4610 Prime Parkway, McHenry, IL 60050
+1 800-634-3475
+1 815-331-6030

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

General

Do you have minimum order requirements?

Typically our minimum order is 25 units, but it does depend on the specific product and process that is being used.  Some production processes will require a minimum of 1000 units to be made.  We’ll work with you find the best possible solution to fit your specific product needs.

Do you provide “on demand” manufacturing?

The definition of “on-demand” has become a bit fuzzy from what it used to mean, and in many custom configured products it would not be cost effective to only make 1 product as it is ordered.  We do offer short runs that can start with as few as 25 units.  With our fulfillment services we think of on-demand as a “Ship On-Demand” solution to drop ship a product that is on the shelf and ready to get into your customers hands.

How long does your production take?

This varies depending on your project specifics, but a good time frame for planning is between 5-10 working days after all approvals. Duplication of recordable media has a quicker turn time that can be as quick as 24 -48 hours and Replication of CDs and DVDs is roughly 5-10 business days.  Printing materials, packaging, and assembly can have many variations, so it’s best to talk with a product expert to determine the best production schedule for your specific product needs.

What are your quality control procedures?

We’re committed to the implementation of our Quality Assurance Plan to assure that all products manufactured and shipped meet specific requirements within prescribed tolerances. Our QC department has been set up using ANSI/ASQ (Z 1.4 2008 standards) general inspection level 1 at 1% AQL (Acceptance Quality Limit). We have a printed QC manual listing our inspection standards and QC procedures, including flowcharts for each of our departments. Feel free to contact us with specific questions or if you would like more information.

Why can’t I find any prices on your web site?

We have a vast selection of products and services and nearly all of them require specialized knowledge in production and manufacturing. Most of the projects are unique, so we like to consult with you to properly determine the ideal product mix to match your needs.  In our experience the best product selection often can not be determined by consulting a standardized pricing grid, and sometimes there are important details that can be missed. Let us work with you to determine the proper pricing for your products.

What is an IPR form?

A majority of our projects will require Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Form filled out, signed and submitted. Corporate Disk Company uses the International Recording Media Association’s (IRMA) form.  This is one step that can help to protect the integrity of intellectual property of content producers from any piracy attempts.

Media

What is a CD-R?

CD-R means Compact Disc-Recordable where data is burned directly to the blank disc one at a time. CD-Rs are most cost effective in low quantity runs.

What is a CD-ROM?

CD-Rom means Compact Disc ­Read Only Memory and is mainly a storage method for data to be read or used in a computer.

What are the common terms and formats for CDs?

In general there are Audio, Data, Enhanced (Audio and Data), and Video types of CDs.  Those are based on the kind of content that is on the CD.  Below is some technical details about the formats and terms for CDs.

ISO966: the original file CD data format uses a DOS file format of 8 characters followed by a dot and a 3-character extension.

JOLIET: is based on ISO9660 but allows additional characters, including spaces, and names up to 256 characters long. You should still include only one dot immediately before the 3-charcter extension.

HYBRID (PC/Mac): uses MAC HFS format and PC ISO9660 or Joliet on the same CD, allowing the one CD to be played in either a PC or a Mac.

MULTI-SESSION: Data is recorded to a single CD-R in several sessions. A CD-R recorded in a multi-session format can not be used as a master to replicate CD-ROMs.

MODE 1: uses 2048 bytes for user data plus a third layer of error detection. This Mode provides the highest integrity for computer data.

MODE 2: uses 2336 bytes for user data with no third layer of error detection. This mode was designed for multi-media graphics and video. The most common format is CD-ROM-XA.

PRE-GAP/ POST-GAP: empty lengths of track which are placed before and after the data track.

What is a DVD?

DVD stands for Digital Video Disc. Like the audio CD, it has been adapted by the digital world to do more than it was originally intended. Now DVDs are commonly used for video, audio and data.

What are the DVD formats?

A DVD-5 is a single layer one-sided disc that can hold 4.7 GB of data or approximately 135 min of video.  A DVD-5 is the most commonly used type of DVD.

