Archives for posts with tag: BIFMA

Most products that we use in our daily lives go through some form of testing before they are launched into the market. This is an important step to verify user safety, environmental compliance, and ultimately a positive overall experience. Have you ever thought about how your office furniture is tested? Here at HON we have an A2LA Certified Product Test Lab, an A2LA Certified Pack Lab, a Parts Approval Lab and a Color Lab, so you could say we take our testing very seriously!

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HON engineers test Empower Benching above and beyond BIFMA with 7900 lbs on 20 stations!

The first test we conduct is part-specific, and it takes place in what we call our Parts Approval Lab. For this test, we scan our parts with a laser and the software generates a 3D color map that will tell us exactly how much, if any, the part varies from the print. For example, when we model the back of a chair, we scan those parts to verify that all contours are exactly how we modeled it.

The second test validates our colors, and this takes place in our Color Lab. Dedicated members verify the colors of each part match the exact color composition that is specified, regardless of the material that is used. We check for consistency so parts don’t vary, which gets us the same great look every time.

The third test is shipment testing, where we simulate what could happen during the shipping and handling process. This category has three areas:

  1. Compression testing – simulates products being stacked in a warehouse
  2. Drop testing – simulates the possibility of products being dropped during a delivery or installation
  3. Vibration testing – simulates placing the packaged product in a semi-trailer to make sure the packaging doesn’t cause any scratches

We pay attention to details and obsess over small things, so we even go as far as testing in both freezing and humid climates to make sure our packaging can withstand any end destination.

The fourth test is structural and fatigue testing to ensure the safety of the end user. This testing simulates different situations in which the end users may find themselves, such as an individual putting books into an overhead in a panel system.

To deliver long-lasting products, we also test fatigue scenarios, such as the “caster durability” test.  In this test we simulate the chair rolling for a pre-determined distance to ensure the casters will remain dependable through the lifetime of the product.

These are abusive tests, meaning the forces we use are beyond what would be generated in normal use. Using both BIFMA test standards and our own, we make sure the safety of the end user is not in jeopardy.

The fifth test looks at the user interface and it includes standards that HON created to guarantee the consistent comfort of our products. For example, have you ever thought about the amount of force required to push the button for raising and lowering your task chair arms? Well, our engineers did, and alas a test standard was written for it! We standardize on this to make sure the user experience is as comfortable as possible.

The last test is what we call Live Environment Testing. Considering we work in an office ourselves, we are often asked the question “would you use this product in your own office?”. So, to answer this question, we made it a test requirement! As part of our full test plan, our engineers seek out members in the office with fresh eyes to the product and ask them to test it out. For example, I was once asked to use a prototype Ignition® 2.0 task chair at my workstation for a few days and provide feedback. This test is also a fun way for HON to engage with our community, such as getting feedback from the local community college or doctor’s office. After this process, the project teams compile the feedback and make any final improvements to the product. This type of testing is very important to make sure we can deliver the best possible product.

So, now you know the science behind what it takes to deliver the best office furniture on the market. If you would like to see inside our test lab, check out this video and be sure to visit hon.com to view our product brochures!

“BIFMA” stands for “Business + Institutional Furniture Manufacturers Association”, and it is the “not-for-profit trade association for business and institutional furniture manufacturers”. They create and maintain the industry safety standard, as well as sustainability standard, and educate customers on the importance of product performance. You can read more about BIFMA here.

“A2LA” stands for “American Association for Laboratory Accreditation” and it is an organization that gives accreditation to all types of laboratories in accordance with ISO (International Organization for Standardization) standards. At HNI we place such a high value on quality assurance that we go through this accreditation process and gain the accountability of this third-party. You can read more about A2LA here .

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At HON, our commitment to minimizing our footprint and reducing the environmental impact of our manufacturing processes is not just something we do, it’s at the root of who we are. Our company was founded on the principle that it’s our responsibility to be resourceful, an idea inherent in the design of our first office product – recipe card files from pieces of scrap metal. Since then, we have continued to design our workplace solutions to incorporate recycled content and remain just as dedicated to maximizing energy efficiency and finding creative ways to decrease the waste of excess materials. It’s what we call Inspired Practicality, and it’s a pillar of the HON Brand.

