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StorDigital Systems are the UKs leading supplier of digital duplication and publishing technology. From Hard Drive duplication to USB key printing we have a product or service to meet your needs. Call us on 020 8293 0777 to find out more.

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Why do I need an Autoloader?


An autoloader is a more proficient means of duplicating quantity of CD's or DVD's. This is especially true for those companies that have minimal staff available or would like to run duplications continuously overnight unsupervised. An autoloader will greatly increase your production capabilities and reduce your need for additional staff to do menial work such as loading and unloading a manual tower. With an autoloader, your staff can concentrate on more pressing matters and make better use of their time. This way your company will not only save money through efficiency, but also increase profits with faster production and turn around.

Why doesn't the Autoloader come with a printer attached?

The primary function of an autoloader is for continuous unsupervised operation with the ability to run overnight. If you want to ensure proper operation and the ability to duplicate the greatest number of discs in the shortest amount of time, it's best to separate the printing and duplication functions. Adding a printer to the autoloader will negatively affect the autoloaders ability due to the following reasons:

1) Ink/Ribbon Limitations: All printers require some form of ink or thermal ribbon to function. Ink and Ribbon are finite commodities that run out after a certain number of prints. On average, the maximum lifespan for a single ink cartridge or thermal ribbon transfer is approximately 500 discs. If you're using the 1000 disc StorDigital SD1000, the most you can hope for is to finish half the job leaving 500 discs to be completed. Say you typically only run quantities of 200 discs. After two runs, you only have enough ink/ribbon for 100 discs, but you need to run 200 discs overnight - it's not possible as the autoloader will stop after 100 discs due to the printer running out of ink/ribbon. Where, if the autoloader ran without a printer, at least the duplication aspect can be finished when needed.

2) PC connection: Printers require a PC connection in order to operate while the autoloader is a completely stand alone unit. A PC operated device is typically not as reliable as a standalone unit dedicated to a single function. The PC could freeze in the middle of the job and halt the entire process whereas a standalone unit does not rely on a PC to function. Any errors or glitches generated by the PC will negatively affect the printer and make reliable overnight operation near impossible.

3) Time and Expense: The duplication process is generally slower than the printing process. It takes approximately 6 minutes to duplicate a full DVD while a typical inkjet printer takes approximately 30 seconds to print on a disc. If you separate the two processes, you can print during regular operating hours and duplicate after hours using a StorDigital RoboCopier CD DVD autoloader. This will save time by conserving the number of man hours needed to produce the final count of duplicated discs. In contrast, buying two separate units will save you money as well. Not only is the StorDigital RoboCopier CD DVD autoloader more cost effective than other units on the market, but it allows you to add a separate printer at a lower cost than a combined printer duplicator unit. Not to mention that if one of the components needs to be returned for repair, you still have the other to perform half of the job when needed.

Why should I purchase a standalone autoloader instead of one controlled by a PC?

The standalone autoloader is dedicated to just one thing, duplication. An autoloader that is connected to a PC is just one of the functions the computer offers. Not only does this tie up your PC, limiting your ability to perform other functions, but will be more complicated to operate. The Standalone autoloader can be operated by simple 1 button operations instead of requiring complicated software to install. Again, when you're connected to a PC, any time the computer freezes or has a glitch, the duplicator will generate an error and limit your production and quality capabilities.

Does the autoloader require any special brand or type of blank media to operate?

The StorDigital RoboCopier CD DVD autoloaders are designed to use the widest variety of blank media on the market. You should be sure to inspect the media to ensure the discs are not stuck together; otherwise you should be able to use most forms of media to duplicate on. Of course, the better the quality of the media, the better the duplication quality and performance. Though this autoloader is designed to produce high quality duplicates even with average grade media to further save money by reducing your expense. It is advised to separate the media before loading into the spindles to reduce the risk of disc sticking together.

Can the StorDigital RoboCopiers run overnight?

The StorDigital RoboCopier is designed to run continuously overnight without any problem. However, please make sure the unit is placed in the proper environment to ensure the best results and proper function. The ideal environment is one with a moderate temperature and minimal dust. It is advised to separate the media before loading into the spindles to reduce the risk of disc sticking together.

What if I have numerous titles to duplicate instead of just one?

The StorDigital RoboCopiers were designed for just such an occasion. When your job requires that you create duplications of two or more different masters, you can use the specially designed Multi-Master Recognition Technology (MMRT). This function allows the autoloader to determine when a new master disc has been loaded and will copy the appropriate blank discs with the appropriate master disc. The MMRT provides the operator an increased capability allowing them to concentrate on other pressing matters instead of the need to reload the autoloader every time they wish to copy a new master.

An example of how the MMRT works is if the operator wishes to copy 3 successive titles with master AA requiring 20 copies, master BB requiring 40 copies, and master CC requiring 60 copies. Simply set the autoloader to Multi-Master mode then begin filling the spindles. First load the 60 blank media necessary for job CC then load on top, master disc CC. Next, place the 40 blank media necessary for job BB on top of the existing stack for job CC, then load master disc BB on top. Lastly, load the 20 blank media necessary for job AA on top of the existing stack for job BB, then load master disc AA on top. Start the duplication process and the autoloader will automatically recognize when a master disc is loaded into a drive. That master will then be loaded into the reserve hard drive partition. All subsequent blank media following it will be duplicated with that data/video. The process repeats every time it comes to a new master.

Why does the disc picking arm look different then other autoloaders?

The StorDigital RoboCopiers use an industrial vacuum pump system to pick up the discs instead of the cheaper center hole picking system used by many autoloaders on the market. The reason we use the more expensive vacuum system is for reliability. All media manufacturers, Industrial Replication and Duplication facilities use the vacuum method to pick discs. Those companies need to handles thousands to millions of discs constantly without complication and have found that the vacuum method is the most reliable method.

Do I need a SD100, SD500 or an SD1000?

This question all depends on the amount of production you have. The SD100 is geared toward medium to mild heavy users who do not have the time or the manpower to dedicate to a large manual tower. With the SD100's ability to operate continuously overnight without any human interaction, you can run larger quantities of duplications compared to manual towers. The SD100 is the affordable alternative to a larger autoloader and is far more efficient than a manual tower duplicator. For those looking for greater convenience and that industrial reliability, the SD100 is your solution.

The SD1000 is geared toward more industrial use with larger volume needs. The SD1000 offers all of the same benefits as the SD100 with significantly more media capacity and more recording drives. When you have greater quantities up to 500 to 1000 discs at a time, the SD1000 is the solution for you. With its ability to run continuously overnight, it will drastically increase your production and lower your manpower hours. When you need volume, you need the StorDigital SD1000 RoboCopier.