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Furnace Record Pressing
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Furnace Record Pressing to Open Vinyl Record Pressing Plant in USA
Company says it is committed to manufacturing audiophile grade vinyl records in the USA
FAIRFAX, Va.—After searching for close to a decade, Furnace Record Pressing (Furnace MFG) recently acquired ten rare Toolex Alpha vinyl record presses. Furnace staff members traveled to Mexico City to oversee the loading and shipment of the presses to their Washington, D.C. area facility. The resulting 48 hours saw the group encounter machetes, protesters, and a genuine kidnapping scare, among other logistical challenges, according to a press release from Furnace Record Pressing.
Upon arriving in Mexico City, the crew realized there were no forklifts or pallet jacks available to maneuver these hulking pieces of machinery onto the trucks. Undaunted, the team transferred each one-ton machine from their ramshackle storage using a series of small metal dollies and a lot of manpower. Once out in the open, the machines were lifted by a small crane, strapped to pallets, and loaded on trucks. Two 53-foot tractor-trailers were required to handle the full load of pressing equipment.
Each truck was navigated around gridlocked Mexico City traffic, through massive protest marches, and into the tiny neighborhood for loading. Local police were encouraged to shut down the streets in the area by the team’s helpful hosts.
During the second day of loading, the staff caught wind that questions were being asked about the value of the equipment and were later advised not to speak in English to avoid drawing unwanted attention to the operation. They hurried to complete the loading and the trucks took off later that evening, weathering the bumpy terrain en route to the border at Laredo, Texas. After passing through customs, the machines were transferred to U.S. trucks and made the final leg of the journey to Furnace.
“The loading of the machines was difficult,” said Alex Reimer, production coordinator for Furnace Record Pressing, in the release. “We had to navigate through neighborhoods and streets not meant for tractor-trailers and load heavy equipment with unconventional tools and manpower. In our short time in Mexico City, we met late night fire breathers, a wine angel, a jacked up guy on a Harley asking a lot of questions about our presses, and a lot of awesome new friends who helped us get all ten presses loaded and secured against all odds. It was a lot of work, but it’s a great story and I’m excited to have been a part of it.”
Now with the record presses safely in their possession, the real challenge begins. The next phase finds Furnace seeking the perfect home to build their pressing plant, refurbishing their newly acquired machines, and, ultimately, pressing the best quality records possible in the United States.
“It’s almost impossible to find record presses out there in the wild,” said Furnace President and CEO Eric Astor, in the release. “To find late era, automated machines is unheard of. We’re excited to build a world-class record pressing facility in the USA to help feed the beast. The industry needs additional vinyl capacity, shorter lead times, and a laser focus on quality. I’m certain that we’ll achieve these goals once we breathe life back into these machines.”
Furnace MFG, in business since 1996, also runs Pallas USA, a partnership with the Pallas Group of Germany.
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