BioFit News

February 23, 2009

New Strategy, Products Position Company to Thrive in Uncertain Financial Climate

Howling winter winds and the snow-covered stubble fields surrounding the BioFit Engineered Products plant belay the bustling activity within – serving as an analogy of how the ergonomic seating and table producer is bracing to keep the upper hand against today’s bleak economy. While many businesses are sharply curtailing production in the traditional industrial stronghold of northwest Ohio, BioFit is continuing a six-decade history of making durable, specialized seating and tables at its rural manufacturing facility outside Bowling Green. While the company has made some minor staff reductions, in-house benchmarks indicate it will come through this economic storm stronger than ever, thanks to a focused strategy and several new product lines.

Over the past year, BioFit, a worldwide leader in the development of ergonomic seating solutions, instituted a new strategy that focuses on improved communication, accountability and internal processes in order to meet current and long-range goals. The company also rolled out four new products during that time as a supporting tactic of creating seating with value-added characteristics for both highly specified and multipurpose use, ultimately helping customers get the most from increasingly tight budgets. According to BioFit Director of Marketing Liz Sworden, “a major part of our new strategy is allowing us to place a renewed emphasis on our traditional core competencies of innovation and impeccable customer service. Though BioFit in its current form was established in the early ‘90s, our foundation was formed on over 60 years of continuous ergonomic research, testing and design of seating products for such unique settings as semiconductor processing clean rooms, pharmaceutical laboratories, automotive assembly lines and continuous operations centers. We have made it through many economic peaks and valleys in that time, and we are prepared to see our way through today’s crisis as well.”

In detailing how BioFit’s business strategy led to production of new designs at a time when many manufacturers are scaling back, Sworden explained: “A huge advantage to implementing the plan, which was developed with the assistance and counseling of Six Disciplines of Findlay, Ohio, was that it enabled us to re-prioritize day-to-day tasks and focus more on what we do best. The result was four new chair series rollouts including a product called ArmorSeat – primarily developed for the biotechnology and R&D laboratory markets. One of the features that make this chair so special is that its injected-molded seat and backrest are impregnated with antimicrobial properties, inherently helping to prevent bacterial growth. This is the kind of added benefit cost-conscious facilities planners and decision makers are looking for.” Other recent product launches include seamless upholstery seating designed for the health care market, the Intensive Plus series for use in 24/7 operations, and a colorful polyshell multipurpose seating series to meet demand in the education marketplace.

In addition to new designs, Sworden discussed how all BioFit seating and tables carry a 13-year warranty – one of the best in the industry. She also detailed the company’s commitment to the welfare of end users and the environment, evidenced by BioFit voluntarily submitting its table for third-party independent testing late last year and subsequently earning GreenGuard Environmental Institute Indoor Air Quality and “Children and Schools” program certifications for low emission of volatile organic compounds.” She concluded, “We firmly believe we have the best, most engaged people on our team and build some of the highest quality chairs and tables available, and we’re not afraid to back it up. We have 60 successful years of history and are making all the moves necessary to ensure a bright future not only for ourselves but for our 
customers. We may have taken a few lumps, but building rugged chairs isn’t for the feint of heart – we’re not going anywhere.”



February 12, 2009

BioFit Engineered Products, an Ohio-based manufacturer and long-standing leader in the development of ergonomic seating solutions, announced it is positioning its wall-mountable, swing-arm 1Y stool as an alternative to traditional charting station seating in hospitals and other in-patient medical facilities. Company officials are confident that based on results of recent utilization studies coupled with the distinctive functionality of the 1Y makes it ideal for this utilitarian, yet vital healthcare furnishing role.

Building on a commitment to helping customers get the most from their budgets by manufacturing “the right chair for the job,” BioFit is providing architects, designers and medical facility specifiers with a new seating option for charting stations – its popular 1Y stool. BioFit Director of Marketing Liz Sworden explained, “As a result of thorough utilization studies of like-environments and in-house testing, combined with the small footprint, ergonomic characteristics and unique design features of the 1Y, we determined it is perfect for use in this capacity. With space being at such a premium in medical settings, an ergonomically correct chair that uses minimal floor space when in use -- and none when it’s not -- is a logical choice. Plus, since the chair is mounted directly to the station or adjacent wall, it is always there when it’s needed and not in use by a visitor or in another patient’s room.