A DVD-9 is a double layer one-sided disc that can hold 8.5 GB of data or approximately 245 min of video.  The second most commonly used type of DVD.  Most of the time an untrained eye will not notice the difference a DVD-5 or a DVD-9 from a visual stand point, but you will notice the content is longer.

A DVD-10 is a single layer double-sided disc that can hold 9.4 GB or aprroximately 270 min of video.  Not commonly used because in order to use the full amount of storage space the disc needs to be flipped over in the player.  Some DVDs you might see have different content on each side, and this could be a DVD-10.

A DVD-18 is a double layer double-sided disc that can hold 17 GB or approximately 490 min of video. Just like the DVD-10, a DVD-18 is not commonly used because in order to use the full amount of storage space the disc needs to be flipped over in the player.  Some DVDs you might see have different content on each side, and this could be a DVD-10 or a DVD-18 if it has a larger amount of content.

What’s the difference between Duplication & Replication?

Duplication and replication are both methods of making copies of CD and DVD optical media.

Replication is a process of manufacturing the disc with content through an injection molding process with a stamper created from the disc master. In replication, the data is “built in” to the CD or DVD as the disc is formed.

Duplication is the process of burning the data onto a “blank” recordable disc like you might be able to do on your own computer, except we can burn many discs at the same time.

The end result, both processed give you discs with data. So key considerations when you are trying to decide between the two are: How many discs do you need…… how quickly do you need them……and do you expect the discs to be used repeatedly or occasionally over a long period of time?

At what quantity is replication the most cost effective?

Replication is the most cost effective with 500 or more units of the same title., which can usually be completed between 5-10 days. Replicated discs typically have a longer lifespan than duplicated discs, because duplicated discs use dye which is altered by the laser, burning the data and over time the dye can fade and affect the playability of the discs.

At what quantity is duplication the most cost effective?

Duplication is typically most cost effective with less than 500 units. There is no need to create a stamper, therefore the process is relatively quick. In cases when a quick turnaround time is required, we can still duplicate at higher quantities thab the 500 unit threshold.

What is a Glass Master?

When replicating CDs or DVDs, the data on your master is converted into a glass master which is basically pits and valleys that are etched into a piece of glass. This glass master is then used to create a metal stamper for the CD/DVD injection molding machines of your content to be molded onto the polycarbonate material.

What is a white flood coat, and why is it needed for printing the artwork onto a CD or DVD?

A white flood coat is a white layer of ink that coats the the print surface of a CD or DVD before the artwork is printed.  The reason it is needed it because usually the artwork is designed to be printed onto paper, but the surface of a CD or DVD is silver.  If there isn’t a white base the artwork colors will print out a lot different than what is expected with the design.

If you want some of the silver to show through, than a spot white base layer can be put under the printed area to have accurate printed colors.

Digital Media Production

What are the preferred audio formats for Corporate Disk to author an Audio CD?

A WAV audio file at 41kHz, 16bit stereo would produce the best results, however an MP3 format should work as well. The MP3 is compressed and has a smaller file size, which may reduce the master quality slightly.

MP3 files will typically be converted to a CD Audio format to be universally played in any type of CD Audio Player.  Even though you can fit more content onto a CD with MP3 files, we do not recommend having a CD with MP3 files because a majority of standard CD Players are not capable of reading the MP3 files.

Either way, the standard audio CD can hold up to 74 minutes and a non-standard can hold up to 80 minutes.

What are the preferred source video and audio file formats for Corporate Disk to author a DVD?

For VIDEO, we prefer: DV/NTSC video format – for the Americas, an aspect ratio of (4:3) Standard screen or (16:9) Wide screen, 720×480 frame size in Standard Definition and a frame rate of 29.97fps. File formats listed in order of preference are: MPEG2 (m2v), QuickTime (mov), or AVI Video data-rate should be NO less than 6 Mbps (megabits per second) with a Max data-rate of 7.5 (megabits per second). Audio must be PCM (AIFF) or Digital Dolby Stereo (AC3)… At 48kHz, (kilohertz,) 16 bit stereo AC3 audio allows more content on the disc.

How can we send you video or audio (masters*) or other content?

