Nine months after we started building the space we can now happily say this pressing plant is up and running.
It has been silent for a little while now but that was simply because we were 200% focussed on getting the parts connected and ready to be tested. So last week we ran a first test.
Yes! This is still on! It's been a while since you heard from us but that doesn't mean we were giving up. On the contrary! We've been spending a lot of time and energy to get the right machines in the right place and that part of the plan is coming together now. And we spent some time at dunk!festival of course.
Good news! The building itself is almost finished.
Lots of stuff has been archieved over the past two weeks! Winter isn't holding back, but we aren't either!
As mentioned in the previous post, we needed a roof over our heads. Yes, in the literal sense of the word! As we were proceeding with our mission, snow started to fall. Pretty heroïc, don't you think?
Last wednesday was a cold one, so we looked like Winter Olympics athletes.
The wooden skeleton for the walls is completed. Next? The roof!
Temperatures will drop below freezing point, so exciting times (brrr) are ahead.
It's been a while since our last update but that's because we've been very busy actually constructing the building. While the concrete was drying, wood deliveries came in so we could start constructing as soon as the concrete was strong enough. With the building taking shape we're getting more and more exciting to install those machines. We conquer rain, winds, snow, freezing temperatures,... to be able to have this thing up and running as soon as possible!
First day of work in 2018 and it was an excellent day: we have a floor now! The day started at 07:00 and the polishing is still going on at this time (21:00). Three trailers of concrete were just enough to fill the entire 'basin' that we prepared at the end of 2017. Now it's a matter of waiting for the concrete to be hard enough to start construction works. But before that we still have to do some digging to connect water, electricity, gas,... to the main pipes.
Today we finished most ground works and applied a layer of recycled glass in the shape of rocks. Weird matter but the perfect base layer for a concrete floor and a lot more eco friendly than the other solutions we were looking into. We spread out 11 big bags each weighing 200kg with just a shovel and a few wheelbarrows.
The building is mostly going to be assembled with wood and recycled paper (insulation) but of course we need a solid base. So after installing a basic sewage system we had the concrete foundation coming in today. Next steps are bringing in a layer of recycled glass (looking like small pumice rocks) to avoid the cold coming up from the ground, placing temporary borders and then having a layer of concrete (with metal fibers) spread out on top of all that...
Today we went to the bank to sign our loan and make sure there's money to have everything installed. A few weeks ago we were able to reserve a second hand Newbilt press (only 8 months old) with extruder, trimmer and hydraulic aggregate. Today we were able to pay for all this so now it's just a matter of going to Germany to pick it up once the building is complete.
We experienced some delays but we were finally able to start the ground works... On the first day of snow this year! But we are determined to get this thing up and running as soon as possible.
First items on the schedule is leveling the terrain, digging foundations and replacing some pipes.
After having a great time at dunk!USA we planned to stick around and enjoy that part of the USA. We made sure Detroit was on our route to visit Third Man Pressing and see if we could learn anything there. We didn't have an appointment with someone at the factory but I was glad to see that the store had a big window to the production floor with all the Newbilt presses installed.
Good news reached us in Burlington, Vermont where we are preparing the first edition of dunk!USA. There were some delays in the construction approval but now we finally have a 'go'...
While waiting for the construction approval and loan to be confirmed we were invited to go and see a Warmtone machine by Viryl Technologies at work in Portsmouth. This one is fully automatic and has lots of sensors and is even connected to the internet for monitoring. So in September 2015 we took the car onto the ferry to Portsmouth, England...
Special moment! Today we bought the first part for our own vinyl pressing plant: a second hand cooling tower with the perfect specifications for our setup. We went to Tilburg, NL to pick it up ourselves.
Since we needed a bigger space to store our dunk!records operation we were redesigning those plans to make it big enough to set-up a pressing unit as well. Just in case these plans were going to be executed. The plans looked very promising!
On April 7th we went to Copenhagen, Denmark to visit a brand new vinyl factory working with the Newbilt presses in the exact same set-up as we were looking for. Newbilt is making new presses based on the technology that is being used be the industry forever. The machines we are looking at are manual machines that allow for more color customization and that are slightly cheaper than a fully automatic machine...
In February we actually came up with the idea to start pressing our own vinyl. That gives us total control about quality, colors, timing and we skip the dangerous journey for the vinyls to get from the factory to us. So less chance of damaged goods, delays, flaws,... This was gonna be our next move and it's gonna be fun...
It was September 2016 when a part of the dunk!team took the plane to Burlington, Vermont to hunt for a location for dunk!USA. On our time there we were shown around in the Burlington pressing plant. We never had the idea of pressing our own vinyl but seeing Justin at work in his own vinyl factory planted a seed...