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Appeared on: Sunday, September 15, 2002
MBIL announced 99min CDs

MBIL send us the following news "...If a three-hour long Hindi movie can now be packed into two compact discs instead of three, making packaging a much simpler affair, thank Moser Baer India. MBIL increased the storage capacity of each CD to 99 minutes of programming to solve this particular problem...

Such innovation is characteristic of the company’s way of doing business, which is propelling it to the No 2 slot in the world in optical storage media.

Chances are that a good number of CDs we use are originally manufactured ‘’blank media" in the Capital’s hi-tech backyard —Noida. This is where the state-of-the-art manufacturing plant of Moser Baer India is located.

Currently, the world’s fifth largest producer of recordable media like floppies, CD, CD-R and DVD-R, Moser Baer operates round-the-clock with its own power-source (20 MW) and water (reverse osmosis) supply.

A visit to the multiple facilities in Noida also reveals that MBIL is on its way to become No 2 in the world — in terms of sheer size and capacity. Ritek the numero uno in optical media has any number of plants scattered all over Taiwan.

Still, MBIL with its fast-paced expansion activities (the CDR manufacturing capacity is being ramped up from 761 million to 1 billion by the end of this year) unrelenting R&D efforts, intelligent cost-cutting measures and of course manpower is making news.

Basically an OEM supplier, selling over 60 products in the floppy, CD, VCD, CD-RW and CD-R categories under leading global brands, MBIL now corners a 10 per cent share of the global recordable optical media market.

Zero-defect manufacture, dust free-climate controlled environment, adherence to ISO-9002 and off-line analysis on a sample basis are a way of life here.

Equally important — and perhaps not really spoken-about — is the technology lead taken by MBIL is several areas. It not only employs nearly a hundred people in its R&D but also spends about 3 per cent of annual revenue on it. It has been engaged in collaborative efforts to improve drive technology with leading players and has on some occasion’s even beaten them to it .

Says Ratul Puri, executive director, MBIL, ‘’We were the first to introduce CD-Rs with the 12X write speed in January 2000. Our effort is to introduce a new process or variation in the process every 4-6 months. That way, we can be sure of being ahead."

In September 2001, MBIL again led the way moving to the 24X write speed, and two months later it went on to 32X. In the case of 40X — it was MBIL which led the way, with disk drive players adapting.

Work is now on to upgrade the write speed to 48X and then to 52X too. "Our technologies and specifications are compatible with the Orange Book Part II, CD-R volume 2 (standards laid down by a consortium of global leaders like Sony, Philips etc)," says Anil Bhargava, deputy general manager(Quality).

The company has also introduced a proprietary manufacturing process, PC12D for the production of CD-Rs which has helped increase efficiency and throughput.

It has also started producing in-house a sizeable proportion of its requirement of jewel boxes, those brittle plastic cases in which CDs are packed..."

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