People usually hold their compact discs reverently with their fingertips. But David Whitesel grabs one and scratches it with a key.
Not to worry, because he has a solution for the scratch: sandpaper.This sandpaper is a fine-grain version that is used in a patented repair process. Whitesel and two other Kansas City businessmen have teamed up with the German inventor to form CD/Playright. The company will oversee production and distribution of repair kits for CDs.
Compact discs store data in digital code, and lasers in compact disc players read the data. But scratches on the disc's transparent plastic coating interfere with that process.
CD/Playright can repair some scratches on the mirrored side of the disc by grinding down part of the outside plastic shell. The professional version of the kit uses three types of fine-grain sandpaper. A consumer version uses a specially formulated abrasive cream.
CD/Playright estimates sales of about $1.4 million for its first year of operations. The consumer version of the repair kit is $12.95; the professional version is $19.95. Both kits repair 12 or more CDs.
For the first half of 1996, the products will be imported from Germany. Then the owners hope to move production to the United States, either to Detroit or to the Kansas City area.