«The fire won’t stop our work!» is the unerring message coming from the Catas top brass. Founder and CEO Angelo Speranza invited his staff to do «whatever is necessary to make things the way they were before – even better than they were before», and so it was. The day after a serious fire completely destroyed one of the laboratories of the Institute of testing and analysis for furniture in San Giovanni al Natisone (Udine) on 20 December, the board of directors called an extraordinary meeting to ensure business continuity and send a clear, positive message to Catas’ 50 employees and 1200 clients around the world.
The structure itself, the testing equipment and all of the building’s contents were completely destroyed, with the damages running to around €2m. On the other hand, the chemical, surfaces, fire, mechanics and Brianza-furniture departments were untouched and are as thus functioning normally.
The continuity plan includes three phases. The first is the immediate phase, during which Catas will rely on its twin headquarters in Lissone (Brianza). The second is the short-term phase, when the organisation will seal a rental agreement for a 1500sq m warehouse fitted with all necessary equipment and situated adjacent to the current laboratory. In the meantime, Catas is awaiting delivery of new anthropomorphic robots and the construction of special equipment, with collaboration from a group of local artisanal companies that have teamed up for the occasion. The third and final part of the plan is the medium-term phase, which includes the design of a new laboratory to replace the destroyed facility (there were already plans for a significant extension to this before the blaze). The new build – which will provide Catas with around 3000sq m of surface area, around 1000 more than the previous warehouse – should be opened in early 2018.