Safeguard your Interest before Choosing a Disc Replicator Vendor for your Project

A disc replicator who is helping with your CD Replication or DVD replication project has to adhere to critical steps to ensure that discs are replicated with consistent quality every single time. In order to win business and the pressure to lower cost, many replicators now are choosing to produce inferior disc replication. If you are choosing a good disc replicator, it is best to go with an organization who are experienced and have a track record. A good disc replicator should be able to provide you replicated discs where every disc works in the field, each disc has a consistent print quality and no cracking or breaking of discs in the field. Then, there is a broader issue regarding adult content. As many as 50% of the replicators accept jobs that would be categorized as pornography, and this often leads to horror stories abound of products getting “commingled” at such plants. To ensure the integrity of your job, when choosing a replication company, it is critical to know their acceptance policies in regards to such materials. Our goal is to educate you on the disc replication process so you can make sure that your replicator is serving you well.

DVD Replication
  • Disc Premastering: Disc premastering ensures the disc content provided meets the proper ISO standards when it is organized on the disc. Replicated discs must conform to the strict “Red Book” manufacturing guidelines to consistent quality and playability. A replicator should test the disc for logical file structure, readability issue and verify the master bit by bit before production. Also, to protect interest of all parties, the replicator has the responsibility to review the content against any copyright violation.
  • Glass Mastering: Once the content has been verified, it is time to make a glass master. A glass master is a stamper mold which is covered with a photosensitive layer and engrave disc content with a laser light. To help fight against piracy, the replication plant must engrave its International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) number on every glass disc it produces. Before mass producing, a check disc should be produced and tested to ensure that the replicated discs has the right reflectivity and readability.
  • Disc Replication: Disc replication is a physical production process that involves actually pressing the discs during manufacture from a glass master - the injection molding of clear optical-grade polycarbonate substrates (clear discs) from the nickel stamper. The process also involves the metallizing and lacquering of those polycarbonate substrates to produce a perfect copy. Some plants choose to go with recycled polycarbonate to save money which could results in creating brittle discs which could crack in the field. Replicated disc then go through the print process either on silkscreen printing press or offset disc printing press.
  • ID Checking of final product: Now, the final quality control. It is not uncommon that disc mixing can happen in replication or printing process due to machine or human error. To ensure that there is no product mix up, a good disc replicator house must have infrastructure to fast disc scanning equipment. These disc scanner sorts out the discs either by image comparison or ID identification which are encoded on the back of the disc during glass mastering process.

In conclusion, a professional replicator should avoid producing adult content, safeguard your interests, and replicate your discs with the highest quality.

 

Submitting your Artwork File for Print

Getting your files ready for print is a fairly simple process when using a few guidelines from the very inception of the design project. Following our guideline insures that we are able to send your job direct to print – no edits or manipulations are needed to your file first.

Make Sure the Resolution Is Right For the best quality professional printing results, it’s very important to keep the resolution as high as possible. For example, 300 dpi resolution is considered by most printers to be an absolute minimum.

Make Sure the Colors Are Consistent When you are editing an image on for viewing on your computer screen or on a web page, you are probably using the RGB color format. This is the format computers normally use to display colors. However, when printing accurately, it’s important to utilize the CMYK color space option instead. Also, for sharp and crisp black, it’s important to use 100% black with no additional CMY encoded.

Follow Trim and Bleed Guidelines Bleed and trim are the terms used to describe the area around the dimensions of your final image that will be unsafe to use for important content in your design. In a nutshell, it’s very important to leave about 1/4 of an inch from the edge of your dimensional content to the edge of any important lines of text or featured images. This area will be used as kind of a buffer zone in the printing process.

Avoid Drastic Image File Compression The more you can avoid compressing your final design, the better. The recommended file format for saving a file is usually TIFF. This is because the TIFF file format keeps all color information and all pixel information from the original design intact. On the other hand, files like JPG and GIF reduce file size by eliminating small portions of the image or by getting rid of some of the color information stored within the file. Better final results from printing happen when better quality images are put forth.

