SAN GIOVANNI AL NATISONE, Italy -- In late December, one of the labs of Catas, the Italian research and testing laboratory for the wood and furniture industry in San Giovanni al Natisone, was destroyed in a fire. The structure, proof machinery and all the building contents were completely destroyed, with a loss of more than a million dollars.

Firefighters from Udine and Gorizia were able to control the fire and to restrict it to the building where it broke out. Catas activity is going on in the other labs in Friuli and in the Lissone branch.

“We’re from Friuli and we learned to never stop when we are in front of a catastrophe,” commented Andrea Giavon, managing director of the research center. “We’re choosing a warehouse to rent as soon as possible and ordered some of the machines we need urgently, because we want to open again very soon and continue to give our clients the services everyone expects from us.”

This is one of the six laboratories of Catas and only in this department the activity has been partially interrupted. The other departments: chemistry, surfaces, fire, mechanical and furniture-Brianza, are still active and are regularly working.

To ensure an immediate continuity of testing service on furniture, Catas will use more of the potential of its twin laboratory located in Lissone (Milan). Some technicians from the headquarters of San Giovanni al Natisone will also help the colleagues in the Lissone branch. The headquarters of San Giovanni al Natisone, however, continues to operate with some equipment that were saved by the fire and which have already been immediately enhanced with other simple instrumentation.

A new building adjacent to existing laboratories with a total area of about 4,500 square feet and already equipped with all necessary facilities will soon be available for the furniture department.

Catas has also ordered some new anthropomorphic robots with delivery scheduled in the first days of January. Local artisans will produce as quickly as possible machines that are fundamental for the activity of the furniture laboratory.

In addition, several companies to which the Catas had recently provided test equipment, have offered to temporarily bring them back to the institute to support its recovery.

The Catas board has planned the design of a new laboratory, to be built in place of the one just destroyed by fire The new building, which is expected to be opened in the first months of 2018, will have a covered area of about 9,000 square feet. For more information see

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