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Businesses of Banyule presents Dolphin Products, Heidelberg West

Innovation the key to local manufacturing success

What started as a toy factory in 1946, Dolphin Products now manufactures thousands of innovative plastic turn-key products, from car parts to gas meters and the latest invention, the “gotcha” clothes peg.

Owner and Director Mario Turcarelli clearly loves what he does.

A plastics auto-engineer for Holden for 23 years, he bought the business from a foreign company with his wife and business partner Angelo in 2013.

“I kept all the engineers and staff when I bought it. I always say the key to dolphin products is skilled people. The majority of our people live about five kilometres from the plant.”

With over forty staff including engineers, toolmakers and designers, the local manufacturing plant won the recent 2017 Northern multicultural small business awards as 17 different nationalities are represented on the factory floor.

“We all work together as a team,” says Mario, adding that what he loves most about operating the factory is the design and development process.

As well as everything Dolphin creates for the auto, mining, telecommunications, train and gas industries, the factory is a hub of innovation and product design and development.

With 3D printers and Industrial and design Engineering capability, we are equipped to design and develop new products quickly, Mario says “when we’re waiting for the first part to come out of the tool, it’s actually quite exciting.”

As well as the products they supply to local and international companies, Dolphin has their own product arm – Waterdale Products.

Mario has two favorites products: The Gotcha clothes peg (which is already stocked in some IGA supermarkets) and the Multi-Opener they designed for older individuals or those with special needs, who need assistance with doors, cans, opening anything, really.

“The Gotcha peg excited me because it’s a family peg and product. My wife and two sons have all helped create it, and it solves a multitude of problems.”

The multi-opener opens bottles, cans, and jars. Like all Waterdale Products, it was designed and developed on the factory floor.

“We have a Class C clean room for medical products, and one of our other products I’m really proud of is the kidney dish. Again, it’s a family initiative.  My wife used to work in a hospital, and saw a gap in the market where there were no lids for the plastic kidney dishes used to carry contaminated waste. So we designed a sterilized one with a hinge which gives a much more hygienic solution  for transporting waste.”

There are other hospital products in the pipeline, and it’s in design and innovation that Dolphin really comes alive.

Mario says the key to innovation is in his staff.

“Anyone can buy a factory and fill it with machines, but what matters is the people you have working for you and I have the most amazing team.”

600 Waterdale Road, Heidelberg West