Here are just a few examples of how we put Earth Day into action every day of the year:

HON recycles 27,000 gallons of paint

HON manufacturing locations recycle more than 27,000 gallons of wet paint annually

HON recycles fabric scraps

HON keeps 100 tons of waste from landfills every year by recycling bales of fabric scraps.

Using comold helps HON save over 2800 trees per year

HON manufactures products using Comold – or compression molded seat and back components – made from 97% recovered wood fiber. By using secondary wood material, we are able to save over 2,800 trees per year and divert nearly 4 thousand tons of post-consumer wood waste from landfills.

HON was the first office furniture manufacturer to achieve SCS Indoor Advantage

Multiple HON products have earned SCS Indoor Advantage Certification for low emission. More than 87% of our product is certified through the SCS Indoor Advantage program. (FUN FACT: In 2006, The HON Company became the first office furniture manufacturer to achieve SCS Indoor Advantage)

Over 75% of HON products have achieved level certification

More than 75% of HON products have achieved level certification based on the ANSI/BIFMA e3 Sustainable Furniture Standard. This certification helps hold manufacturers accountable for living up to their environmental claims.

Want to learn more about HON’s philosophy on being green? Check out our Corporate Responsibility and Environmental Responsibility brochures on hon.com.

What are some of the environment friendly initiatives in your office?

PART 2

To complete Tuesday’s post, Part 1: The Top Ten Secrets of the Office Furniture World, read on below for 5 more things you should know about this industry:

  1. Lettered!

While the secret agents of Men In Black choose letters for their identity, we’ve yet to nickname our Customer Support members by the same token (we’ll get back to you on that). For everything else, we stick to the alphabet.  ‘L’ workstations typically involve a desk or credenza and a return, thus making the shape look like the letter  ‘L’. ‘U’ workstations usually involve three parts: a desk, bridge, and a credenza.

  1. Quartermaster’s Gift: A Pricer

Though it’s not an exploding pen or microphone lipstick tube, the Pricer has plenty of perks. Whether you need to know how to specify a Ceres task chair or how many people can sit at a 240” Preside conference table (we recommend 18-20), the pricer can answer the majority of your product questions. Here are a couple of handy tips: the seating sections are arranged alphabetically by series name, basyx by HON products are always listed at the end of the section, and Preside’s specifying information lists the majority of our edge profiles all in one place for easy viewing (located on page 632 in your 2015 pricer).

  1. The BIFMA Identity

While ANSI/BIFMA may sound like something Jason Bourne might reference, it’s actually our industry standard for seating weight ratings. All HON seating products (including chairs, credenza cushions, and pedestal cushions) are rated to the standard 250 lbs. Fortunately, we also go above and beyond – our pricer calls out any series that is rated for more than the standard. For instance, Endorse is rated at 300 lbs, Versant at 350 lbs, the Ignition HIWM8 at 450 lbs, and our new Soothe HHCG50 is rated to 750 lbs! Be sure to check the bullet points at the top of the page for additional series ratings!

  1. Finish Up!

Think you have the X-Factor to be a phantom in the Twilight? A good way to check your Affinity for the game is by testing your mettle. Dash out to hon.com for an excellent source of fabric and finish information. Give it a Chance! Its easy search capabilities allow access to fabric cards and online swatches, and with our vast Lineup of available fabrics, it will give you Insight into our textiles!

  1. Our Agents: Customer Support

Even the best spy team can’t hold a candle to our Customer Support team; we believe we have the best in the industry. Through extensive product and customer solutions training, our members know what it means to be HON ready. Whether you have a complex chair question that can be answered by our Technical Product experts or an inquiry on a state contract that our government team can remedy, our specialty teams are here to assist.

Though I’ll keep holding out for The Man Who Knew Too Much (About Office Furniture) remake, make sure to share these secrets!

Want to divulge some of your office furniture secrets? Share below!

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