The Client –
Vinyl Record Manufacturer
The Challenge –
Highly Technical Temperature Control System For New Factory
The Solution –
Bespoke Cooling System, Full Design & Install
Portsmouth based Vinyl Presents are aiming to shake up the vinyl record market with their new state of the art manufacturing facility and an Aqua temperature control system is at the heart of the pressing process.
Aqua Cooling designed and installed their bespoke cooling system, as well as installing a steam heating system designed by others which works in-conjunction with the pressing machinery.
The process starts with the raw vinyl material being melted before being passed to the pressing plates that have metal stampers containing the music installed on each plate. The pressing plates are then heated with steam and squeeze the vinyl into shape and press the music onto the vinyl, chilled water quickly cools the plates so that the vinyl retains the required “record” shape. The excess vinyl is trimmed off and the records are automatically transported to cooling spindles ready for a night on the shelf before being hand sleeved and distributed to eagerly awaiting customers.
The full solution includes:
- Bespoke cooling system – air cooled chiller, plate heat exchanger,
inverter, pump and tank
- Full install & commissioning of the cooling system
- Steam boiler
- Installation of the steam system equipment and piping as well
as the compressed air pipework
- Full design & installation service
- Ongoing technical support
In 2016 market demand for vinyl in the UK was over 1,700,000 records per month, with the majority of pressing plants situated abroad. Vinyl Presents’ production facility in Victory Trading Estate, Portsmouth went into operation at the end of August and their order books are already filling up fast.
“Our plan is to bring record manufacture home to the UK” explains Daren Fudge, Vinyl Presents’ Director & CEO. “A huge percentage of vinyl is currently pressed overseas which is a trend we want to reverse. Our philosophy is pretty simple – we believe we can put the UK back on the map as a leading vinyl producer by manufacturing a high-quality product backed up with great customer care.”
Record manufacture is a highly technical process and one in which quality is key. Vinyl Presents’ factory uses cutting edge pressing technology and an innovative temperature control system to maximise efficiency and quality, enabling each machine to produce 2 records every minute.
Daren Fudge, comments “From the moment our engineer at Vinyl Presents first spoke to Aqua Cooling they filled us with confidence that they would be the right company to help complete our bespoke project. Their experienced team ensured the project was designed with efficiency and future expansion in mind, the installation was executed on time, on budget and the construction and commissioning activities were completed to an exceptionally high standard. We are delighted with the system performance and will continue to call upon their services to provide technical support and to help us with our future expansion.”
From initially identifying a gap in the market place, Vinyl Presents were up and running within a year and their rapid growth shows no sign of slowing. Aqua Cooling have designed the system pipework alongside Vinyl Presents’ own Process Design Engineer with future expansion in mind. The factory can triple the size of their current production when desired simply by adding additional presses and cooling equipment.
The vinyl market itself shows no sign of slowing either, in fact quite the opposite. BPI (British Phonographic Industry) statistics show that the vinyl market has grown again this year, for the ninth year in succession. After the growth in CDs, digital downloads and streaming it seems that audiences are now embracing the more tangible and physical form of the retro vinyl record – although perhaps its days of being retro are numbered!