The flexible BioFit 1Y features a swiveling base with a pivoting arm that can be securely mounted to any stable vertical surface, allowing it to swing out of the way while not in use and stay put while it is. The 1Y was designed to serve in a variety of environments where space constraints are a primary consideration, ranging from assembly lines, factories and other industrial settings to classrooms, convention hall business centers and deli counters. Some of the more innovative uses of the 1Y include installation as computer station seating in an underwater research laboratory operated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and in the sleeper cab of a truck. The 1Y is available in many chair and stool configurations, comes in a wide range of upholstery options, and is backed by an industry-leading 13-year warranty.

“We are currently engineering a self-retraction component for the 1Y so it will automatically return to its “stored” position when not in use,” Sworden added. “We think it’s just another step we can take to increase safety by eliminating a potential aisle-way hazard while saving healthcare workers the extra motion of sliding a chair under a work surface.” She concluded by stating this feature would be available later this year.

For additional information on BioFit 1Y seating, contact Liz Sworden of BioFit Engineered Products at 800-597-0246. For detailed product information or to get a quote, visit www.biofithealthcare.com.



February 09, 2009

BioFit Engineered Products, an Ohio-based manufacturer and leader in the development of ergonomic seating solutions, has been awarded a furniture contract by the State of New York, making products from its seating, table, booktruck and accessory lines eligible for use in State-funded projects. Effective immediately, the contract runs through October, 2012.

BioFit was recently notified its ergonomic seating, tables, booktrucks and footrests manufactured for use in office, school, library, training, conference and cafeteria settings meet criteria established under the New York State Office of General Services (OGS) contract number PC64013. The contract is titled “New York State, Group Number 20915 Furniture All Types (except Hospital Room & Patient Handling) Classification Code 56, Award Number 20551-ES Supplemental.” Each vendor receives a unique contract number; number PC64013 was assigned to BioFit. Specific BioFit products falling under the auspices of the contract include, but are not limited to, its full line of executive and office task chairs – including sewn-seam models – and its 10-seat oval table.

The New York State OGS provides a broad range of support that facilitates the operations of State and local governments, public authorities, and public and private agencies, including property management, design and construction, and procurement. To view the full New York State OGS furniture contract award notification, visitwww.ogs.state.ny.us/purchase/spg/pdfdocs/2091520551ra09.pdf

For more details on BioFit Engineered Products, including additional information on all of its current federal and state government contracts, log on to www.biofit.com or call 1-800-597-0246.



February 03, 2009

BioFit Engineered Products, an Ohio-based manufacturer and long-standing leader in the development of ergonomic seating solutions, announced all four of its table lines were recently awarded GREENGUARD Environmental Institute Indoor Air Quality and Children and Schools program certifications for low emission of volatile organic compounds. Voluntarily submitting to and meeting rigid testing standards for indoor air quality, and even tougher guidelines under the Children & Schools evaluation process, reinforces BioFit’s commitment to the environment as well as protecting the health and welfare of those using its products. The certified tables also qualify for credits under the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program.

In 2008, BioFit voluntarily submitted a sample unit from its 10-seat oval, AdapTable™, Fold-N-Roll™ and BioFit Table lines to the GREENGUARD Environmental Institute (GEI) for objective, third-party testing of volatile organic compound (VOC) emission levels. Using a rigorous product evaluation protocol following certification requirements established by the GEI and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, among others, as well as those detailed in American Society for Testing and Materials Standard D 6670, the tables were tested in a stainless steel environmental chamber with a highly specialized air distribution system over a 168-hour exposure period. Product emissions during testing were measured to determine the levels of potential pollutants. In addition to total VOCs, measurements included emissions of other select, harmful compounds including a variety of aldehydes and phthalates, with results compared to current emission levels as required by GREENGUARD and the GREENGUARD Children and Schools standard. Subsequently, the BioFit test unit garnered a result of “low-emitting,” meeting all emission level requirements of the GREENGUARD and GREENGUARD Children & Schools program certifications.

