Plastics News correspondent Roger Renstrom gathered these items during the International Recording Media Association forum, held March 21-25 in Indian Wells, Calif.
DataPlay Inc. has the skinny on discs
DataPlay Inc. of Boulder, Colo., is targeting October for use of its new 32-millimeter optical disc. A conventional compact disc has a diameter of 120mm.
Early replication of the DataPlay disc has been most successful with eMould GmbH injection molding machines, the company said, though presses from Sumitomo Heavy Industries Ltd. also have performed well.
DataPlay has linked with major developers, content owners and distributors in creating the 0.6mm-thick polycarbonate disc for use eventually in music players, personal digital assistants, digital imaging devices, electronic books, hand-held computers and entertainment and gaming products. Initial music players are scheduled to reach the market in October, said Dave Davies, chief technical officer.
Each double-sided disc stores 500 megabytes of data and will sell for about $10. That is about 2 cents per megabyte vs. $2-$3 per megabyte for flash memory, Davies said. Both sides are molded simultaneously.
A Ritek Corp. plant in Taipei, Taiwan, is making the DataPlay discs on a 30-ton all-electric eMould press.
DataPlay partners include entertainment holder Universal Music Group, equipment makers Toshiba Corp. and Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., and blank distributor Imation Corp.
Market putting ear to Dering's CShell
Optical-media replicator Dering Corp. of Lancaster, Pa., has found a receptive market for its thin, one-piece, polypropylene CShell package as an alternative to paperboard or polystyrene jewel cases.
"We doubled that business last year, and we will double it again this year," President David Dering said in a telephone interview.
Proprietary CShells accounted for about 15 percent of Dering's sales of more than $10 million for the fiscal year ended Nov. 30.
Dering introduced the CShell in late 1998, subcontracting molding to a Lancaster firm. Subsequently, Dering added in-house CShell capacity on a 330-ton Roboshot that was upgraded to 385 tons for product development.
"We have four machines running with four-cavity tooling, and we probably will add two more [machines] this year," he said.
A CShell weighs 0.03 gram, functions with a living hinge and center snap, and is available in custom or eight basic colors.
Established in 1987, Dering replicates about 1.5 million compact discs per month and began making digital versatile discs in August. CD-ROM data applications account for most of the CShell volume.
DiamondBox seeking licensees in the U.S.
Multimedia packaging supplier DiamondBox International BV is looking for U.S. licensees.
DiamondBox seeks injection molders that have some packaging experience, Managing Director Joris de Raadt said in a telephone interview. Among others, Emplast Inc. of Chanhassen, Minn., has shown an interest in the concept, he said.
DiamondBox's highly automated plant near Amsterdam, the Netherlands, molds 150 million units annually, mostly for packaging compact discs for the European market. The building, machines and molds were brought together within 12 months.
The firm is introducing a package for digital versatile discs at spring trade events in London and Los Angeles and, separately, developing cases for 80-millimeter discs and digital business cards, and a slim case.
DiamondBox cases are molded from additive-enhanced poly-propylene. The DiamondBox principle involves a spine-load design with appendages holding the digital media. Two European firms have taken marketing and production licenses, and one Asian company has a marketing license, de Raadt said.
DiamondBox, a subsidiary of publicly traded InnoConcepts NV Group, has North American offices in Falls Church, Va., and Aurora, Ontario.