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folding electric wheelchair factory:Purchasing Considerations

Views: 2     Author: Site Editor     Publish Time: 2023-09-17      Origin: Site

Electric wheelchairs that can fold provide convenient mobility and transportation for wheelchair users. Folding electric wheelchairs allow users to collapse the chair into a more compact size for storage and portability. Manufacturing quality folding electric wheelchairs requires expertise in design, materials, and assembly processes. This article provides an in-depth look at folding electric wheelchair manufacturing.

folding electric wheelchair factory

Overview of Folding Electric Wheelchairs

Folding electric wheelchairs provide powered mobility with the added benefit of a foldable frame. Key features include:

  • Foldable frame made of lightweight metal alloys that can collapse the chair into a compact shape.

  • Electric motor drive with battery pack provides powered movement without manual pushing.

  • Control pad or joystick enables users to steer and adjust speed.

  • Swing-away or detachable footrests, armrests, and controller facilitate folding.

  • Wheels, casters, upholstery, and backrest customized for user comfort and support.

  • Range of 25-40 km on single charge depending on model. Weight capacity around 100-136 kg.

Folding electric wheelchairs allow users to transport the chair by vehicle and store in small spaces. This improves quality of life through accessible mobility.

Advantages of Folding Electric Wheelchairs

  • Compact size when folded makes storage and transportation easier.

  • Powered mobility with steering control provides independence.

  • Customizable features improve user comfort and support.

  • Foldable design gives access through narrow entries and doorways.

  • Lightweight materials enable lifting and handling when folded.

  • Wider range of activities possible with powered mobility.

Limitations of Folding Electric Wheelchairs

  • More expensive than manual wheelchairs.

  • Heavier than ultra-lightweight manual wheelchairs.

  • Battery charge limits continuous run time.

  • Components must be durable to withstand frequent folding.

  • Needs periodic maintenance of motors and batteries.

  • Folding mechanism can malfunction or fail over time.

  • Electronics may be vulnerable to moisture and impact damage.

Folding Electric Wheelchair Design

Folding electric wheelchairs require a customized frame and component design to enable both powered mobility and a foldable structure.

Frame Design

  • Made of lightweight aircraft grade aluminum, magnesium, or composite alloys.

  • Main frame separates into two or more sections connected by hinges or latches.

  • May use telescoping or sliding tube sections to enable width adjustment.

  • Swing-away or detachable arms, leg rests, and control pads.

  • Durable hinges, joints, latches tested for frequent folding cycles.

  • Rear anti-tip wheels provide stability when tilted back.

  • Frame geometry optimized for compact folded size and stability when open.

Wheels and Suspension

  • Drive wheels with electric in-hub motors, sealed precision bearings.

  • Solid non-marking or pneumatic tires for indoor/outdoor use.

  • Front casters with urethane or pneumatic tires, swivel and wheel locks.

  • Suspension system provides shock absorption and comfort on uneven terrain.

  • Durable, low maintenance wheel components tested for vibration and impacts.

Seat Upholstery and Backrest

  • Custom molded seat cushion made of breathable foam and cloth cover.

  • Adjustable seat depth, angle, height, and backrest settings.

  • Contoured backrest for lumbar support, removable for folding.

  • Durable, waterproof upholstery that stretches to avoid pressure sores.

  • Laterals and headrests for additional support and comfort.

Control Interface

  • Intuitive joystick, touchpad, or switch controls enable speed and direction control.

  • Adjustable controller position for easy access driving.

  • Buttons for horn, lights, seat functions, battery indicators etc.

  • May integrate navigation aids, Bluetooth, or environmental controls.

  • Durable waterproof cover that can detach for folding.

Power System

  • Lithium ion batteries provide longest lifespan with fast charging.

  • Motors engineered for optimal torque, speed, climbing ability.

  • Waterproof connections and housings withstand exposure.

  • Quick disconnect cables for separating sections before folding.

  • Range of up to 40 km on a single charge based on conditions.

folding electric wheelchair factory

Folding Electric Wheelchair Materials

Selecting the appropriate materials is crucial in enabling both foldability and strength for frequent use.

Frame Materials

Material Properties
Aluminum Alloys Lightweight,good strength-to-weight ratio
Magnesium Alloys Low density provides lightweight strength
High Strength Steels Strong but heavy, mostly avoided
Titanium Alloys Excellent strength with low weight, expensive
Composites Can optimize strength and weight

Upholstery Materials

Material Characteristics
Vinyl Waterproof, easy to clean, prone to cracks
PU Leather Soft feel with good durability
Fabrics Breathable options like nylon, polyester blends
Foam Cushioning customized for density and thickness

Wheel Materials

Component Material Options
Rims Composite, aluminum alloy, magnesium
Tires Solid PU, pneumatic rubber
Bearings Stainless steel, sealed precision
Motor Hubs Aluminum housing, steel internals

Control Materials

Part Common Materials
Housings ABS, polycarbonate, aluminum
Buttons/Switches Silicone rubber, polycarbonate
Cables TPE, PVC, polyethylene insulation
Circuit Boards FR4 glass epoxy

Folding Electric Wheelchair Manufacturing Processes

Producing folding electric wheelchairs involves fabrication, machining, assembly, upholstery work, and testing processes.

