ALPHARETTA, Ga., January 18, 2012 – Transfer Solutions LLC, Galesburg, Ill., has developed the healthcare industry’s first latching device that maintains balance and stability and helps prevent falls for wheelchair users. With its patent pending locking device made of Ixef® 1022 polyarylamide (PARA) from Solvay Specialty Polymers USA, LLC, the Translock™ safely secures the wheelchair to a fixed object like a bed, toilet, or shower during transfer.
As wheelchair users strive to maintain independence and mobility, simple every day tasks like transferring from a wheelchair to a bed or toilet pose an injury risk to the chair user and liability to caregivers in managed healthcare settings. It is projected that by 2020, $54 billion in direct and indirect expenses will be incurred globally for fall-related injuries, according to industry reports.
“Until now, no product has specifically addressed the danger of falls related to wheelchair tips during transfers,” says Paul Johnson, managing partner with Transfer Solutions. The Translock™ features an engineered “lock and dock” design with a pivotal arm clamp engaged through the use of a lever button, or through contact and pressure in a docking situation.
Nearly 80% of the components for the Translock™ latching device and the accompanying wheelchair, toilet, bed, and wall attachments are injection molded of Ixef® PARA. The high-performance thermoplastic specialty nylon offers strength and rigidity and can be molded, thus eliminating machining and realizing a major cost reduction over competitive materials, according to Johnson.
Ixef® 1022 is a 50% glass-filled PARA-based compound that combines high stiffness with an ultra-smooth finish that eliminates any dangerous sharp points or edges. The tensile and flexural strength of Ixef® compounds are comparable to many cast metals and alloys at ambient temperature. Transfer Solutions selected Ixef® PARA instead of 30% glass-filled polypropylene (PP) due to its greater strength and rigidity.
Transfer Solutions selected Springboard Engineering, a full-service design engineering firm in Newton, Iowa, to design the Translock™ system. Ixef® PARA offered excellent processability, filling cross sections with varying thicknesses without sink marks or warpage, according to Brian Clark, project design engineer with Springboard Engineering. Less costly aluminum tools were used to mold the strong and rigid parts for low-volume production.
About Transfer Solutions LLC
Transfer Solutions LLC, based in Galesburg, Ill., is the manufacturer of the innovative Translock™ system, a durable, lightweight, and easy-to-use latching device offering cross functionality for wheelchair user transfers. It is the healthcare industry’s first latching device which maintains balance and stability and helps prevents falls for wheelchair users. Paul Johnson, a successful entrepreneur and business executive, is managing partner and co-founder of Transfer Solutions. For more information, visit www.thetranslock.com.
About Springboard Engineering
Springboard Engineering, based in Newton, Iowa, is a division of Underwriters Laboratories Verification Services. The company provides full-service product development including engineering consulting, testing, and prototyping. Springboard Engineering was founded in order to salvage the vast employee knowledge, equipment, and capabilities of the former Maytag laundry design center in Newton. Springboard Engineering’s roots are in mass production and high-volume consumer goods. The firm has decades of experience delivering exciting innovative consumer products to market. It employs over 40 associates and the management team alone has 196 years experience in engineering and management. Springboard employees are named on over 50 patents. For more information, visit www.springboardengineering.com.
About Solvay Specialty Polymers
Solvay Specialty Polymers manufactures more products with more performance than any other polymer company in the world. The company supplies over 1500 products across 33 brands of high-performance polymers – fluoropolymers, fluoroelastomers, fluorinated fluids, semi-aromatic polyamides, sulfone polymers, aromatic ultra polymers, high-barrier polymers and cross-linked high-performance compounds – for use in Aerospace, Alternative Energy, Automotive, Healthcare, Membranes, Oil & Gas, Packaging, Plumbing, Semiconductors, Wire & Cable, and other markets.
Solvay is an international chemical Group committed to sustainable development with a clear focus on innovation and operational excellence. Its recent acquisition of specialty chemicals company Rhodia created a much larger player which is realizing over 90% of its sales in markets where it is among the top 3 global leaders. Solvay offers a broad range of products that contribute to improving quality of life and its customers' performance in markets such as consumer goods, construction, automotive, energy, water and environment, and electronics. The Group is headquartered in Brussels and its companies employ about 30,000 people in 55 countries and generated EUR 12 billion in sales (pro forma) in 2010. Solvay SA is listed on NYSE Euronext (SOLB.BE - Bloomberg: SOLB.BB - Reuters: SOLBt.BR).