Canadian Plastics

Moldmaking Report: Carlo’s in Charge

Canadian Plastics   



"Izon is under new management," says Carlo Porretta, general manager of Izon Industries Inc. since June 27, when the last of the company's three founders retired. He'd been preparing for a year, but w...

“Izon is under new management,” says Carlo Porretta, general manager of Izon Industries Inc. since June 27, when the last of the company’s three founders retired. He’d been preparing for a year, but when the day finally came that Jim Sheffield walked out the door, “it was a scary moment,” says Porretta. “I take the responsibility very seriously. There’s a lot of ability here at Izon, and a lot of history.”

Sheffield and two partners founded Izon in 1984 to make molds and manifolds for the thin-wall container industry. The company grew to 50 employees, and continues to specialize in molds and hot runners for rigid injection molded packaging.

Porretta’s aim is to build on Izon’s ability and history. He’s not out to fundamentally change the company’s direction, but he does see potential for better use of the company’s resources and potential to expand into some new market segments.

“If we can improve our lead times, the world is our oyster.”

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To this end, implementing an ERP system, diversifying the customer base and streamlining and upgrading the shop floor are already in progress.

Izon has the resources of one of North America’s largest moldmakers behind it. The company is part of the Wentworth Technologies Inc. group of companies.

Porretta speaks highly of the relationship with Wentworth. He explains that the Wentworth companies are very autonomous, but have the benefit of the financial and technical resources of the much larger parent company.

For his part, Porretta has many years of experience as a project manager with Husky Injection Molding Systems Ltd. to draw upon. “As a project manager, I was dealing with customers and financial issues. It gave me a great base for what I’m doing today.”

Technical innovations and good customer support are two of Izon’s strengths. Porretta will continue to tap experienced staff for technical ideas, and plans to continue the “start-up assistance” program, whereby an experienced toolmaker goes on-site to help customers with start-up. “It gives us such an edge competitively,” he says.

On the shop floor, the evidence of new management is clear. Izon also gained a new manufacturing manager in the past year, who has re-organized the plant floor. The new ERP system was set to go live this past summer, and a better stockroom is being created to facilitate materials planning. A new Ziess coordinate measuring machine is the core of an enhanced quality department, while a Hermle five-axis high-speed machining centre raises the bar in the production department.

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GENTLEMAN JIM BIDS ADIEU

Jim Sheffield, a founder of both Izon Industries Inc. and the former Zygo Mould, has retired after 23 years in the business. Sheffield holds numerous patents for moldmaking innovations, but he stands out for his gentlemanly ways.

“Jim is a very, very trustworthy person,” says Carlo Porretta, Sheffield’s replacement at the helm of Izon. “He was a keen listener, and had the same manner whether you were the president of a company of a worker from the shop floor.”

“Customers could trust that he provided his input based on what was right, not what was best for his business.”

Sheffield and two partners started Izon in 1984 working from a small facility in the Etobicoke area of Toronto. The company quickly grew from the original three to 25 employees by 1986. Izon was bought by Wentworth Technologies Inc. in 1998.

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