Rehab Management recently interviewed TiLite’s Josh Anderson, vice president, marketing, and David Lippes, chairman, chief executive officer, at the International Seating Symposium in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Rehab Management: What are TiLite’s newest products?
Josh Anderson: The TR Series 3, which is a dual-tube frame, meaning it has an upper and lower frame tube. From a performance standpoint, the rider will notice that this style of frame is more rigid and provides better energy transfer. So it is easier to push. The TR is our flagship model, and the first chair we ever produced at TiLite. It’s in its third redesign, and has had several significant upgrades. For example, the lower frame tube on the chair is on both sides tapered in, which enables us to draw the rear of the chair in and make the overall width narrower by getting the wheels closer to the frame. Also, we rounded the caster arm on the TR3 to match the ZR, ZRA, and AERO Z, which gives the chair a more rounded footprint and unique styling. The new TR uses the bullet style caster housing, and the lower tube frame intersects that caster arm, which adds rigidity to the caster arm. On the back of the TR3, you’ll see a rounded and ovalized rigidizer bar, aesthetically completing the rounded more stylized look of the TR Series 3. The slightly deeper contour and intersection with the back posts allow for use of more after market backs.
RM: What prompted TiLite to step into the pediatric market with the Twist?
Anderson: We’ve made pediatric chairs before, but the Twist is our first chair we really thought about from the ground up as a pediatric product, and designed specifically for that market.
David Lippes: One of the reasons we entered the pediatric market is to provide younger users of TiLite products the same level of quality, performance, and aesthetics built into products we manufacture for adults. We finally have the resources to bring those attributes to a group of individuals we just couldn’t service before.
RM: How has this expanded product line enabled TiLite to reach a greater audience?
Lippes: We’ve spent years thinking about performance, aesthetics, and quality. As our company strengthened its resources, we were able to expand the product line so a wider audience can experience what TiLite brings to the market. It began with the AERO line when we introduced adult aluminum products and some pediatric products. But with the Twist, we have finally for the first time been able to think about the pediatric market on a blank sheet of paper and how to apply our talents to this market. What came out of that was the Twist.
RM: How has the integration of aluminum helped TiLite’s crossover to the pediatric market?
Lippes: We recognized there was a whole group of people who, primarily for financial reasons, were unable to get into a TiFIT titanium frame. We wanted to bring them TiFIT, which we offer in the AERO Z—a K-5 chair that is actually a custom prosthetic-like frame—and to bring them the aesthetics and quality for which we’ve become known. Even though the Twist is not TiFIT, we applied much of what we developed for TiFIT to a pediatric growable chair that is far more configurable than any other on the market today.