Tuesday, 8 July 2008

6 million records

A simple picture post for this amazing promotional record featuring a step by step guide to the manufacturing and distribution process involved at EMI's Middlesex production plant in 1972 (spread out over the four sides of a gatefold sleeve). These were obviously given out to anyone visiting the factory, most probably children on school day drips and workers' families or friends. I've copied down the text from the sleeve and included a few of the more interesting photos...

EMI Records' new Production & Distribution Centre at Hayes, Middlesex is the largest of it's kind in Europe. The statistics of this 16 acre site are impressive. There are 413,000 square feet of floor space, divided more or less equally between production and distribution. The equipment and it's installation alone cost £4 million. The factory can produce up to 5 million records a month. There's a quarter-mile long warehouse, which houses a stock of 6 million records and distributes EMI's fast moving products overseas and to any part of the United Kingdom at 24 hours' notice. But it's more than that. It's also 2000 people, all of whom are dedicated to providing the dealer with the best service, and the public with the highest standard of recorded music. It is the efforts of these people, as well as the plant and modern technology, that keeps EMI Records in the forefront of recorded industry today.

The manufacturing and distribution sequence.

When the master of the original recording arrives at the factory from EMI's Abbey Road studios, it is taken to the matrix department (1) where it is plated and stampers are 'grown' for the various presses. Simultaneously the different raw materials, from which records are made, are fed from the silos (2) to the presses by an electronic control panel (3) & (4). Most records are pressed on new automatic presses (5), but some of the older manual presses (6) have been retained for specialist classical releases.After inspection and sleeving (7) & (8), they are taken by conveyor to the bulk store (9). At the same time, the distribution centre's telephone sales girls (10) are taking orders from dealers all over the country. The orders are fed into EMI's computer, by video terminals (11) and punch card machines (12) for accounting and stock control purposes. The dealers' requirements for records and tapes are passed to the picking lanes (13) where the stocks of some 8000 current catalogue items are kept. The completed orders are then packed (14) and conveyed to dispatch (15), where they are routed through EMI's extensive distribution network to their destination at home or overseas and finally loaded into waiting vans (16).

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