By: Robin Ford Wallace, Reporter
businesswomen were the speakers at the Dade County Chamber of Commerce’s
November luncheon, held Nov. 16 at Rising Fawn’s Depot Diner, and both had
sweeping innovations to announce.
Gass of D&B Custom Powder Coating, a business in Dade’s Industrial Park,
spoke about the new hydrographic process her company is launching, which she
hopes will bring D&B – and, incidentally, Dade County – business from
Volkswagen and other big manufacturers as well as expand its custom services
“Right now we
powder coat for individuals and companies, and that will be my goal for the new
company as well, the expansion,” she said. “I want to do individuals, that’s
the reason we’re custom, but golf carts, they’re doing 100 a month, which is
fabulous. I want that business, so yeah, I’m going to get it.”
D&B’s current line of business, is a paint-alternative process, in which a
dry colored skin is applied to metals and, more rarely, other materials,
electrostatically. The powder coating forms a hard finish tougher than paint.
process, Hydrographics, involves floating the finish to be applied in a big
tank of water – in D&B’s case 10x4 feet – and is not quite as fast as
powder coating, but it allows the processor to apply complicated patterns to
diverse materials. Metal, aluminum, wood, glass, practically anything can be
“dipped,” as the process is called within the industry.
seen the golf cart that’s got the camouflage, right? That’s dip,” said Ms. Gass.
The ability to
coat practically anything in camo, she added, has already brought D&B a lot
of potential business among the huntin’ and fishin’ crowd. Motorcycles,
helmets, even drinking glasses can now be camouflaged. “Everybody’s called
about the camouflage,” said Ms. Gass.
Hydrographics has more than one trick in its bag. “So far I have about 227
different patterns,” said Ms. Gass. These include industry-specific motifs such
as wood grain for auto panels as well as trendy patterns such as tree trunks,
autumn leaves or human skulls, and some companies are using the process to make
metal cabinet doors look like wood.
“There was a
guy who had bought an RV and he wanted the countertops in the RV to look like
granite,” said Ms. Gass. “So they took the countertops out and they dipped
them. It even had the texture of granite.”
expanded its workspace another 100 feet and hired two new employees to
accommodate this new line of business. It hopes eventually to employ still
more. “We’ll probably wind up with five to eight,” said Ms. Gass.
She said the
water tank should be installed this week, and as of the Nov. 16 luncheon two
employees were in Texas training in the process. Ms. Gass hoped D&B would
have it up and running shortly before Christmas.
In the process,
a primer coat is first applied to the item to be “dipped”; then it is lowered
into the tank through a floating polyvinol alcohol film printed with the
pattern, which wraps around it and adheres to it.
anybody wants to come in, we’ve put windows on the outside so y’all can see
exactly how it’s all done,” said Ms. Gass. She promised to announce
Clark from TVNtv, the new subsidiary of Trenton Telephone, discussed progress
in TVN’s push to bring Internet-based television service to Dade County.
require a dish. It’s not exactly a cable. It’s a fiber,” said Ms. Clark. “For
us it’s a brand new adventure.”
She said that
TVN is “bundling” the new television service with its existing Internet
service, which the new technology vastly improves. “The good part about it is,
with the fiber, we can now have Internet service which offers speeds we haven’t
seen here in our county,” said Ms. Clark.
television service is $24.95, said Ms. Clark. “We’re hoping to be able to keep
these kinds of prices. We’re staying away from promotional features where you
pay one price for three months and then you get your bill and it’s doubled,”
she said. “You will see some price increases maybe in a year’s time, but that’s
because of the networks’ increases to us.”
She said TVNtv
offers “practically every network that’s out there” and explained why packages
sometimes include surprising choices: “You negotiate with these networks,” she
said. “You run into these things where if you want to carry ESPN, which you
really, really want, there are four or five other ones they’re going to require
you to have.”
Ms. Clark said
the phone company is still feeling its way as it expands, learning which
equipment works best with which networks, and is asking people to be patient
and kind. “We’re looking at it as all good,” she said.
But the biggest
challenge right now is simply getting the television service to everybody who
wants its," said Ms. Clark. “That’s one of the reasons you haven’t seen us
do a big launch about this, because we don’t want to disappoint a lot of people
right off the bat. The county’s a large county, the way it’s spread out with
all our little rivers and valleys and hills,” she said. “So it’s going to take
a little while”
TVN’s television service is limited to Trenton as far north as the American
Legion; up 136 East and including the top of Lookout Mountain; and Sand
Mountain on Worley Chapel Road area where it connects with 89 and corners at
301. Ms. Clark said the company is laying equipment to expand into the Davis
area and that South Dade is also in the near future. The Valley View Estates
area, which historically has had problems getting any kind of
telecommunications services, is another target, she said.
on it desperately. We really hope to, in the future, cover all of Dade County,”
said Ms. Clark. “For us, that’s quite an undertaking, because we are a locally
owned business. We’re not Comcast, we’re not Charter. We’re doing our part, as
much as we can do, for Dade County.”
Telephone is a privately owned, publicly regulated company first formed to
bring telephone service into rural Dade and later to expand it throughout the
county. It has since extended into DSL Internet and now into television.
next luncheon will be at noon on Dec. 14 at Randy’s Restaurant.