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Monday, March 06, 2006
Asynchronous Duplication via Multi Drive Duplicators
In general terms asynchronous duplication means multiple devices are working independently within the same duplication system. In specific terms, asynchronous duplication means a duplicator has the ability for each recorder to burn independently and print independently. This finer point is all the trend in duplication equipment these days.
Traditionally, duplication machines where designed as a three step process. 1) Load media into drives. 2) Burn media in all drives. 3) Unload media to output spindle/printer. Well, anyone who spends even a small amount of time around a system like that, will quickly realize there is a great deal of time wasted. The time is wasted when each drive is waiting for the others to be loaded before the burning even begins.
Asynchronous duplicators solve this problem. An asynchronous unit will immediately start burning media in the first drive after being loaded, meanwhile the robotic arm returns to the input spindle to pick up another blank disc for the next drive. Once the next drive is loaded, it begins to burn so on-and-so forth. This staggering of start times of each individual recorder has a significant impact on overall throughput of the duplicator. About a 35% impact of increased production!
Not only do the drives burn while the loader is moving and picking and placing, this also means the first completed disc will move into the disc printer (assuming system is configured with a printer) that much faster. This too is important because when you have a 2 or 4 drive duplicator and only 1 printer, it s important to move the media out of the drive and into the printer to keep an efficiency of work flow.
As you can see, there are many great benefits to using an asynchronous duplicator. However, not all systems are created equal. Here are a couple important questions you should ask:
- Is the system truly asynchronous? We have found not all companies use the term asynchronous the same way. We have found some multi-drive system, when in asynchronous mode, only use the #1 drive and printer - that s it - the other drives are idle during the duplication process.
- Is the asynchronous burning a standard feature for the model? If the asynchronous feature is an upgrade then watch out, this is a red flag for a me too feature from the manufacturer which can forever be on back order.
- Does the duplicator use a controller card? If so, then a true asynchronous environment is not possible. Note: A controller card system is a duplicator which runs from a proprietary controller card designed for simple duplication such as towers. If you see an automated duplicator with LCD display and 4 push buttons, then chances are it s a controller card system.
- Will the system always run in asynchronous mode? Be sure you get a system that will always run in asynchronous mode as there is no benefit to getting a synchronous system for a multi-drive duplicator. The last thing you need is a slow duplicator because the setup and configuration wasn t done properly. If a manufacturer knows what they re doing, asynchronous is always running and they are confident about the solution.
Check out MF Digital's full line of Asynchronous CD and DVD Duplicators.