You can send us a hard copy of your approved master* (either DVD, Audio CD or CD-Rom) by mail or express courier to:

Corporate Disk Company
Attn: Project Coordinator
4610 Prime Parkway
McHenry IL 60050

*We will run a computer analysis to test the master before making copies, and if the analysis passes we will use your master disk.  Be sure that the master is on the same media as what you’re wanting to duplicate, eg. a DVD-9 master cannot be used for a DVD-5 duplication project.

If we are helping to create your master: You can send a hard copy of your video or audio files on a hard drive, USB, or disc to the same address mentioned earlier. (We will return your hard drive or USB after we extract the media……. For smaller size files (under 1GB) you can upload to our FTP site**. You can request instructions from your sales rep or project coordinator.)

** You may want to compress large files and folders prior to uploading to FTP using a compression program such as Stuffit for MAC OR Zip or Winzip for PC users.

We can also provide some technical assistance to help you make an ISO Image file of your content to ensure nothing gets corrupted while digitally transferring the content.

If I have the content edited, can Corporate Disk Company help to create menus?

Yes we can.  We can create menus for DVDs or USB Drives, we can create navigation for PDF documents, and we can help to make sure your audio CD content shows up properly in the music applications by updating a music content database.

Printing

What file formats are preferred?

Ideally, we prefer native graphics formats for flexibility, or PDF’s set up to specs with the fonts embedded or converted to outlines, and any images embedded as well.

The preferred formats we accept are:

  • Illustrator (.AI)
  • In-Design (.INDD)
  • Adobe Photoshop (.PSD)
  • and Quark Xpress (QXD)

Make sure that your design properties are set to CMYK color mode and 300dpi resolution.

Please, do not flatten the artwork, and keep design template in a separate layer. Convert all text to outlines/paths.

If using Photoshop, please rasterize all text layers.

TIF files will produce higher quality images than JPG GIF, PNG or BMP.

When using transparencies, gradients, drop shadows or anything other than 100% solid color, the tonal range must be between 15% and 85% of solid color (for Silkscreen printing), otherwise it may not reproduce properly.

Allow 1/8” (3.175mm) of bleed past the finished edges of the design.

Do you have templates?

Yes, we have many… many templates available. Your Project Coordinator will be happy to email the correct template(s) for your specific project.

Templates are usually provided as EPS and PDF files.  EPS files are usually only used with graphic software, but the PDF files can be opened and viewed with Adobe Acrobat Reader.

If you need something completely customized, we’ll have a template made for your project.

How do we send you the art files?

We can accept the art files in many ways. For larger files sizes, it is probably best to either upload to our FTP server, we can download from your FTP, or you can use services like “you send it” or “dropbox”.

Ask your sales rep or project coordinator to email you our FTP instructions if necessary.

** You may want to compress large files and folders prior to uploading to FTP using a compression program such as Stuffit for MAC , Zip or Winzip for PC users.

What’s the difference between digital printing & offset printing?

Digital printing is printing directly from a computer to a printer without having to print film, plates, or screens.

Offset printing is also known as commercial printing, and it typically requires outputting the artwork into color separated film that can then be used to make the printing plates. This step in the setup usually makes it a process that is better for larger quantity print runs.

Digital printing generally used for smaller run projects, and can be most cost effective at about 1000 11×17 sheets or less. Once a quantity is greater than 1000 11×17 sheets it can become less expensive to print on an offset press.

What is a white flood coat, and why is it needed for printing the artwork onto a CD or DVD?

A white flood coat is a white layer of ink that coats the the print surface of a CD or DVD before the artwork is printed.  The reason it is needed it because usually the artwork is designed to be printed onto paper, but the surface of a CD or DVD is silver.  If there isn’t a white base the artwork colors will print out a lot different than what is expected with the design.

If you want some of the silver to show through, than a spot white base layer can be put under the printed area to have accurate printed colors.

Packaging

What are the printing specifications for packaging?

See the above details in the printing section of the FAQ because many of those same details apply to any custom printed packaging options.

I want to include books, discs, and other things in my product, do you have packaging that will work for this?

