June 2, 2017
The Prairie and Northern Region of ACE occasionally plans technical and facilities tours and lunch and learns. Their latest regional activity saw the group combining the two activities at a Calgary based chair manufacturer. Does your region organize similar outings? Below is a short summary written by Shona Anderson, one of the P&N members out of Calgary
On January 9, 2017, twelve Prairie and Northern region members were treated to a facility tour at a chair manufacturer in Calgary, Alberta. The owners of Lifeform, an exclusive chair manufacturing company, offered a tour and educational event at their manufacturing facility.
Lifeform makes custom-designed chairs to suit every body. They can make a standard chair with standard design and materials in approximately 1.5 hours, but they also make custom chairs, with special embroidery and specialized leather patterns that can take 8-30 hours, depending on the design.
We then were shown how the chairs are built in a modular format, so that each part can be changed to suit the user; any set of arms can go onto any chair, any seat pan can be put with any backrest. A high backrest can be provided with a neck pillow or a mid-back can be provided with a special headrest, and a coccyx cut-out can be put into any seat pan. They even make a “saddle” seat that can be used in a sit-stand
situation or just like a stool.
The group was pleased to see an accordion-like conveyor system that allows the conveyor to be the right length all the time loading product in and out of the trucks.
The tour included the opportunity to custom build our very own chair. Each person chose different materials and designs. This was an eye opening experience to see how the chairs were built from design to production.
The Lifeform company based in Calgary, was founded by the Mortensen family, whose experience in upholstery goes back five generations. Lifeform was established in 1976 and has been making ergonomic chairs for 40 years.