Welcome to Furnace Record Pressing’s January 2024 edition of The Boiler Room!
Guess who’s back? (Back again!) We hope your 2024 is off to a great start. We’ve kicked off our year humming right along here at the plant, and Tibby and Slippy (remember them?) are busy being curious, exploring, and hoarding little cat treasures. Without further ado, here’s some more news you can use, things to read and some fluff (tell a friend).
Furnace is an unapologetically American manufacturing plant and we take pride in pressing the highest quality records possible. Our secret to keeping our prices low while competing with globally lower costs of business is (believe it or not) inspired by the automotive industry.
While planning the build-out and concept for our Alexandria, VA facility several years ago, we had the opportunity to implement the principles of Lean Manufacturing that allowed our business to operate in our old 10,000sq ft location. Lean was first conceptualized in the 1950s by Toyota and in principle aims to reduce waste while making continuous improvements, thereby increasing efficiency in the manufacturing process while lowering costs to the consumer.
This hawkish approach to eliminating waste in every process is built firmly on our pursuit to grow and maintain a culture of mutual respect, which extends to the way the staff interacts and the reverence we have for the records we produce. We actively practice these principles in several ways in the manufacturing process.
- Streamlined Production Processes: We eliminate unnecessary steps in every process, from acquiring PVC to shipping finished records. This has allowed us to shorten our lead times and improve overall efficiency.
- Waste Reduction: You won’t be surprised to know that vinyl record pressing tends to general a lot of waste, from PVC pellets to packaging. Lean manufacturing encourages us to work consistently to reduce waste. We track scrap reduction every day and recycle 100% of our vinyl flashing and rejects.
- Flexibility: By reducing rigidity in our production process, we are able to quickly adapt to fluctuations and changes in market trends (or even quickly swap our presses over to 7″ from 12″)
- Quality Improvement: A cornerstone of Lean is the relentless focus on quality. Furnace boasts one of the most stringent quality control processes in the industry. We check records from each of our 14 presses for audible and physical defects multiple times an hour. Every finished record is hand inspected before it is packaged.
- Employee Empowerment: Process improvements at Furnace are driven by the people who are directly impacted and involved in manufacturing: the press operators, QC staff and packaging techs. They are the first to spot opportunities and most qualified to solve those problems.
The application of Lean principles in vinyl record manufacturing is not just a business strategy; it’s a commitment to the artistry and craftsmanship that you expect when purchasing vinyl.
Clients using their powers for good: we love to see it. Recently, we had the privilege of pressing the debut album on the newly launched record label of NOISE FOR NOW, a non-profit benefiting abortion access and reproductive rights.
The album, NOISE FOR NOW, Vol. 1 was released this past November as a limited edition vinyl-only record store exclusive.
Pressed on clear vinyl and including a “Liberate Abortion” print by Kim Gordon, it features songs not available to purchase elsewhere by artists including Maya Hawke, Amanda Shires and Jason Isbell, Bully, Wet Leg, My Morning Jacket, Fleet Foxes, and more.
NOISE FOR NOW enables artists and entertainers to connect with and financially support grassroots organizations that work in the field of Reproductive Justice including abortion access. NOISE FOR NOW provides opportunities for artists and entertainers to use their talent to raise money and send a clear message that Reproductive Rights are human rights. 90% of all money raised by NOISE FOR NOW goes directly to Reproductive Health, Rights and Justice organizations. To learn more, visit: https://noisefornow.org.
Every human being deserves the right to make individual choices when it comes to their bodies and reproductive health… We believe we should be able to ‘agree to disagree’ with respect and have open dialogue, but that no government or organization should EVER be allowed to force a person to make a decision about their own body. We are excited to be a part of this NOISE FOR NOW project working together alongside so many great folks for reproductive justice. Reproductive rights are human rights.
My Morning Jacket
CAN YOU BELIEVE THIS FUCKING SHIT?! Thank you NOISE FOR NOW for connecting us as musicians to the people doing the real work to ensure abortion remains accessible.
THAO AND THE GET DOWN STAY DOWN AND TUNE-YARDS
The choice to decide what happens to our bodies is under attack and access to crucial services are being decimated and criminalized. Reproductive justice and access to safe abortion is a human rights issue and we are proud to support the organizations and individuals fighting for fundamental services and care against all odds.
Tegan and Sara
of the dark plague, a party of stout-hearted and battle-hardened adventurers gathered, burdened with noble purpose. They united beneath the banner of Furnace; a sorcerer, a rogue, a barbarian and a monk they were. Weekly they gathered in the digital realm to battle a great evil gathering in the north of The Sword Coast.
Our mailbags have been overflowing with questions and curiosity about Furnace’s own Dungeons and Dragons Club— and who are we to deprive you?
During the pandemic several members of our team formed the group as a way to maintain team camaraderie, and began playing weekly on Tuesday nights. The group continued meeting as our team trickled back to work at Furnace HQ and our numbers have grown to include Vickie (Sleeving Manager), Thao (Office Manager and Human Resources), Anne (Key Accounts Representative), Connor (Assembly Manager), Sean (Assembly Runner) and Mark (VP of Manufacturing Operations), though all are welcome to join (newcomers especially!). Each player is at a different experience level, ranging from 2 months to almost 40 years. Our members rotate campaigns on the 10 Day with Connor, Monk and Mark creating and running campaigns.
So, take thy great ax to the smith and gather your spell scrolls. Fabulous wealth and deadly adventure call from the wilds of Faerun! Heed the call and join us as we plot and plan to raid the treasure trove of Tiamat herself!
Furnace’s Frequently Asked Questions about Dungeons & Dragons
- Q. Do the cats also play D&D?
- A. No
Until next time,
ps. we still have MERCH! If you ever wanted to roll up in style at school, the mall or your place of business in some high fashion apparel a Furnace t-shirt today is your lucky day