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Sonopress turns 50, now called arvato digital services

Founded on 18 April 1958, sonopress has developed over five decades into one of the world’s leading media service providers. From today on, the company is called arvato digital services. Just in time for its 50th anniversary, sonopress has installed the first production line for Blu-ray discs at its Gütersloh headquarters.

This Blu-ray facility is the second within the group after the production plant in the United States. The new machine can produce dual-layer Blu-ray 50 discs. Capable of producing up to 15,000 BD discs each day, the Gütersloh BD line has now been running since early April 2008 and recently produced its first BD50 title, In the Name of the King, for splendid medien. The disc was developed by Enteractive Studios in Hamburg.

Reinhard Mohn founded sonopress GmbH in Gütersloh on 18 April 1958 to produce vinyl records for the Bertelsmann Clubs. Just a few years later, however, sonopress was servicing customers outside the Bertelsmann group as well, and in the 1970s, the company developed into Europe’s leading manufacturer of recorded media. In 1978, after acquiring a production facility in Mexico City, the company took its first step toward internationalization.

Production rose to over 60 million data carriers by 1980, and in 1984 CD manufacturing began in Gütersloh. Sonopress took over the RCA pressing plants in the U.S., Mexico and Brazil in 1986. A Hong Kong company was
founded in 1991.

The expansion in the EMEA countries (Europe, Middle East, Asia) began in the early 1990s. Operations in Spain were launched in 1993, with Ireland following in 1994 and Great Britain and South Africa two years after that. In 1997, sonopress entered the DVD business. sonopress expanded to Singapore in 2001 and to Forbach, France, in 2002. The Australian site commenced its operations in 2005. By then, sonopress had production facilities on all five continents. One year later, sonopress became a pioneer as the first European replicator to open a CD and DVD plant in Russia.

arvato founded its arvato digital services unit to advance global expansion and offer its customers integrated full-service solutions. arvato digital services includes the companies of the former arvato storage media group (sonopress worldwide and topac), arvato services USA and parts of Asia, and the arvato technology business unit.

The CEO EMEA Manufacturing at arvato digital services is Sven Deutschmann (pictured), formerly CEO of sonopress EMEA. Beginning 17 April, this business unit will operate under the new name arvato digital services. “We are confident that the new structure and the new name arvato digital services is in line with the high expectations of our customers and will strengthen us both nationally and internationally,” says Deutschmann, emphasizing “that replication and the entire data carrier replication service chain will remain an important part of arvato digital services’ portfolio in the future.”

At the time of its 50th anniversary, the company has over 1,100 permanent employees in Gütersloh and more than 8,000 worldwide.

Story filed 23.04.08

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