Frame Fabrication

  • Aluminum, magnesium, or composite sections cut to length

  • Tube bending forms curved frame dimensions

  • CNC machining creates joints, hinges, and latch holes

  • Robotic welding assembles frame sections

  • Surface finishing like anodizing protects from corrosion

Wheel Machining

  • Cast magnesium or aluminum alloy wheels

  • CNC machining bores wheel hub openings

  • Disc grinding ensures wheel rim is perfectly round

  • Motor, axle, bearings press fitted into wheel hub

  • PU tires cast and bonded on rim or pneumatic tires mounted

Upholstery and Seating

  • Custom molded seat cushion and backrest foam

  • CAD-designed patterns digitally cut from upholstery materials

  • Cushions and seats sewn and assembled

  • Vinyl or fabric pulled taut over foam and bonded

  • Waterproofing, flame retardation, UV resistance treatments

Controller Interface

  • Circuit boards populated by SMT pick and place machines

  • Plastic controller covers injection molded for ergonomics

  • Buttons, switches positioned and fastened into housings

  • Cables and internal wiring connected and secured

  • Membrane overlays added over displays and buttons

Final Assembly

  • Sections preassembled on separate assembly jigs

  • Electric motors, batteries, and electronics installed and connected

  • Sections latched together and locking pins inserted

  • Seat, arms, leg rests, controls attached to frame

  • Wheels pressed onto axles with bearings

  • Decals and branding applied to finish

Testing and Quality Checks

  • Dimensional checks ensure proper frame alignment

  • Folding tests verify smooth motion and latch security

  • Wheel alignment and caster swivel tested

  • Speed, weight capacity, climbing ability verified

  • All functions like lights, brakes, checked for proper operation

  • Improper gaps, uneven joints, play or rattles detected

  • Diagnostic computer tests on electrical systems

  • Final safety and compliance validation to meet standards

Folding Electric Wheelchair Development Process

Creating a new folding wheelchair design involves extensive engineering development and prototyping before manufacturing.

Industrial Design

  • Ergonomic studies assess user needs and interactions

  • Concept sketches and 3D CAD models generated

  • Human factors analysis of folding mechanisms

  • Review aesthetics and visually verify proportions

Prototype Iteration

  • Rapid prototypes built using 3D printing and CNC

  • Frame sections fabricated from aluminum or composites

  • Folding joints and latches refined through tests

  • Wheel trials assess ride quality and durability

  • Upholstery, controls iterated based on feedback

Engineering Verification

  • Structural finite element analysis simulates stresses

  • Computational fluid dynamics assesses cooling channels

  • Kinematics analysis of folding mechanism

  • Accelerated life testing of hinges and latches

  • Modeling of tires, bearings, motors, and suspension

Compliance Testing

  • Review of safety standards for wheelchairs

  • Load, impact, and fatigue testing per protocols

  • Testing with anthropomorphic test devices

  • Exposure to temperature, humidity, vibration

  • Verification of electrical safety, EMI, flammability

  • Documentation for FDA/CE regulatory submissions

folding electric wheelchair factory

Folding Electric Wheelchair Factories

Leading manufacturers of folding electric wheelchairs include both large established companies and newer startups.

Company Details Models
Invacare Global brand since 1994, wide range of models TDX SP2, Kite, Comet, Spree
Karman Healthcare Quality affordable wheelchairs, innovative features LT-980, LT-980Q
Permobil Advanced power chairs for active users Koala, Fox, Tiger
Drive Medical Broad portfolio of mobility products Cirrus Plus, Compact Plus
Quantum Rehab Subsidiary of Pride Mobility, premium models Q6 Edge, TRU-Balance 3
Colours Founded 2009, attractive lightweight folding designs New S-Ergo 115
IBOT Advanced balancing wheelchair technology iBOT PWD
WHILL Novel front wheel drive with omni-wheels Model Ci2, Model A
Kaye Wide range of folding powerchairs Mini Swift, Midi Swift

Purchasing Considerations for Folding Electric Wheelchairs

Key factors to evaluate when selecting a folding electric wheelchair include:

  • Intended Use: indoor/outdoor needs, terrain, transportation method

  • User Height and Weight: Ensure capacity meets needs

  • Seat Dimensions: Measure for ideal width, depth, height

  • Range Required: Battery capacity based on daily use

  • Special Features: Standing, recline, elevating leg rests

  • Customization: Upholstery, controls, accessories

  • Serviceability: Ease of maintenance and repairs

  • Warranty: Coverage of frame, electronics, battery

  • Company Reputation: Reviews of quality and support

  • Budget: Balance required features with affordability

Trying demos of various models can help finalize the best option. Consult medical professionals for personalized product recommendations and fitting.

