When TiLite started out nearly three decades ago, wheelchairs were just a portion of its business, and titanium wheelchair parts were just a part of a product mix that included titanium bicycle frames, golf club shafts, motorcycle parts and custom projects. Then, in the late 1990s, the company had an inspiration. According to TiLite, the company realized it could apply its knowledge of customized titanium construction to an entire wheelchair, creating something totally unique in the marketplace.
By building wheelchairs that are custom-fit to the individual, utilizing the best possible construction and made with aesthetics in mind, TiLite has carved out a successful niche in the wheelchair market, and that’s a position the company continues to occupy today.
“Our mission today is simple: Make the best fitting, best performing, and best looking wheelchairs in the world,” the company says. “We put our hearts and souls into it, and that’s one thing that will never change.”
TiLite continues to uphold its mission to provide the best possible wheelchairs on the market. The company says its dedication to its principles of customized fit and strong titanium or aluminum construction has been its strongest differentiator in the marketplace, and that continues to be the company’s greatest advantage. With these qualities in place, the company says, TiLite expects to continue to hold onto a leadership position within the industry for many years to come.
The crown jewel of TiLite’s manufacturing prowess is the TiFit system, which produces custom-fit wheelchairs specifically designed and constructed to provide the most ergonomic fit to improve safety and comfort. “TiFit is the art of building the ergonomics of the wheelchair around you, the rider,” the company says. “As a key enabling device, ensuring that the chair is personalized to you matters. How you sit and fit in the chair is the greatest predictor of comfort and independence, and, over the long-term, will impact the likelihood of secondary injuries. Thus, the most important thing you can do with respect to your chair is to make sure that it fits well – that it fits like a prosthetic.
“This is the essence of TiFit,” the company continues. “The difference between a TiFit chair and all other chairs is that a TiFit chair is tailored specifically to the person: Every chair is a made-to-measure, optimally fitted, wheeled prosthetic.”
According to the company, the TiFit process begins with taking the customer’s precise measurements. “A TiFit frame starts as a blueprint on a computer which is created directly from your order form and your exact measurements,” the company says. “With the TiFit process, we don’t start building any part of your frame – not a single tube gets bent – until we get your order form and your measurements.”
Those precise measurements factor into the overall construction of each individual wheelchair, and the company says its ability to offer customized frame depth ensures a perfect fit. “TiFit offers custom frame depth, which enables you to optimize the fit, balance, and footprint of your chair,” the company says. “The key to custom frame depth is that it allows you to specify your frame depth independently of your seat depth. For example, you can add length to the front of your frame [beyond the end of your seat sling] to help balance your chair and to allow you to adjust your center of gravity forward. The enhanced balance, increased handrim access, and space saved by moving your center of gravity gives you more performance and efficiency without affecting your chair’s footprint.”
All throughout the TiFit process, the company takes into consideration all of the tiniest details that go into the construction of each wheelchair, even if they are details that the customer isn’t thinking about necessarily. “The TiFit process even optimizes measurements that you don’t specify, like the positioning of your casters,” the company says. “As part of the TiFit process, we determine your caster spacing and caster placement based on the seat width, footrest width, and style and size of the casters ordered for your chair. This process insures that the optimal balance is struck between stability and maneuverability.
“TiLite, through the TiFit process, is the only manufacturer that does this,” the company adds. “Why do we do it? Because it matters with every push you take.”
The company says its ability to perform more precise and complex bends during the manufacturing process is another reason why its TiFit process is so successful. “Pelvic stability is the key to overall stability,” the company says. “TiFit helps you maximize pelvic stability and lower extremity support by allowing the chair frame to more closely follow the lines of your body. This leads to better comfort and efficiency because you will spend less time repositioning yourself in your chair. How do we do it? By offering more custom complex frame bends than any other manufacturer in order to ensure that you sit comfortably.”