Michigan Paint Mixing Equipment Manufacturer Celebrates 70th Anniversary - BodyShop Business
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Michigan Paint Mixing Equipment Manufacturer Celebrates 70th Anniversary

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As Dedoes Industries of Walled Lake, Mich., celebrates its 70th anniversary this year, owner Nancy Dedoes Amberger recalls how the company she owns came to be the only manufacturer of paint mixing equipment for the automotive and industrial refinish industries in the United States.

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“When my grandfather heard of Henry Ford and his success, he knew his horse shoeing and wagon making business was going to be obsolete. So he packed up his family and moved from Missouri to Michigan so he and his son – my father – could work at the Rouge Plant,” she said.

While working there, her father Arnold also attended Henry Ford Trade School, where he learned a variety of trades, and eventually used that experience to establish Dedoes Industries Inc., a manufacturing company skilled in tools, dies and metal forming processes, on 11 Mile Road in Berkley, Mich.

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Amberger says her father was an imaginative person who had many patents, which included products like a door latch for kitchen cabinets; a deer blind; a battery-operated fan for his barbeque; aerators for golf greens; and what may have been the very first ball pitching machine. He advertised all of these in national magazines such as Better Homes & Garden, Field and Stream and other product related publications.

“In the early ‘50s, a paint manufacturing company approached my father about manufacturing mixing machines. Because he was so ingenious, he was able to improve upon the paint mixing machines and began selling them to all the paint manufacturers. To this day, manufacturing paint mixing equipment for the automotive and industrial refinish industries is our bread and butter,” said Amberger.

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Needing more room for research, development and manufacturing, Dedoes moved to Walled Lake, Mich., in the early 60’s, where it is still headquartered in a 100,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art manufacturing and R&D facility.

In its earliest days, Arnold Dedoes was the owner, engineer and salesman. Today, Dedoes Industries employs about 60 people, including six engineers, as well as second and third generation family members. It operates manufacturing and sales offices in Colorado and China, and a sales office and distribution center in Brazil.

Dedoes also has an alliance with AEML (Ateliers Electriques et Metallurgique du Loiret) in France, one of Europe’s leading equipment manufacturers.

“We’re a lean, customer-focused company. Our employees work as a team and are willing to go well beyond what is expected. Our customers recognize that when they come to us for something, we’ll turn it around quickly and produce a quality product,” said Dave Pratt, president.

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“Our goal is to provide the most innovative products at the most competitive price with the best global service,” he added.

For the future, Amberger and Pratt predict Dedoes will continue to grow internationally and to develop new equipment, dictated by the changing air quality regulations.

Amberger said her father would often tell the story of the day when he saw the three great inventors, Henry Ford, Thomas Edison and Harvey Firestone, walk through the Rouge Plant. Little did he know that one day, he too would found a company that would be the first – and only in the United States – to manufacture paint mixing equipment.

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