Disc Replication vs Duplication | Explaining the Difference between Replication and Duplication


To Duplicate or to Replicate, That is the Question

Duplication is the process of creating copies of an existing disc or disc image by copying/burning the data from the original disc to pre-made blank discs. These discs where manufactured in a way that enables specific lasers to burn/write the data on them at a later time.

On the other hand, Replication is the process of manufacturing a disc from raw poly carbonate. During the manufacturing process, a disc master, which can be explained as the negative imprint of a master data disc, is used to stamp the data on the molten material to create the data disc. A reflective material is then added on top of the disc to enable the regular disc drives to read the data off of it.

Generally speaking, if you need less than 500 Discs, you duplicate them on equipment that ‘Burns’ them on individual disc drives like the ones shown here. These are more expensive for a few reasons.

For one thing, DVD-r or CD-R discs must be used and they cost more than the molding process used for larger orders. They also take longer to record and there is more handling than with stamping.

Stamping is the process where discs are made in their entirety on a molding machine. The raw poly-carbonate pellets are fed into one end of the machine and completed DVDs and/or CD’s come out on the other end.

The process is exact and fast with no human contact. There are many different kinds and brands of molding equipment. Here is a photo of one of ours.

CD Replication - Verification Stage
CD Replication Machine – Data Verification Stage

They are interesting and fun to watch. So now lets do some arithmetic and decide when to order replication and when to order duplication.

In the first paragraph, I used the term ‘Generally Speaking’ when deciding between replication and duplication, here’s why… Let’s say you needed 400 CD’s.

Replication vs Duplication price comparison

If you ordered them duplicated, they would cost 1.09/ea. or $436.00. If you ordered them replicated, the minimum order for replication is 1000/pcs.

So, you would order 1000 at a cost of .49/ea. or $490.00. So, it would cost either $436.00 for 400 of them or $490.00 for 1000. You get an extra 600 discs for $54.00.

CD Replication Manufacturing Machine
CD Replication Machine

Having explained all this to you, there is a light at the end of this tunnel of confusion. The good people here at Nordex always do the math for you. If there is an option that is less expensive or that makes more sense, we will talk it over with you.

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