Major Green and Digital investment at STARCO’s steel wheel factory in Beli Manastir with support from Norway Grants and HBOR

Jan 31, 2024 | Manufacturing

STARCO is making unprecedented investments in digital and green technologies and materials at their steel wheel factory in Croatia. The investments will make their activities more environmentally sustainable, embrace digitalisation and strengthen the local community further. 

In mid 2023, STARCO launched a project at the Beli Manastir Factory named: Reinventing the Wheel – Agile Integrated Technological and Green Transition of the STARCO Beli Manastir into a Leading Regional Lean and Green Steel Forming Factory. The aim of the project is to build on the foundation that STARCO has created over the last 20 years by propelling the factory into the future.  

Moreover, the project aims at positioning STARCO and Beli Manastir as leaders of green and smart innovations that could have a positive impact not only on the factory and its employees, partners and customers, but also on the local and regional industry and economy as well as their social and natural ecosystems.    

The factory has 8 wheel production lines where around 250 employees produce 1 million steel wheels per year. STARCO Beli Manastir recently received an award from the local city council for exceptional contributions to the city’s economic development. 

Building on the factory’s momentum, STARCO are in the process of implementing a number of new technologies across the entire production flow, including robotics and digitally controlled wheel manufacture. These will achieve a reduction of waste in the painting process and improve the working area through better lighting, stronger insulation and improved air quality. A solar plant will also be installed as part of the wider project. 

During the summer of 2023, the first part of the new technology was installed in the form of a new automated reciprocater paint system that can paint higher volumes of wheels at a time and make more efficient use of the painting line and ovens. The remainder of the equipment and building works are in process and shall be completed and operative within the first half of 2024. 

Major Green and Digital investment at STARCO’s steel wheel factory in Beli Manastir with support from Innovation Norway and HBOR

The total spend of the wider project is approximately 4.5 million Euros, with 1.3 million Euros provided by Norway Grants and the remainder invested by STARCO and their mother company KENDA using own funds and special development loans from HBOR. The Business Development and Innovation Programme in Croatia is financed by Norway Grants and operated by Innovation Norway.

The investments will allow STARCO to improve the carbon footprint of many products produced in the factory through greater energy efficiency, use of renewable energy and reduced steel content in the products. The new investments also allow the employees to develop and acquire new skills.  

Knowledge sharing and collaboration is also a central part of the project. Along with project partners IDN from Norway and Eupolis from Croatia, STARCO will be launching a digital platform to encourage clustering around sustainability themes and to share best practices. One example is sharing knowledge about the art of KARAKURI – a technique developed in TOYOTA to carry out productive processes without the need for any external energy source. 

If you are interested to know more about the investments and associated projects, please do not hesitate to contact Business Process Director Pete Hewitt at  

Media contact

Media contact

Brian Lorentzen

Strategic Marketing Director
+45 51341399

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