West Michigan Company Developing Unique Utility Tray for Wheeled Walkers

By December 10, 2015Uncategorized

PractiTray, a folding utility tray that can be attached to a walker has recently started production at Grand Haven Custom Molding on Beechtree Street in Grand Haven, Mich. PractiTray was conceived by John Emory, 83, of Traverse City.

GRAND HAVEN, MI – A West Michigan manufacturer is developing a product designed to make life easier for those who use wheeled walkers.

Grand Haven Custom Molding, 1500 S Beechtree St., is producing the product called PractiTray. The device is a folding utility tray that can be attached the rolling walker, or rollator, to serve as a support for a book, laptop computer, tablet, purse, glass or meal.

Similar products are on the market for walkers, but trays for wheeled walkers are less prevalent. PractiTray was conceived and patented by John Emory, an 83-year-old retired engineer who lives in Traverse City.

Through a mutual friend, Emory was introduced to Grand Haven Custom Molding President Karl Chapel who loved Emory’s idea for the tray.

“We’ve had great response from people we’ve surveyed,” Chapel said in a news release. “His idea is something that is so easy, so simple, it’s hard to figure out why somebody didn’t come up with this before.”

Emory eventually sold the patent to Chapel, who has refined the product, finalized design and set up tooling to produce it. PractiTray is produced and assembled at GHCM’s facility in Grand Haven.

Plant Manager Dale Harken said GHCM has the capacity to produce about 1,000 units a day.

GHCM has been developing PractiTray for 10 months and it has been on the open market for about a month. Company leadership debuted the product at the Medtrade Show in October.

GHCM also donated several trays to Four Pointes Center for Successful Aging in Grand Haven and has plans to donate to The Little Red House in Spring Lake in the near future.

“The response was overwhelming,” said Tiffany Martinez, GHCM’s director of new business.

PractiTray can hold up to 10 pounds of pressure and is available in nine different colors. It folds easily so it can be stored with the wheeled walker when not in use. Its slim profile adds little weight to the product. Unique clamps have also been developed to accommodate variations in wheeled walkers.

The product is sold in kit form and is on sale for $48.99 in more than 50 stores in 17 states. It can also be purchased online.

“We expect some tremendous growth in sales for our organization,” Chapel said.

Founded in 2010, GHMC is a full-service plastic injection molder specializing in injection molding and secondary operations and servicing the automotive, horticulture, office furniture, material handling, consumer and commercial industries. The company employs 65 people.