Major player Sony Disc Manufacturing has increased its domestic optical disc production capacity by more than 19 percent in less than three years — excluding digital-versatile-disc formats.
Four plants in the United States have a current monthly capacity to manufacture 45.3 million optical units, which includes compact discs, read-only-memory CDs, hybrid Internet units and PlayStation game discs.
Sony facilities in Carrollton, Ga.; Pitman, N.J.; Springfield, Ore.; and Terre Haute, Ind., had a capacity of 38 million discs per month in June 1996, the company said.
The Terre Haute plant began replicating CDs in 1984 with an initial monthly capacity of 300,000.
Equipment has been purchased, integrated, modified and replaced multiple times over this 15-year span, according to a Sony news release.
``One key change ... is the switch from batch processing to highly integrated, in-line single- or dual-cavity systems. This degree of integration has been the key to cycle time reduction and yield improvement.''
Installing DVD capability at Terre Haute initially in July 1997, Sony added DVD-9 equipment and boosted capacity for DVD-5 and DVD-10 production during 1998.
Now, that site has a monthly capacity to master and replicate 1.2-million DVDs.
A Sony facility in Shizuoka, Japan, began DVD production in January 1997. Both sites use Sony's Sololiner replicator and proprietary disc-bonding processes.
Sony Disc Manufacturing is a division of parent Sony Corp.'s music entertainment unit. Sony claims to be the world's largest producer of pre-recorded optical discs.