Playworld in OnSite Fitness Magazine
Playworld: The World Needs Play® is their tag line and children all over the world enjoy the innovative play product that combines fitness, nature, gaming as well as an environmentally conscious design, ADA compliance and a whole lot more. OSF spoke with Ian Proud, Research Manager at Playworld to learn more about their products.
OSF: Playworld actually started life as a manufacturing company, making parts for, among other things, playground equipment. As your passion for play grew, what niche did you see lacking that Playworld has filled?
Proud: For 40 years, Playworld has been a leader in creating imaginative, customized commercial play and fitness equipment that positively impacts the health and well-being of communities around the globe. Based on the belief that The World Needs Play®, the multi-generational family-owned company headquartered in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania brings the joy and benefits of healthful outdoor play and exercise to people of every age and ability through such innovative product lines as ENERGI®, LifeTrail® Advanced Wellness System, Playworld®, PlayDesigns®, NEOS® and OriginsTM– all designed and manufactured in the USA.
The company began in 1952 as QE Manufacturing Company, a family-owned producer of precision machine parts. Seven years later, the company entered the playground industry as a supplier of high-quality products for other companies. As the organization’s reputation as a superior supplier grew, so did the demand in
both the playground and recreational markets. Playworld also saw a need for outdoor play based on the continuing childhood obesity crisis. To meet these needs, the company introduced its own brand of commercial playground products in 1971 under the company name Playworld. In January 1999, Playworld moved to its current corporate headquarters in Lewisburg. The company is currently led by owner and CEO, Matt Miller.
OSF: What makes Playworld different from other play equipment manufacturers?
Proud: Commitment to the Environment: Playworld continues to invest significant resources to measurably reduce its impact on the environment, from having its products Cradle to Cradle Certified CM Basic and taking aggressive action to eliminate polyvinyl chloride (PVC), to enhancing its waste management
and recycling programs. In fact, Playworld is the first U.S. playground manufacturer to remove 99.999 percent of PVC from its products.
Customer Experience: Playworld offers an optimal customer experience unique in the industry – from value-added services using Microsoft Tag technology, which provides product and service information at customers’ fingertips, to personalized attention through its vast network of local distributors (53 worldwide). The company’s fast delivery, world-class quality, step-by-step guidance, and rapid response maintenance program give customers the confidence and support they deserve.
Play and Fitness Equipment with Impact: Playworld equipment positively impacts the health and well-being of people around the globe. The company designs its products to go beyond meeting basic ADA accessibility guidelines to achieve the higher goal of inclusive play. In 2011, Playworld introduced the Inclusive Play Design GuideTM, a practical tool to enable the creation of landmark inclusive outdoor play spaces. The Inclusive Play Design Guide outlines specific ways landscape architects, community leaders and committed professionals in the recreation industry can move the industry beyond basic compliance with the ADA and work to achieve more enriching play experiences for all people, regardless of age or ability.
Sustained Market Leadership: Through the years, the company has experienced phenomenal growth to become an industry leader in playground and fitness equipment. The company launched its first overseas presence in Europe in 1996. Today, Playworld equipment is distributed throughout North America, Europe, Asia, the Middle East and South America.
Breadth of Products: Since its founding, Playworld has been committed to creating recreational opportunities for people of all ages and abilities. The company offers multiple product lines that address a variety of health and fitness needs.
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