Yes.  We specialize and have a lot of experience to combine multimedia items into finished complete packages.

If you are doing something completely new and cutting edge, we look forward to the challenge of meeting your needs.

Do I need to have a completely custom packaging option made?

No not necessarily because we have hundreds of options for packaging that do not have to be designed from scratch.

If you do want something completely custom, we can help to get the design, measurement, and template specifications.

Fulfillment

Where can you ship my products to?

We can ship to just about anywhere in the world.

Our global fulfillment center is located in McHenry, IL, and all fulfillment orders ship from here.

How does your fulfillment system work?

First we’ll start with getting you set up in our system with a short questionnaire to help us determine your preferred details.  Then we’ll have a the products and login details built into our online portal.  The online portal will allow you and your team to view product packages, components, reports, shipment details, and inventory.

Typically we are able to integrate with just about any shopping cart/e-commerce solution. In most cases it is just through adding a custom email in the secondary email notification area, or we can work with an API to integrate and automate.

You can enter shipments manually into the online portal.

Once everything is setup, shipment order requests will be entered or integrated with your system, and you’ll be able to see the progress of the shipments.  Once a package is shipped a shipment confirmation can be sent to your customer (as long as an email is provided).

We can setup some management tools to help manage inventory so that our system will alert you when you reach a predetermined minimum quantity of inventory.  This is helpful to make sure you have enough product available to meet the demand of your products.

How do I set up my shopping cart to integrate with your fulfillment site?

With many common shopping carts, we have easy instructions for you to set it up, but we can work with you to make it easy to integrate. Usually a SKU number and choice of shipping method is all we need along with declared value for customs on International shipments. We can send your clients email notification that their shipment is in transit and provide tracking numbers or any helpful information on your behalf.

What E-commerce providers do you work with?

Paypal, One Shopping Cart, Infusionsoft and ClickBank are some of the most common, but we are comfortable and willing to work with any providers. What works best for you is what we are all about.

What shipping providers do you work with?

We typically ship through USPS, UPS, and FedEx with multiple daily pickups. In addition, we offer choices of emergency messengers, Air freight, LTL truckers, trains and ships.

How much warehouse space do you have?

We have a fulfillment center and a warehouse attached to our manufacturing/production center. This allows us to keep a constant flow for our production schedule, and a steady flow of fulfilling orders since we ship an average of about 10,000 packages a day. Our manufacturing facility is over 75,000 sq. ft. with our warehouse at approximately 40,000 sq. ft., and our fulfillment center is over 30,000 sq. ft.

Event Materials

How long before my event should I start planning my event materials?

As soon as you set the date for your event you should start planning.  All too often we get late notice for event material needs, and unfortunately to expedite production and quicker shipping methods it usually costs more than it would have if the planning was done early.

What kind of timeframe should I expect to have my materials made?

We recommend to plan for about 2 weeks of production time, and about 1 week for shipment transit.  In some case it might be longer, and other case it might be shorter.  If you plan for about 3-4 weeks you should be fine.  We can accommodate most timeframe needs, but we cannot perform miracles.  Plan early, and plan often.

What kind of items can you help provide for my event?

What do you need?  We can provide signage, badges, lanyards, notebooks, journals, pens, gifts and gift bags, shirts, tote bags, and a lot more.

We invite you to challenge us.

Can you do personalized items for my attendees?

Yes in most cases we can personalize print material with your attendees names. Certain items like Badges, Table Tents, and other card type items can be personalized with more than just the name information.  Personalization data can be anything from City and State to how long they have been a member of your program to even having photos or images to make criteria you would like to include.

Promotional Items

What kind of print methods are available for promotional items?

There are a lot of print methods, but here is a list of the most common:

  • Silk Screen
  • Pad Printing
  • Heat Transfer
  • Inkjet
  • Heat/Foil Stamping

What kind of promotional items do you offer?

There are simply to many choices to list.  Some common items are stress relievers, t-shirts, hats, luggage tags, branded mints, pens, bags, blankets, and magnets.

Seriously, we have access to over 100,000 different items, so let us know what you have in mind.

Have a more specific question about your product, or can’t find your answer? 

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