Save In a Standard Format Once you’ve finalized your graphic design and text files, it’s important to lock them in and place them in sort of a shelter that can be easily shared with the printer. One great way to do this is to use Adobe® Acrobat® PDF files. They’re commonly used in the printing industry because they’re cross platform compatible. Plus, using this type of standardized format doesn’t allow for the possibility of accidental changes or edits to the camera ready image. Once it’s “locked” and saved as a PDF file, how it is shown in that format is how it will be printed.

Layout specification When supplying artwork for books or catalog, unlike other printers who may need you to layout to be arranged in “printer spreads”, you can keep it simple with us! Just submit your artwork as individual pages in your design program at the folded dimension, or 2-pages at the flat dimension above also known as "readers spreads" for more integrated designs (two pages that are side-by-side when the catalog is open).

Regulations on Shipping Prohibited Items

One of the biggest challenges that retailers face when they decide to sell and ship internationally is knowing which items in their inventory can and cannot be shipped to specific locations. While some countries have trade embargoes or other legal restrictions, in general, all countries are bound by safety regulations by IATA/ICAO.

Fulfillment of prohibited item

Who Decides the Rules & Regulations for Shipping Dangerous Goods?:  All regulations for international shipment are managed by IATA. IATA is the International Air Transport Association. It is a global trade organization that develops commercial standards and publishes the Dangerous Goods Regulations, containing standards for the transport of dangerous goods by air. IATA’s Dangerous Goods Regulations are based on the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). ICAO is the United Nations body with jurisdiction over international aviation issues

PHMSA is the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration of the U.S. Department of Transportation, which develops regulations for transportation of dangerous goods by all modes within the U.S. All carriers have to follow these regulations or otherwise pay a huge penalty.

List of Prohibited Items for Shipment:  Prohibited items does not mean that these items cannot be shipped; it just means that these items requires special packaging, trained staff and must comply with rules and regulations. Most shipping companies avoid shipping these items as any failure could result in penalties.

Prohibited Domestic Items:

  • Air bags
  • Ammunition
  • Explosives
  • Gasoline

Prohibited International Items:

  • Aerosols
  • Air Bags
  • Alcoholic Beverages
  • Ammunition
  • Cigarettes
  • Dry Ice
  • Fresh Fruits and Vegetables
  • Gasoline
  • Nail Polish
  • Perfumes (containing alcohol)
  • Poison
 

Are Lithium Batteries Classified as Hazardous Material?

Lithium batteries are designed to provide high levels of power. The electrical energy in these batteries is significant, meaning that such batteries can sometimes generate a great amount of heat if short circuited. In addition, the chemical contents of these batteries may catch fire if damaged or if improperly designed or assembled. For these reasons, there are safety regulations controlling the shipment of these types of batteries. Shippers must conform to the applicable regulations published by PHMSA and/or IATA. While all lithium batteries are classified as hazardous materials (also referred to as dangerous goods), there are exceptions for common small sizes of these batteries that simplify the rules for shipping these items. This document describes the rules for shipping these small lithium batteries. Shipments are not fully regulated.

Lithium Battery fulfillment
Regulations differ depending upon what type of lithium battery you are shipping (lithium ion or lithium metal) and whether you are shipping batteries packed without equipment, batteries packed with equipment, or batteries contained in equipment.
  • Lithium Ion or Lithium Metal: There are two major kinds of lithium batteries, both of which contain very high levels of energy: lithium ion and lithium metal. Lithium ion (Li-ion) batteries are rechargeable, also called “secondary lithium batteries.” These ion batteries includes lithium polymer (Li-Po) batteries and are often found in common electronic devices such as cell phones and laptops. Lithium metal batteries are generally non-rechargeable and commonly called “primary lithium batteries.”
  • Measuring the Size of Your Lithium Battery: Lithium batteries are measured in “Wh.” “Wh” stands for “watt-hour.” It is a measure used to indicate the energy capacity of a lithium ion cell or battery. It is also important to learn the difference between a cell and battery. A cell is a single encased electrochemical unit. It has one positive and one negative electrode that exhibit a voltage differential across its two terminals. Many cells can be termed “battery” or “single-cell battery” in common conversation. Examples of a “cell” would be a CR123 primary lithium cell used for cameras and flashlights. A battery is two or more cells electrically connected together by permanent means, including case, terminals and markings. A button battery is a small round battery where the height is less than the diameter and also commonly referred to as “coin batteries.” Examples can be found in watches, calculators, electronic clocks, toys and other applications.

