One of the biggest problems with the growth of the vinyl record industry is the fact that the gear to make them is so old. There hasn't been a new record press machine made in over 30 years, and the cost of maintenance on the old machines is getting increasingly difficult and expensive.
That's about to change as NewBilt Machinery of Germany has introduced a modern up-to-date vinyl press that could relieve the entire industry of the burden of relying on worn-out machines.
United Record Pressing and Jack White's Third Man Records will get the first ones for their respective Nashville record plants. It's also reported that Third Man may also open a plant in Detroit as well, and that most other pressing plants have machines on order.
Believe it or not, there are 21 record manufactures in the United States alone, some using presses that are 50 years old, and most have lined up to purchase at least one new press. At a price of around $100,000 each for a single press system ($161,250 for a duplex system), they're not cheap, but neither is having to pay $5,000 to get a screw machined for an old press, as frequently happens.
Even if you have that kind of cash, there's still a lot more to setting up a plant, as a boiler, cooling tower, air compressor and three phase power is required as well to go along with the highly toxic chemical process needed to make the record stampers.
That said, having new presses available will allow the industry to grow and deliver in a more timely fashion, since it now can take up to four months for an order to be fulfilled.