Independent Record Pressing photographed by Christopher Payne on May 20, 2021 in Bordentown, NJ. Staff members operating Independent Record Pressing’s six Viryl Technologies WarmTone machines, which can each press up to 2,000 records a day.
Barrels of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) pellets used to make records.
Labels for the records need to be baked at 300 degrees for 15 hours before they are inserted in the pressing machine. This step takes moisture out of the labels to insure they will not peel off the record or discolor.
A stamper, which is affixed to the pressing machine, used to stamp grooves into the melted PVC.
Pressed records inside the WarmTone pressing machine.
Excess trim cut from pressed records will be reground into PVC pellets.
Records that did not pass quality control will soon be reground into PVC pellets.
Sean Rutkowski, GM/VP label and client relations at Independent Record Pressing, in the quality control room. Records are inspected through a microscope for needle sway, to make sure each pressing machine's stamper is sitting perfectly centered. Staff also listen to the in's and out's of each track on the record to check for anomalies made during pressing.
“Record purgatory," as staff like to call it, where pressed records wait patiently for visual quality inspection, before they are placed into sleeves and then jackets.
Stacks of empty jackets ready to be filled with sleeved records.
A staff member at the jacketing station inserting the sleeved records along with extras like posters and art that come packaged with each product.
Finished products are shrink wrapped before finally being shipped off to the client.
An aerial view of Independent Record Pressing in Bordentown, NJ.
A vintage Hamilton record press, which is not currently in use. This type of record press is not as widely utilized now by pressing plants as it is slower and not digitized.
Detail of a record inside the vintage Hamilton record press.