Does your lithium battery requires special handling?

Therefore, to conclude, whether you can ship lithium batteries depends on whether you are shipping lithium ion or lithium metal and whether you are shipping batteries packed without equipment, or batteries contained in equipment.

 

Everything you need to know about USB Write Protection

In spite of all the buzz regarding digital distribution, fulfilling your content on physical medium, like a USB flash drive, is still a very critical aspect of any business. You may have large data files or would just like to have your content branded. Whether you plan to fulfill software or a large library of video files, a USB key (a flash based storage device, also known as USB flash drive or thumb drive) is widely supported by most computer systems and smart devices. Unlike other storage devices such as magnetic tapes, compact discs or memory cards, USB flash drives do not have any built-in write-protection mechanism unless you choose to work with a provider who can work on the controller level and make the USB a read-only device. A write-protected USB will ensure that your content is secure and not accidentally erased.

  • Safeguard Against Malicious Activity: When a disk is write-protected, files can be read or copied from the disk, but nothing can be saved or copied onto it. This can help prevent you, or anyone else, from accidentally deleting or saving over important files. Most importantly, a write-protected USB is safer since it can not be infected by any viruses or other malicious activity.

    For example, let’s say you have a software package which is distributed on USB media. It is important that the company write-protects the flash drive because not only do you not want to spread any viruses, but you also do not want a third party messing with your software and saving the changes on your USB stick.

  • Better Customer Experience: A USB flash drive behaves like a removable storage. If you accidently delete files from a USB flash drive you are out of luck. The deleted files do not go in the recycle bin so you will not be able to recover the files once they have been deleted. You want to make sure your content doesn’t accidentally get deleted which can result in an unwanted, expensive support service call with a frustrated customer.
  • USB is Unlike Other Storage Devices: Whether you had IBM’s ½ inch magnetic tape, a floppy disk, a CD-ROM, or SD card, there has always been an option to write-protect your content. On the other hand, USB does not have this selection. IBM’s magnetic tape had a circular groove on one side of the reel, into which a soft plastic ring had to be placed in order to write on the tape. A floppy disk was write-protected when the plastic tab at the top was moved to reveal a “hole” in the disk. Sliding the tab up or down switched the floppy disk to enable or disable write-protection. Memory cards used in your camera have the option to write-protect. Standard CD or DVD-ROMs are “Read Only Memory,” which means the content is written once and used for reading only. CD and DVDs are still the most viable form of distributing your content as the content is secure and very economical to produce and distribute. However, the predominance of drive-less computers is forcing companies to choose USB flash drives as an alternative medium. For this reason, an easy write-protection option is a very desirable feature.
  • Requires Technical Expertise to Write-Protect: A USB Flash drive can be write-protected. It requires sending a command to the controller and turning off the SCSI write command. The IC chip on a USB stick is called the controller and it is a chip which controls the read and write process between the USB memory and the host computer it is connected to. The SCSI write command (Small Computer System Interface) is unique to each USB controller on the market, so there is no universal command. A good service bureau who has expertise in data pre-loading and duplication services can easily control the command in the controller and help produce write-protected USBs.

    In conclusion, even though USB flash drive does not have an easy way to write-protect your content, you must find a way to secure your content if you are choosing to fulfill your digital content on USB. This will safeguard your organization's interests and allow for a better customer experience.

Have a question?

Please contact us:

Toll-Free: 888-234-3472
Phone: 925-579-5000
Fax: 925-579-5001
sales@acutrack.com

Request for Quote!

Acutrack Contact

sales@acutrack.com
350 Sonic Avenue
Livermore, CA 94551
USA

Please contact us:

Toll-Free: 888-234-3472
Phone: 925-579-5000
Fax: 925-579-5001
sales@acutrack.com

Request for Quote!

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About Acutrack

Acutrack is a technology-driven eCommerce fulfillment company with a specialization in publishing any product needed for your business. With logistics center on both coasts of the USA, we serve as a one-stop logistic center for your business needs!
In this manner, we serve as a one-stop logistics extensionof your business.

Fulfillment centers:

Livermore, CA
Cincinnati, OH