Anatomic Global is a company that makes mattresses, but specializes in design techniques and green manufacturing processes. So how much engineering can really go into a squishy white box that we sleep on? Manufacturing.net's sister publication, Product Design & Development, spoke with David Farley, CEO, to find out.
PD&D: Can you describe your ‘Dedication to Design’ mentality, and how Anatomic Global follows through with it?
Farley: The effort includes striving for a great product design, which embodies an idea that people can understand and learn about; an idea that can grow in their minds, which can emotionally engage them. Great products are about great ideas; it is not just about objects.
PD&D: How does your design and manufacturing process differ from the norm to make it plant based and zero emissions?
Farley: All of the Memory Foam product producers have access to formulations that have agricultural components, but Anatomic Global was one of the first companies to get there. One thing we do differently is build mattresses using foams made exclusively by a process that involves a variable pressure chamber. It’s like making the raw material in an air-lock that allows ambient pressure control for enhanced product physicals. This chamber also allows all the fugitive gasses created to be collected at the time the foam is produced. That is something that only a couple of other mattress makers have access to.
PD&D: Can you describe the design process you went through to develop the Comfort Support Architecture system and the Comfort by Design series?
Farley: The architecture quantifies the differences in the physics of flat, fluid-like, and shaped-support surfaces together with multiple layers that are progressively more compliant to the human shape as the mattress build progresses from bottom, up.
PD&D: How is your engineering different from other memory foam mattresses?
Farley: There is more complexity and precision required. Also, the difference in the support surface is demonstrable in our designs. This design distinction establishes the relationship between our company and our customers.
PD&D: How is your engineering different from other common mattresses?
Farley: Anatomic Global’s designs are multi-layered with each layer progressively providing more and more function. This is more like a spring functions, overall. There is always a “gain” in the functionality as you build from the mattress base to its top surface.
We want to change the language that is used to describe mattress support surfaces from “Firm - Soft” and “Plush and Non-Plush” to things that can be measured, like “On it” or “In it” and “Flat, Fluid-like, and Shaped.”
PD&D: Is there more to the design than just a mattress? Do you take other elements into consideration when designing?
Farley: Thinking about design, and particularly mattress design, the temptation is to think about the physical object (a white, rectangular cube), and then fashionably cover that. But, there is also room to think about design as the overt - a thoughtful development of interaction points with our customers. That is what great design does. It can make people love our company.
PD&D: Your website states that your mattresses have nine times the airflow of other Memory Foams. What is the benefit of this?
Farley: More airflow allows heat transfer by convection. Some mattresses attempt to create coolness by heat conduction, which is very impractical. Heat is the number one consumer complaint against memory foam mattresses, which is essentially eliminated as a concern if the foam is itself, open to airflow.
PD&D: What are the biggest challenges when designing a mattress? And how do you overcome them?
Farley: Mattresses are historically in a non-technical category. They are considered a fashion category. Most consumers are still not all that interested in a technology presentation, so the biggest challenge is to get sharp, crisp-looking styles that just feel great, and introduce the technology in the simplest way as possible. It’s hard being geeky while keeping it simple.
For more information about Anatomic Global visit www.anatomicglobal.com.