Maintenance and Safety of Folding Electric Wheelchairs

Regular maintenance and safe operating practices are advised to keep folding wheelchairs functioning properly over an extended lifetime.

Maintenance Tips

  • Inspect tires and casters for wear, keep inflated to PSI rating

  • Check frame for loose joints, damage, deformities

  • Clean upholstery, check for rips, sagging, fraying

  • Keep battery contacts corrosion-free, charge regularly

  • Test folding mechanism for smooth operation

  • Ensure latches close securely and release easily

  • Check motor wiring, lights, brakes, controller function

  • Lubricate moving parts like hinges according to manual

Safety Guidelines

  • Always engage wheel locks before folding

  • Ensure latches fully engaged before driving

  • Avoid excessive loads exceeding weight capacity

  • Drive slowly over slopes, curbs, and uneven terrain

  • Be aware of pinch points when folding

  • Make sure limbs and objects clear tires

  • Have anti-tip wheels adjusted by technician

  • Use caution when reaching or shifting body position

Future Innovations in Folding Electric Wheelchair Design

Emerging trends that may shape the future of folding electric wheelchairs include:

  • Use of sensors, auto-leveling, and stabilization for safer driving

  • Innovative compact folding designs with reduced weight

  • Increased mainstream adoption of standing and reclining chairs

  • Bring-your-own-device controls via phone apps and smartwatches

  • Gesture, gaze, and voice control for switch users

  • Integration with smart home and vehicle automation systems

  • Advanced power-assist add-ons for manual wheelchairs

  • Improved battery chemistry for range and fast charging

  • Tie in with transportation services for autonomous door-to-door mobility

  • Enhanced customization and personalization with 3D printing

  • More functional integration like charging ports and storage bags

folding electric wheelchair factory


In summary, folding electric wheelchairs provide invaluable mobility while offering convenient transportation and storage. Manufacturing them requires expertise in materials, custom design, and fabrication processes to produce high quality, durable chairs. Careful selection and regular maintenance helps optimize the utility of folding electric wheelchairs for users with access needs. Continued innovations promise lighter, smarter, and more functional folding electric wheelchairs in the future.


Q: How much do folding electric wheelchairs typically cost?

A: Costs range from about $2000 to $8000 depending on the seat size, weight capacity, range, speed, features, and customizations. Basic folding models start around $2000-3000 while larger full-featured chairs are $6000-8000.

Q: How heavy are folding electric wheelchairs?

A: Weights range from about 45-100 kg. Heavier models have increased capacity, range, and seating dimensions. Lightweight models use ultra-light alloys and slimmer components.

Q: How compact do they fold?

A: When folded, dimensions can reduce to around 75-90 cm long x 25-35 cm wide x 20-40 cm high depending on model. Compact folding enables easier vehicle storage and transport.

Q: What is the typical range on a charge?

A: Basic models may have 15-25 km range. More advanced lithium-ion batteries can now allow up to 40 km range. Range depends on user weight, driving speeds, and terrain.

Q: How long does it take to charge?

A: Full recharges take 4-6 hours typically. Fast chargers are available to replenish most of the capacity within 1-2 hours between use.

Q: Can they handle outdoor use?

A: Yes, most models have solid or pneumatic tires and adequate ground clearance for outdoor paths, grass, gravel etc. Some are designed for more rugged terrain as well.

Q: How can I get a customized fit?

A: Customization is available for the seating system, leg rests, controls, and accessories to match user height, support, and functional needs. Consult medical professionals.

Q: What are common problems or repairs needed?

A: Issues can include tire wear, loose fasteners, damaged upholstery, battery failure, electrical shorts, and broken latches or hinges. Check components before major failures occur.

Q: How often should maintenance be done?

A: The manual provides maintenance schedules. Key tasks like tire pressure, battery charging, lubrication, inspection of latches and motors should be done 2-4 times per year at minimum.

Q: What safety tips should I follow?

A: Drive at safe speeds, engage wheel locks before transfers, ensure latches are secure before driving, watch for pinch points when folding, avoid obstacles and steep inclines. Wear your seatbelt.