According to BioFit Director of Marketing Liz Sworden, the company knew earning not only one, but both GREENGUARD certifications would be no easy feat. She explained, “We realized the gravity of putting our tables under such intense scrutiny. But, the challenge definitely turned out to be worth the reward – the piece of mind knowing that customers and users, particularly school children, would not be put at risk from indoor air pollutants generated from our tables.” Sworden continued: “At BioFit, we were practicing “green” long before green was cool. We have a wide range of short- and long-term environmental initiatives underway, and the GREENGUARD certifications are just two of many objectives we set to meet this year. We are preparing to go through the process again as we have seating lines designated for GREENGUARD testing in the very near future.” Sworden noted that the company was proud that the certifications would also enable new and existing customers to get credits under the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program for specifying any of the four certified BioFit table lines in new construction.

About GREENGUARD Environmental Institute: Founded in 2001, GEI is an industry-independent, non-profit organization that oversees the GREENGUARD Certification Program. The Institute's mission is to protect human health and quality of life through programs that improve indoor air that people breathe. As an ANSI Accredited Standards Developer, GEI establishes acceptable indoor air standards for building materials, interior products, furnishings, electronic equipment, indoor environments and buildings. The more than 200,000 GREENGUARD Certified products must meet stringent third-party standards for low chemical emissions based on established health standards and undergo rigorous testing and verification processes on a regular basis. GREENGUARD Certification is broadly recognized and accepted by a number of "green" building programs, including the USGBC LEED program. For more information on GEI, visit www.greenguard.org. 
For additional information on BioFit tables or ergonomic seating, contact Liz Sworden of BioFit Engineered Products at 800-597-0246. For detailed product information or to get a quote, visit www.biofiteducation.com.



January 26, 2009

BioFit Engineered Products, an Ohio-based manufacturer and leader in the development of ergonomic seating solutions, launched a redesigned corporate website and six linked micro sites today to make matching the proper chair to a specific work environment even easier for its customers. The new sites feature enhanced navigational functionality over the previous version of biofit.com and link to each other as well to help ensure successful search results for those seeking products for facilities with a variety of work settings, such as hospitals and universities.

“BioFit provides thousands of combinations of ergonomic seating, tables and specialty products to a wide cross-section of business and industry worldwide, and we thought the next logical step in supporting current and prospective customers was to make our web presence more ‘ergonomic,’ per se,” explained Liz Sworden, BioFit Director of Marketing. She continued: “So, in addition to streamlining the look and feel of our corporate site, biofit.com, we took a new approach to the way we categorize products online and created micro sites for each of our major markets: biofithealthcare.com, biofiteducation.com, biofittechnology.com, biofitlaboratory.com, biofitindustry.com and biofitoffice.com. While these sites all link to biofit.com, each contains only those individual products which specifiers may seek for use in a setting found in their unique market. For instance, a chair built for a particular purpose in a laboratory would not be found in the office micro site, but would be located in the healthcare, laboratory and education micro sites. By categorizing each product combination by market and then developing a separate site for each, we give users the option of visiting the site to suit their distinct needs or accessing biofit.com to review our entire offering.”

Users will find the updated version of biofit.com as well as the micro sites each contain familiar features such as the Build You Own Chair (BYOC) configurator and the Get-A-Quote 24-hour on-line quote request form. All sites also feature easy access to government contract information.

For more details on the redesigned BioFit corporate website and new market-specific micro sites, visit www.biofit.com or call 1-800-597-0246.



January 26, 2009

BioFit Engineered Products, an Ohio-based manufacturer and leader in the development of ergonomic seating solutions, has announced the introduction of its Intensive Plus line of chairs. Designed to meet increasing demand for longer-term reliability in continual-use, 24-hour operation environments, the Intensive Plus line also boasts a 500-pound capacity to support larger users and a 5-year warranty.

“BioFit has many strong, long-standing relationships with customers in the emergency services, government, and commercial sectors who maintain 24-hour operation and support centers. In the face of an uncertain economic forecast, coupled with the growing number of physically larger members of today’s workforce, we felt there was no better time to launch a continual-use chair that these clients could rely on every shift for years to come, without worrying about premature component or unit failure,” explained Liz Sworden, BioFit Director of Marketing. She continued: “In the midst of a crisis, the last thing a 911 dispatcher, air traffic controller, or military personnel needs to worry about is a malfunctioning chair. With the Intensive Plus line, BioFit has brought to bear its years of expertise in ergonomics engineering, resulting in a chair with stylish, yet dependable features and functionality to enhance user work performance, not detract from it.”

