“It is really a great pleasure to see you again here, today, at Sicam: a strong sign that the season we have all lived is finally ending and we can finally look at the future with renewed enthusiasm”. It is with these words that Franco Bulian – head director of Catas, the most important European testing and certification laboratory for the wood and furniture sector – opened yesterday morning the press conference organized in Pordenone, inside Sicam, the exhibition of components and fittings for the furniture industry.
A period, the current one, in which the strongly diversified furniture universe is experiencing a very positive season, with a double-digit growth involving all furniture segments, a trend that all observers indicate “steadily growing” in global terms until 2027.
A strong demand, therefore, but which today more than ever is “conditioned” by specific requirements: “durable” products, which guarantee to maintain their performance for a long time; safe products for everyone, capable of guaranteeing the necessary confidence in any place and for any end-use need. Products that are increasingly associated with the brand, with the “name” of the producer, which is more and more synonymous of reliability, confidence, trust… all values that tests, analyses and product certifications – hence the Catas activities – make objective. And – last but not least – products that are “environmentally friendly”, which from their design until their disposal at the end of their life cycle, prove to be environmentally friendly, require the least possible use of energy and resources.
Values to which consumers all over the world are showing increasing attention, a trend that has a decisive and positive influence on Catas activities, whose economic indicators show a continuous growth also for 2021. According to initial estimates, the current year will tendentially close with a turnover increase of about 6 percent, with a further growth in the number of tests carried out for the more than 2 thousand Catas customers in 65 Countries around the world, in a ranking that lists that shows, behind Italy, Poland, Romania, Germany, Slovakia, Lithuania, China, Portugal, Hungary and Russia.
A growth that has convinced the Catas Board of Directors to launch new significant investments: a new three-storey building will be built in the headquarters of San Giovanni al Natisone (Udine), 2,400 square meters that will allow to host new laboratories to enhance many activities. The “Testing 4.0” platform will also be further strengthened, a real network that for several months has now allowed the over 100 test stations operating 24 hours a day to be managed in real time in the San Giovanni and in Catas Brianza offices, the headquarters of Lissone, in the heart of a furniture district famous all over the world.
A desire to be closer and more integrated into the most important Italian “furniture districts” that Catas has confirmed with the opening of the first “Catas Point” in Pesaro, in collaboration with Manifaktura.
A growth that also passes through the new services that the laboratory offers, such as the “Risk Assessment” of furniture including electrified ones, those that contains systems activated or used thanks to the presence of electric devices.
There is also a significant increase in all the training activities that are part of “Catas Academy”, a growing demand for opportunities for in-depth studies and knowledge that are articulated – according to the needs of the applicants – in the Catas laboratories, in the classrooms, online or even in companies: a total of more than 50 courses will be held this year for over 300 hours of training.
Catas does not just “measure” products or performances but – in the light of a request for real “quality certificates” of which users or end consumers can immediately understand the value – is expanding its business in product certification. Through the “Catas Quality Award” the Institute testifies the formaldehyde emissions of wood-based panels, the quality of coatings, the adhesion performance of glue lam beams and the safety of playgrounds surfaces. A specific certification is the one dedicated to the designation of the “Made in Italy” origin and quality. An increasingly significant activity, which will be furtherly promoted with a new and specific website by the end of this year.
Still speaking about product qualification, but with a different perspective, it deserves to be mentioned that Catas has launched a new service dedicated to sustainability. A subject that is increasingly considered by many people but, very often, without the right knowledge of its true meaning
For this reason, Catas has recently activated an internal qualification process that today allows its technicians to be able to objectively and with great precision “measure” the actual “sustainability” of a product, from its design to its disposal. “The Life Cycle measured by Catas” is a protocol that is based on the globally recognized method for “calculating sustainability”, the “Life Cycle Assessment (Lca)” based on ISO standards.
“Today quality is not a kind of “privilege” that is acquired by choosing a particularly skilled craftsman or by purchasing an asset for which someone decides to boast it: today quality is measurable, assessable and objectively certifiable. An absolute and shared value that consumers demand and which is essential for companies to maintain reliability and competitiveness”, Bulian then concluded, thanking the journalists present and giving them an appointment at the Catas stand, in Sicam hall 4 booth A9.