Mareton: High-Tech Manufacturing Facility Emerging Amid Coronavirus Crisis

Lauren Simmonds

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Bernard Ivezic writes on the 28th of April, 2020, in the midst of the ongoing coronavirus crisis, a new high-tech manufacturing facility is emerging right here in Croatia. The innovative Zagreb-based company, Mareton, has begun the construction of a small, highly roboticised factory that will produce electronics for smart railways.

The Ministry of Economy has sent the aforementioned Croatian company a decision on the awarding of a massive 2.12 million kuna in grants on the basis of the S3 Competition in order for the company to further commercialise its innovation – a bidirectional converter. The rest to the full project value of 5.3 million kuna is funded by Mareton itself.

Marko Stetic, founder and director of Mareton, says that the subsidy will help finance the improvement of this Croatian company’s business organisation, the hiring of two experts and the development of software to make the machines for the new plant, which the company has purchased itself, ready for production.

“The minimisation and mechanical compactness of the product requires production with very advanced and precise computer-controlled machines and devices,” explained Stetic. Mareton became known to the general public just two years ago when the company became the biggest winner of the second round of IRI tenders.

Then, the Zagreb-based manufacturer, in collaboration with the Faculty of Electronics and Computing in Zagreb, received a million euros in grants to develop the technology Elon Musk wants to offer in cars and households.

Mareton’s brand new piece of innovation, a bidirectional converter, is a universal power converter that enables smart grid monitoring and simplifies the upgrade of electrical grids to new energy sources. In the increasingly popular e-car industry, converters are rumoured to be key because such vehicles can return electricity from their batteries back to the smart grid at night.

Stetic pointed out that Mareton has primarily focused on the needs of railways because they use a variety of electrical devices from switches and ramps to signaling, and therefore have increasingly complex energy networks that ensure the continued operation of such devices. Mareton has simplified all of this by replacing all of the different types of converters with one – its very own.

“Siemens from Switzerland and Gustav Klein from Germany have commissioned the development and prototype production from us, and we’ve borne all of the development costs and the complete risk of placement,” noted Stetic.

He added that last year, after testing involving the Koncar Institute, Mareton delivered a test series of seventy bidirectional converters, and they proved to be great. They made them manually, and now they plan to automate that process. Back in 2018, Mareton had revenue of 6.25 million kuna and a net profit of 344,092 kuna. Last year, they said, they continued to grow slightly. With this brand new device, Mareton’s growth will likely accelerate to 9.1 percent in two years.

“When this project is completed, we’ll be able to offer our converter not only to railways, but also to anyone who needs more stable energy networks and separate industrial systems,” concluded Stetic, adding that his company’s products are used even on platforms in the North Pole.

For more Croatian innovation, follow Made in Croatia.


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