Featuring a fully contoured profile, each Intensive Plus chair has a saddle-shaped seat with a waterfall front to ensure even weight distribution, and comes standard with an executive style seat pan control so users can quickly and easily adjust the seat position. The chair’s contoured backrest is molded to provide lumbar and kidney support, and a polished, 5-point, star-shaped aluminum base affords even more support with 3 inch diameter, dual-wheel casters which are load rated at 165 pounds each. Glides are also available instead of casters.

For more details on the BioFit Intensive Plus chair, visit www.biofit.com or call 1-800-597-0246.



January 05, 2009

BioFit Engineered Products, an Ohio-based manufacturer and long-standing leader in the development of ergonomic seating solutions, kicked off the New Year by introducing a new polyshell seating series. Created to provide a sensible yet sexy alternative to conventional multipurpose seating, the new, colorful polyshell series chairs are larger with more ergonomic features than their predecessors, and designed for use in a variety of settings.

“The new polyshell is a continuance of our commitment to helping customers get the most bang from their furnishing budget by delivering durable, stylish and affordable seating that works in as many environments as possible,” stated BioFit Director of Marketing Liz Sworden. She explained: “With the polyshell, we combined enhanced ergonomics with proven engineering and a fun color palette to meet demand for more attractive multipurpose seating that will fit larger body types. Perhaps most significantly, though, we’re able to offer the new series at the same price as the old polyshell, which will be especially advantageous as customers deal with today’s uncertain economic climate.”

Suitable for anyplace from hospitals, offices and schools to factories, laboratories and clean rooms, BioFit’s new polyshell chairs feature rugged one-piece shell construction, a waterfall front and flexible backrest, six standard luminous shell colors, and numerous caster, base, color and performance options. All models of the roomy 18-inch wide chair carry on the ergonomic tradition and 13-year warranty BioFit is known for.

Sworden said BioFit is proud that it had been able to develop another new seating line that not only competes with some of the bigger manufacturers on style but offers a cost-effective and quality ergonomic alternative. “The polyshell line is proof that BioFit’s strategy of making products that architects, designers and others can specify for virtually any environment is well underway,” she concluded, noting that the polyshell line represents the fourth new design roll out by BioFit since January 2008.

For additional information on BioFit polyshell seating, contact Liz Sworden of BioFit Engineered Products at 800-597-0246. For detailed product information or to get a quote, visit www.biofit.com.



December 19, 2008

BioFit Engineered Products, an Ohio-based manufacturer and long-standing leader in the development of ergonomic seating, recently provided the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) with a solution to a unique furnishing challenge it faced within its Florida Keys-based undersea research habitat. As a result, NOAA aquanauts can now work comfortably at the facility’s computer station thanks to BioFit’s 1Y swing-arm stool.

The Aquarius underwater laboratory is owned by the NOAA and operated by the NOAA Undersea Research Program’s Undersea Research Center at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. Located in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, Aquarius is deployed 3.5 miles offshore at a depth of 60 feet, adjacent to spectacular coral reefs. Scientists live in the underwater laboratory during 10-day missions and use saturation diving to study and explore the US coastal ocean. Limited space within the habitat means equipment and furnishings are closely scrutinized for size and functionality. Until recently, a folding plastic step stool served as the seating for the habitat’s computer station. Then a NOAA researcher discovered the 1Y from BioFit Engineered Products.

The flexible BioFit 1Y features a swiveling base with a pivoting arm that can be securely mounted to any stable vertical surface, allowing it to swing out of the way while not in use and stay put while it is. The 1Y was designed to serve in a variety of environments where space constraints are a primary consideration, ranging from assembly lines, factories and other industrial settings to medical laboratories and classrooms. Another more innovative installation of the 1Y includes the sleeper cab of a truck. The 1Y is available in many chair and stool configurations, comes in a wide range of upholstery options, and is backed by an industry-leading 13-year warranty.

