A New Machine from Germany Could Solve the Vinyl Production Crisis

Newbilt Vinyl Pressing Machine

Vinyl records generate more revenue than ad-supported streaming, and fans absolutely love the higher-priced, warmer-toned format.  The only problem is that vinyl is incredibly difficult and expensive to produce, with turnaround times that sometimes stretch for months.  It all depends on the plant, the volume of competing orders, and a host of other factors, thanks to a worsening production glut.

The reason for the bottleneck is that newer pressing machines simply aren’t being produced, which means that most plants are working with decades-old equipment while scrambling to fix rare, obsolete parts.  Meanwhile, vinyl demand is surging, but volumes are actually a small fraction of their peak in the 70s.  Which means that manufacturing companies and entrepreneurs are extremely hesitant to invest in creating new equipment, especially if vinyl turns out to be a big, nostalgic fad.

 

Newbilt-Extruder

“We’re just making old manual pressing machines with new parts.”

Into this complex situation enters Newbilt Machinery GmbH & Co., a German-based company that is now shipping the first, newly-manufactured vinyl pressing machine in more than 30 years.  According to details from Plastics News (PN), Newbilt has partnered with Connecticut-based Record Products of America, a company specialized in creating vinyl molds, with prices starting at $100,000.

The Newbit machine could seriously ease vinyl production deals, and spark a new surge in vinyl growth.  “The new Newbilt vinyl record press machines are rolling off the assembly line now,” the company declared in a recently-mailed invite to their Alsdorf-based manufacturing facility.  “Perhaps you are interested to see and touch a Newbilt vinyl record system.”

 

Newbilt_pics

 

The Newbilt manufacturing philosophy is to essentially an update on an old n’ reliable workhorse design with a variety of modern-day upgrades, including an electronic control system and a hydraulic power supply.  “Newbilt is based upon historically proven designs that work,” the company explains.  “The antiquated electronic, hydraulic and control systems have been replaced with up-to-date ones to vastly improve productivity and reliability.”

Record Product of America echoed that sentiment.  “We haven’t invented anything new,” RPA technical sales manger Dan Hemperly told Plastics News.   “We’re just making old manual pressing machines with new parts.”

Now for the best part: some of the first machines are being dispatched to Detroit, home to Third Man Records.  The machines will be on display within a massive production facility, where Third Man founder Jack White is continuing to ramp up staff.

15 Responses

  1. Anonymous

    On your playback system turn down the treble and bass a notch or two. There ya go, vinyl “warmth”, and much better for the environment 😉

    Reply
  2. Robbie Fields

    “thanks to a worsening production glut”

    I think you mean “a dearth of manufacturing” or a “glut of orders”.

    The last time I recall a production glut was early 1980s Los Angeles and the marginal cost of pressing fell to 49 cents incl. labels per 12″, possibly including in house stamper processing IIRC from qty 2000 upwards.

    Reply
  3. Will It Ever Cease?

    In addition to the “warmer-tone” bvllshit, we get this:

    “[updated with] a hydraulic power supply.”

    Ha!!!!!

    Reply
  4. sam

    this is old technology and no nostalgy and 100000$ ?????
    if 10000$ may be for fun
    dont waste your time

    Reply

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