While working as a sales manager for a cutting-tool company, Richard C. Iosso found himself intrigued by the thought of somehow making the edges stay sharp longer. An academically trained chemist, he began developing and testing different compounds on his own time at home, eventually arriving at a chromium-based alloy coating that, when applied to a cutting-tool’s edge, significantly improved its wear-resistant properties. This thin, dense coating worked not only on cutting tools, but also a wide variety of component parts. It wasn’t long before Iosso realized his idea was strong enough to justify the creation of his own company, and in 1970 Iosso Metal Processes was founded. It has since become a supplier to some of the largest companies in the world, and in a wide array of markets.
According to Don Ortmann, the company’s operations manager, “The basic Iosso Metal Process is a chromium-based alloy treatment that has characteristics far superior to conventional coatings, in terms of extended life and cost efficiency,” he says. “Specialized versions include the Iosso-Fe Process, which can be applied to all ferrous based alloys, and the Iosso-Zn Process, which is for zinc die castings.”
In general, the coating is comprised of many steps, with each carefully and accurately controlled in order to provide the specific results desired. For gears and components or production wear parts, this coating can provide answers to virtually all the common wear-related problems. The processes benefit manufacturers who require parts to have increased hardness, extended wear, lubricity, and corrosion resistance.
“Additional characteristics of the coated surface are that it is heat resistant, non magnetic, crack free, and static free,” Ortmann says. “There is no peeling, flaking, or spalling. It is anti-soldering, anti-galling, doesn’t cause hydrogen embrittlement of the base metal, and the coating replicates the original surface finish. Both the Iosso-Fe and Zn coating coverage is uniform over complex shapes without buildup on sharp edges or corners. Because the processes provide such a unique coating, the parts don’t need any work after the process is applied. We deal in thin, exact tolerances, and normal ranges are .000050 to .0005 thick.”
While the company does a lot of work for gear manufacturers, it is also involved in the automotive, lock component, printing, injection molding, and surgical markets, just to name a few. Although the parts we coat are often exported to other countries, its primary accounts are found in the United States. Iosso Metal Processes is an ISO 9001:2000/ TS 16949:2002 certified company, meeting the requirements of Delphi DX 900359 (RoHS).
Ortmann was working for a surgical blade manufacturing company in North Carolina when he met Richard Iosso. His knowledge of blades, paired with the process Iosso had developed, led to a relationship which has lasted for the past 18 years. “He had a great product, and it was obvious to me that his company was only beginning to tap into its potential,” says Ortmann, who now oversees all coating operations. “The company has grown exponentially over the years, and I’m delighted to have had the opportunity to play a role in that growth, and also to help our customers meet their own goals.”
“We have one customer who runs their machines continually, for instance,” Ortmann says, “and once we’ve applied our coating to their parts, it will usually be a year before we see them again. So when you’re talking about efficiency, longevity, and avoiding downtime, we’ve been able to provide them with a service that has saved them a lot of time, money, and headaches since they began using the Iosso process.”
Business is good these days, with inquiries coming in constantly and new accounts being established, Ortmann says, “And I think that has to do with our dedication to quality, as well as the fact that our processes actually work. From the very start we’ve concentrated on helping our customers increase their productivity, and that’s what we continue to focus on to this day. The only way we can be a success is when our customers are successful themselves.”