaimed recycled bottles. Tests for sound quality employing these methods have been found to be good and the energy consumption required for this process is low. One of our supply chain partners has recently obtained one of the moulding machines, endeavouring to have this on wider offer momentarily.
Our CEO Karen Emanuel is on the advisory board of a different organisation who have a PLA substance that can be pressed into records. This compound is a bioplastic and is industrially compostable. The sound quality of test batches manufactured with this material is surprisingly good, matching that experienced on picture discs, however not yet up to the quality one may expect from virgin vinyl records. These problems have nothing to do with the compound being used, but with the process of manufacturing. Improvement in these areas is being worked on, as this product is still under development and is not commercially available yet, although small test runs have been done making this an exciting prospect in the push for more sustainable record production.
With constant changes and new products coming online at a rapid rate, please do not hesitate to get in touch with our expert team to find out the latest developments and news on supply chain innovations and discuss how we can help make your next project more sustainable.
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