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Angelbird Factory Tour – This Is How Your Memory Card Is Made – CineD Exclusive

December 8th, 2022 Jump to Comment Section 3

Angelbird is an Austrian-based company that manufactures memory cards and SSD solutions. They were kind enough to open their doors and host us for a day where we got to see first-hand how memory cards, card readers, and custom-made SSD recording solutions are being made.

Since the world is open again to travel and seek out adventures, we are continuing a tradition we started a long time ago: factory tours are one of our favorite subjects to cover as they bring you guys behind the scenes on “how things are being made”, and show the philosophy and strategy of the company behind the product. Even more importantly, they give a “face” to the company by better understanding what and who is behind the company name and logo.

Paying a visit at Angelbird
Paying a visit at Angelbird HQ. Credit: Christoph Malin

Compared to Japan, Austrian trains are far from being as comfortable, yet the long ride was worth it, just to exchange Vienna’s scenery of flat-surfaced urban charm for an extraordinary alpine mountain view, which made a memorable impression on me. Seven hours by train west of Vienna, situated between Germany, Switzerland, and Liechtenstein, the Austrian state of Vorarlberg is the go-to place for ski resorts and alpine scenery. And also, where Roman and Mark, the co-founders of Angelbird, located their business and where our story begins.

Angelbird is among a handful of companies marking memory cards, so I was thankful for the opportunity to meet the people behind it. This time, I went on a (very) long journey to see how memory cards are being made. And let me tell you, what really caught my attention was the dedication and friendliness of those whom I met at Angelbirds’ factory and office. Maybe it is the mountains, lakes, or just fresh air, but there was certainly something different in how time passed and the overall rhythm during my stay.

Card compatibility tests
Card compatibility tests. Credit: Christoph Malin

Angelbird – the company

The company relies on its technical expertise to create camera-specific media cards and storage solutions. EVERYTHING is made “in-house”. The designs for CFexpress Type B, CFast 2.0, SD cards, and card readers, next to custom media for ARRI, Atomos, and RED. The manufacturing and production of all of the above (Excluding SD cards) are also being made in Austria.

Talking about “manufacturing and production”, I have to mention that I was extremely surprised to see that a lot of the production line is actually made by hand: gluing and solidating the cards, testing them, and formating the SSDs one by one next to individual packing; it was quite impressive.

The process of testing the compatibility of Angelbirds’ cards with popular cameras is a tedious task as every time there is a new firmware update, the entire process starts all over again…

We have to stay alert with recording memory cards as something can always go wrong and the consequences can be severe. Losing recorded data is no fun at all, to say the least. This is where Angelbird is trying to shine – with a 93% recovering information success rate using their own developed tools, they strive to help those who are in need.

Card stress test in the freezing chamber
Card stress test in the freezing chamber. Credit: Christoph Malin

Images are stronger than words in this case, so I’ll let the above video speak for itself.

It is also a good opportunity to thank Roman, Belinda, Natalia, Christopher, and the rest of the team, who really did their best to share as much as possible with me, so you guys can get more knowledgeable about the process of how your memory card gets manufactured.

Interested in more? You can find more engaging CineD factory tours, by clicking here.

Angelbird CFexpress cards Type B PCB quality control
Angelbird CFexpress cards Type B PCB quality control. Credit: CineD

What do you think about Angelbird memory cards? Do you use them yourself? And in case you’ve experienced issues in the past, what’s your impression of their customer service? Please share with us your thoughts in the section below.

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