DANA POINT, CALIF. — Cost pressures soon may undermine the quality of compact discs and emerging digital versatile discs, said Bozin Sergei of Granada Hills, Calif., a consultant experienced in polycarbonate processing.
The fast-growing optical replication industry is losing its margin, and ``what suffers is the final quality of the product,'' he said in a March 20 interview during the International Recording Media Association's annual conference in Dana Point. ``The price for the finished product is so low now [that] everybody is squeezing everyone.''
The manufacturing is ``the most-advanced injection molding process in the world,'' Sergei said, but ``small replicators are not always capable of hiring high-tech people who know the process'' and the demands of PC.
Each CD pit is 0.12-micron deep; a thin-wall molded DVD has several times as many pits as a CD on a same-size 31/2-inch disc.
While PC supplies ``amazing'' quality and consistency, resin makers find price-driven processors identifying PC as the ``major cost'' of a CD, Sergei said. ``We will see problems with the final product'' as more replicators enter the niche and the market drives down product prices further. ``I don't have a solution because I know how hard it is to make PC,'' he said.
Sergei formed the consulting company CD Profile International Inc. in 1993.