New materials and technology for eco-friendly production of picture frames and wooden furniture


In our lives we are surrounded by wood as one of the oldest and most popular material used in wide variety of everyday objects - from the smallest ones to large decorative pieces of furniture. Besides decorating these objects with various paints and varnishes, wood is a natural material that lives, breathes and works and must be well protected. With the help of EU funds we are implementing this project with the aim to make a big shift towards the use of environmentally friendly finishing materials for wooden items and modernization of production technologies based on exploitation of renewable solar energy.


Value: 220.943,87 EUR

Source of financing: 187.537,16 EUR (84.88%) co-financed by European Union from European regional development fond (ERDF); 33.406,71 EUR (15.22%) financed by ART d.o.o.

Duration: 12 months : June 20th 2013 – June 19 th 2014

Priority axis/measure: Priority 2. Strengthening the competitiveness of croatian economy /

Measure 2.1 The development of the business climate and SMEs competitiveness

Beneficiary: ART L.t.d.

Place of implementation: Production site ART d.o.o., Sv.Petar 12d, 47250 Duga Resa, Croatia

Responsible Authority: Ministry of Enterpreneurship and Crafts, MINPO

Implemented by: Central Finance and Contracting Agency, SAFU/CFCU

Goals: Increased competitiveness of Croatian SME's by investing in innovative materials, technologies and best practice production methods associated with the introduction of energy efficiency and environmental protection in production processes

Introduction of environmentally friendly finishing materials for picture frames and wooden furniture through upgrading existing production facilities in accordance with the standards for improving environmental protection and energy efficiency

Investing in new and advanced production methods that rely on the use of renewable solar energy by introducing elements of best practice that will increase the quality of production and improve our business efficiency

Expected results: - Up to 80% substitution of nitro and polyurethane based finishing materials with

eco-friendly water based finishing materials

- up to 60% increased energy efficiency in production

- approximately 46.3% reduced annual CO2 emission compared to dana from 2011

- Reduced costs and increased speed of production

- Increased productivity for 20% and increased competitiveness in domestic and

European markets – further market expanding

- Created conditions for further sustainable development

Key activities: - Introduction of a specialised drying chamber for water based finishing materials

for wooden products

- Introduction of 50kW Photovoltaic Power Plant

- Introduction of 5000 litre capacity Solar Thermal System

- Training of technical staff for use of introduced technologies

- Dissemination of project:

a. 2500 trilingual bulletins with project implementation report

b. 1000 bilingual catalogues for products with eco-friendly water based finishing


End recipients: Company employees; local population; local and regional government and economic authority

Contact person: Dunja Pogačić, ART d.o.o. Development Manager, Sv.Petar 12d, 47250 Duga Resa,

gsm. +385 92 1534 535, tel. +385 47 841 638, fax. +385 47 841 400,,


Modern positive production trends are evolving in the direction of satisfying all requirements for higher environmentally friendly materials and products as well as better protection of the environment set by Croatian and European consumers.

The improvement of technological standard of our company will add to the global objective of strengthening the competitiveness of Croatian SME's through investments in new technologies and production methods. This will be done through:

a. replacing finishing materials that we currently use with new eco-friendly finishing materials with

better chemical properties for the environment, working conditions and final users of the product

b. introduction of new technologies for achieving higher level of energy efficiency in production.

Implementation of this project will ensure investments in technology and production methods in accordance with best practice in our industry. Substitution of finishing materials based on nitro and polyurethane with eco-friendly finishing materials based on water together with the introduction of Photovoltaic Power Plant and Solar Thermal System will promote 'green economy' and energy efficiency in production processes.

Problems and Solutions

In accordance with market demand for products with an optimal ratio of high quality and reasonable price it is our goal to continue to increase and ensure competitiveness in relation to imported products as well as to increase the proportion of our production for export.

Our company is faced with the problem of satisfying increasingly higher demands for eco-friendly products set by Croatian and European consumers and the requirements of local and regional authorities and population for better environmental protection.

For this purpose, we plan to substitute the majority, up to 80%, of finishing materials based on nitro and polyurethane, which are currently used in production, with new and eco-friendly finishing materials based on water. Such substitution requires certain technological modifications of production process. Water evaporates slower than solvents based on nitro and polyurethane which causes problems in classical drying process in open air making the procedure considerably longer and also leading to possible damaging shape deformations of raw wooden products. To eliminate potential negative effects of open air drying process this action introduces a specialised drying chamber for automated and mechanically controlled drying conditions with constant temperature and pressure that also eliminates dust particles from the immediate drying environment. In addition to achieving high quality finishing it will also significantly reduce total time for performing the finishing, from 3 to 10 times in duration. Aforementioned benefits enable a higher quality and faster production which is essential for meeting new product delivery deadlines.

The next issue is satisfying requirements for energy efficiency in production. With current daily average of 100kW/h consumption of electricity and existing classical water heating system, with 4800l capacity, planned technological production facility upgrade with introduction of a specialized drying chamber will inevitably mean a further increase in energy needs. The solution for this problem is to upgrade the internal energy network with technology that transforms renewable solar energy into electricity and thermal energy that will be directly used in our production processes. On southern roof surfaces of our production facility we plan to install 50kW Photovoltaic Power Plant and 5000 litre Solar Thermal System for heating technological water that is used by a classical and vacuum drier and new specialised drying chamber for water based finishing materials. These technological improvements will reduce the need for external power supply and eliminate negative effects of production deadlocks due to external network instabilities. In addition to increasing energy efficiency it would also reduce air pollution caused by smoke generated through conventional methods of heating by burning wooden derivates.

Target groups and Final beneficiaries

The main target group of our project are the final individual customers of our products.

The final beneficiaries of the project are the wide social community, 27 full time company employees and the local, regional and national authorities.

Customer's preference is to purchase high quality, uniquely designed products and their constraints is acceptable product price. Environmental component in the choice of materials is also highly valued when choosing what products to buy. For wholesale customers on of the key requirements is as short as possible period of delivery of ordered products.

Interests of wider community lie in environmental protection improvements. In addition to reducing air pollution and higher energy efficiency in production for the authorities the relevance of this project is also in enhancing the competitiveness of SMEs in Croatia.

Particular added-value elements

Improvements of production methods on the models of best practice and technological upgrade for increased energy efficiency in production will have positive impact on environmental issues. Our records show that in the last 3 years on average we have been annually using 9.4 tons of finishing materials which contain 5.5 tons of nitro and polyurethane based solvents. Process of applying finishing materials based on nitro and polyurethane has a by-product in the form of harmful solvent vapours and solid chemical waste with a special disposing procedure. Introduction of new water based finishing materials significantly increases the level of environmental protection and reduces air pollution. Introduction of Solar Thermal System for heating of technological water will also significantly reduce air pollution created through conventional heating system of burning firewood and residual scrap-wood. Project implementation promotes an economic development based on local potential through the promotion of local ownership and high quality, unique and recognizable designed and 100% locally made products. Finally, implementation of these technological improvements implies a high degree of sustainability in production and further development of the company with potential growth and employment needs.

European union

The contents of this publication are the sole responsibility of ART Ltd.and do not necessary reflect the views of the European Union.

For more information visit:

All rights reserved.    Art d.o.o., Sv.Petar 12d, Hrvatska     phone:+385/47/841638   +385/47/841639    fax: +385/47/841640