According to Craig Cooper, Operations Director of the NOAA Undersea Research Center, “We were using an old PVC step stool as the seat at our computer stations and knew we needed a more suitable alternative. A member of the operations team, Dewey Smith, found the 1Y online. In addition to providing a more comfortable seat for computer users, the swing-arm feature and small footprint make ‘the Dewey stool,’ as we call it, a good fit for the habitat.” Cooper added that three more 1Y stools have been purchased and will be installed during a future dive in the main lock and laboratory stations of the habitat.

For additional information on BioFit 1Y seating, contact Liz Sworden of BioFit Engineered Products at 800-597-0246. For detailed product information or to get a quote, visit www.biofit.com.

For more information on the Aquarius underwater laboratory, visit www.uncw.edu/aquarius



August 25, 2008

BioFit Engineered Products, an Ohio-based manufacturer and worldwide leader of ergonomic seating solutions, recently rolled out a vacuum formed seating line designed to protect against bacteria in healthcare settings. Additionally, these new ergonomic chairs and stools are proven to enhance user comfort and decrease the risk of repetitive motion injuries in a range of medical facility environments while helping maintain sanitary workplace conditions.

Vacuum forming is a process which eliminates the seams found in traditional upholstered seating. This process seals a single piece of upholstery around the cushioning in each seat and backrest, as opposed to traditional upholstered seating where pieces of upholstery are sewn together and applied to seat and back internal support panels with staples. The benefits of the vacuum formed process to healthcare users are two-fold: First, eliminating seams also eliminates the primary path for bacterial infiltration into the furniture and prevents spilled liquids from seeping through to the cushioning beneath the vinyl upholstery; and, the vacuum formed process significantly increases user comfort and support by minimizing the amount of compression on the seat and backrest foam during the manufacturing process. Vacuum forming also results in fuller lines, giving chairs and stools an aesthetically pleasing contoured profile. Plus, this natural, unencumbered expansion of the foam cushioning helps the chairs remain substantially more comfortable after long-term use.

In explaining the development of the new vacuum formed line, BioFit Director of Marketing Liz Sworden stated, “Probably more than any market we serve, the healthcare industry has the widest array of specialized workspaces. Ergonomic vacuum formed seating allows us to deliver another set of tools that will enable our healthcare customers to better function within many of these environments. With products such as vacuum formed seating and our recently introduced ArmorSeat anti-microbial line, we are striving to not only deliver flexible healthcare seating solutions, but build in value-added features to help make our users’ jobs safer and easier, whether they’re assigned to triage units, patient admission, treatment rooms, nurse stations, or beyond.”

For more details on vacuum formed seating from BioFit, visit www.biofit.com or call Liz Sworden at 1-800-597-0246. Located in Bowling Green, Ohio, BioFit Engineered Products is an industry-leading manufacturer of ergonomic chairs, carts, cafeteria seating and mobile tables for healthcare, bio- and high-tech, educational, office, industrial, hospitality, and custom environments.



July 25, 2008

BioFit Engineered Products, an Ohio-based manufacturer and worldwide leader of ergonomic seating solutions, announced that its recently introduced ArmorSeat line of chairs has achieved certification under California Technical Bulletin 133 (CAL 133) full-scale fire testing. Several states and many European nations have adopted standards based on CAL 133 for occupancies of public buildings including offices, schools and universities, medical facilities and more.

ArmorSeat is a new line of durable, multipurpose ergonomic chairs from BioFit which feature anti-microbial and UV-inhibiting properties. Available in different colors and configurations, the black model was used and certified during the CAL 133 testing.

CAL 133 is a full-scale fire test for furniture manufactured for use in certain public buildings. Testing measures the amount and the rate of heat produced, smoke opacity, carbon monoxide generation, and temperature reached within the test room, as well as the weight loss of the tested product.

For more details on the ArmorSeat line of chairs from BioFit, visit www.biofit.com or call Liz Sworden at 1-800-597-0246. Located in Bowling Green, Ohio, BioFit Engineered Products is an industry-leading manufacturer of ergonomic chairs, carts, cafeteria seating and mobile tables for healthcare, bio- and high-tech, educational, office, industrial, hospitality, and custom environments.



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