The Platform for the Blu-ray Production of High Quality Blu-ray Discs

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The success of 3D in the cinemas is encouraging, the Hollywood Studios are increasing the production of 3D movies, broadcasters are launching 3D channels, the consumer electronics industry is readying a whole range of 3D TVs and Blu-ray players. SINGULUS is supporting all that with the right replication equipment for the 3D Blu-ray Discs!

Hollywood Studios want to take advantage of the enormous storage capacity of a BD50 disc in order to deliver an unprecedented video and audio experience in Hi-def quality to the home consumer. For this reason, the availability of 50 GB Dual Layer Blu-ray Discs is a clear must for these formats.

The BLULINE system platform is ready for the coming 100 GB Blu-rays for the ultra high definition TV (4K).

SINGULUS' experience in the field of Blu-ray Production goes back to its early, exclusive partnership with the format developer Sony in 2005. SINGULUS has already a large number of production lines at over 30 replicators around the globe.

The SINGULUS Blu-ray Production system BLULINE II is designed for the economical production of Blu-ray Discs (BD ROM Single Layer and Dual Layer (BD ROM SL/DL), according to the specifications issued by the BDA.

All production steps in Blu-ray Production from molding, cooling, metallizing, wet-embossing, lacquering and UV-curing to quality inspection are incorporated in the BLULINE II. Its functionality, speed and design will again set a new benchmark for the industry. The BLULINE II operates with one molding machine and comprises all the advanced features required for production of high end Dual Layer Blu-ray Discs.

The most common technology for creating an additional information layer on a substrate surface is the wet-embossing process. The benefit of the wet-embossing process is that it provides a very fine pit geometry and therefore generates a flawless electrical signal.

The dual layer process requires an excellent uniformity of the space layer between the two information layers (approx. 25±1 micron). This space layer is created by our field proven spin coating process and uses resin heating and curing to achieve the required uniformity. Finally the BD50 disc requires a precise 75 micron cover layer.

The following features characterize the BLULINE II concept: 

  • Dedicated to production of BD ROM SL/DL
  • Cycle time BD SL < 4.0 s / BD DL < 4.5 s
  • Highly integrated design
  • All production stepsincluded
  • Thickness Measurement Device (TMD) for metallized layers with close loop control for the cathode
  • Spectrometer for spacer-layer and cover-layer measuring with close loop control for spin process
  • High productivity, high uptime
  • Clear structured disc flow
  • Automated handling of BD through all productionsteps
  • Minimum space required

1 Injection Molding
SINGULUS has qualified the MoldPro All-Electric molding machine for Blu-ray Disc production. Other qualified molding machines can be integrated on request.
7 Wet-Embossing Station
The Layer 1 wet-embossing station is the key unit of the dual-layer application. This unit is built with a 4-position turntable and one embossing head. The embossing head is designed for the Layer 1 wet-embossing process with a Nickel stamper in the uncured pit-transfer resin. The Layer 0 disc is loaded onto a quartz glass for embossing and is centered with a center pin. The Layer 1 stamper is mounted onto to the top side of the embossing head and is supported by vacuum and a mechanical stamper holder.

2 Cooling Conveyor
A linear cooling conveyor transports the discs in a horizontal position through a separate conveyor belt to the downstream. This additional cooling of the substrates during transportation provides a uniform temperature distribution over the disc surface.
8 Layer 1 Metallization
For the second metallization of the wet-embossed disc with Layer 1 semi-reflective material, the same sputter station is used as for Layer 0. Silver Alloy is sputtered with a thickness of approx. 30 nm.

3 Layer 0 Metallization
A high-rate SINGULUS V sputter module with the patented SMART Cathode® is used for the metallization of the molded Blu ray Disc substrates with Layer 0 full-reflective material. Silver Alloy is sputtered with a layer thickness of approx. 35 nm.  
9 Cover Layer
Lacquering for the cover layer takes place on a double track module for high throughput. After UV curing, the disc is positioned directly under a spectrometer to measure the cover layer thickness and uniformity. With these results, a closed loop cover layer control is generated to ensure constant thickness and uniformity.

4 Base Resin
Lacquering takes place on a double track module for high throughput. Both tracks are connected to one lacquer dispense system, two spin bowls and one IR lamp. One Xenon pulsed UV lamp is used for each track. The combination of a spin bowl and the UV station creates a uniform shape and outer edge on the disc. 
10 Hard Coating
The hard coat is performed with a spin process, ensuring a very thin and uniform distribution of the hard coat material. Afterwards, the disc will be UV-cured and positioned on the conveyor. A flip-over handling arm brings the print side of the disc facing up.

5 Pit-Transfer-Resin
This unit consists of one lacquer dispense systems and two spin bowls. The discs are transported by one handling system. Once the metallized and resign-coated disc reaches the first position, a highly accurate circular ring of lacquering agent is applied onto the disc with 2 μm pit-transfer-resin. 
11 Barrier Layer
A SINGULUS V module is used for sputtering the label side of the disc with a moisture barrier. SiN is sputtered with a layer thickness of approx. 10 nm.
6 Pre Curing
A one-position turntable to pre-cure the center of the lacquered Blu-ray Discs is positioned just prior the wet-embossing station. 
12 Final Inspection
The unique layer thickness measuring system controls the layer thickness and layer uniformity of each metallized substrate automatically.

Main Features
FormatBD ROM
Single Layer & Dual Layer
Cycle timeDL < 4.5 s
SL < 4.0 s
Space layer25 μm
Cover layer BD DL75 μm
Cover layer BD SL100 μm
Fully reflective layerAg+ (approx. 35 nm)
Semi reflective layerAg+ (approx. 30 nm)
Barrier layerSiN (approx. 10 nm)
Available Options
Adaption of BCA module
Dimensions BLULINE II
(with MOLDPRO/2 Injection Molding Machine)
Length4500 mm
Width3700 mm
Height2080 mm

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