Italian wheelchair manufacturer, Progeo, has upgraded various pieces of equipment within its portfolio in response to feedback from its dealer partners.
It has made a number of small but important tweaks to its lightweight wheelchairs, most notably its Joker Energy chair, which it displayed at the Naidex show yesterday.
Progeo’s export manager, Marco Nosella, said that mobility dealers suggested that the Joker Energy could follow the Duke’s design of integrating the bearings on the chair’s forks.
He said that Progeo came up with a new design for the Joker’s fork support and also a new welded backrest for the chair.
“It means that we have reduced the weight by another 500g and now the Joker Energy is the lightest rigid aluminium chair on the market. It’s 6kg with the rear wheels on.”
Progeo has also upgraded the Tekna Tilt by introducing a new tilting system and moving the rotation point in response to feedback on where the user’s weight sat.
Nosella said: “We have a new system so that even if you don’t have the user in the chair you can tilt it really easily. And it’s so smooth. It’s the only folding tilting chair in the world and it’s very quick and easy to fold.”
Meanwhile, Progeo’s Noir wheelchair has been fitted with an integrated carbon backrest and the chair is now just 5.2kg with the wheels attached, making it the lightest carbon wheelchair made to measure in the world.
Nosella said that dealers have appreciated the changes the supplier has made and that the company’s new base in the north of Italy has allowed it to make adjustments and redesigns more quickly than previously.
He said that Progeo needed a new facility because its manufacturing site was previously made up of three separate buildings.
“We decided to build a totally new headquarters which is six times bigger. We are much faster now and able to deliver chair in less than one week, if required, and usually within around six working days.
“We have much more organisation in the stock and much more space. We employ about 50 people in the company and we’re growing.
“Last year we produced more or less 9,000 wheelchairs in one year which was a record. This year it’s started much better again. We needed a new HQ that allows us to grow without us having to change again in a few years.”