Founded in 1958 with the aim of producing moulds for automated glass bottle blowing machines, in 1960 Zago understood it could apply the expertise it had acquired to the innovative sector of automated footwear production starting from TR-PVC soles, and accordingly with PU direct injection onto the upper. Today, Zago has conquered a loyal customer base, sharing with them the two key concepts inspiring the production of its moulds: flexibility and meticulousness. The former encourages the company to be extremely attentive to constant evolutions in the sector, while the latter urges it to remain at the helm with just a few good practices that can be summed up as follows: a high-quality product. We spoke of this with Giorgio Zago, owner of the company.
What are the leading products of Zago?
With more than 60 years of uninterrupted activity, the leading products of Zago are:
Injection moulds for RUBBER-PU compound materials with dual performance: resistance to abrasion and lightness. These moulds are suited not only to the footwear worn by law enforcement and the armed forces, but also to footwear worn when trekking. Injection moulds for TPU-PU compound materials destined for footwear manufacturers of multiple-coloured soles, with the following features: flexibility, good resistance to abrasion, and lightness. Finally, injection moulds for PU-PU and RUBBER-PU safety boots used in mid-to-high risk working environments, and more specifically the healthcare and food industries. To make it easier for our customers to choose we have divided these moulds into six product categories: SAFETY | Workplace; TREKKING | Uneven Ground; CASUAL | Everyday Walk; OUTDOOR | Outdoor Sport; DEFENCE | Tactical situation and OUTDOOR | Thermo-Grip environment. The creation of each product category follows a precise work methodology shared with our customers during the entire manufacturing process: first, we identify the problem, next, we present the solution, and finally, we start the phase of resolution by using the most advanced technologies present today in the sector of moulds for the footwear manufacturing industry. The ultimate aim of every mould exiting our production facilities is to guarantee a healthier, safer, and more comfortable sensation when walking for customers wherever they might go.
What do your customers appreciate most about your company and its products?
From the feedback we continue to receive, we can confirm with conviction it’s our expertise, ability to take an oriented approach – through intuition that is sharpened by experience –, and the meticulous care we take with details.
What was the biggest challenge the company has had to face?
Passing from being the exclusive partner to 3 important companies in the market and producing one type of footwear to creating and developing an extensive network of customers around the world, and alternating the needs of at least 20 leading customers in the sector with different technologies and kinds of footwear.
What has been the most historically satisfying moment for Zago?
Maintaining a leading position in the production of moulds for direct injection onto upper in footwear and extending our customer portfolio to include partners from around the world. Becoming a Business 4.0, thanks to the use of intelligent and interconnected production systems and collaborative robots with important benefits: improved performance, automated monitoring, and cutting back on waste.
Tell us about an especially amusing moment in the company’s history that has had an impact on it.
The cultural misunderstandings in interacting with foreign customers, the sometimes extravagant demands of our customers, and the surprising personalities of our collaborators.
Tell us about an especially difficult moment in the company’s history that has had an impact on it.
There have been two: the worldwide crisis at the end of the first decade, 2008-2010, and the current international healthcare emergency. These are the two main challenges we have had to face, forcing us to pool the very best of our human and company resources together: patience, expertise, and innovation.
What makes Zago unique?
Zago in just one word is excellence. What we do, we do guided by this value that is shared by all our collaborators. Our customers often pronounce it and we are proud of this.
How do you see the future of Zago?
We believe the future must be taken one day at a time, with commitment, determination, and curiosity.
What future projects or initiatives are you planning?
We continue to innovate to maintain an excellent quality level for our products. We continue to learn and update ourselves in order to keep pace with the times. However, our ultimate aim is to maintain a balance and feeling of satisfaction between professional and personal projects.