Micom has been offering BIFMA testing services for over 20 years. BIFMA stands for Business Furniture Manufacturer’s Association.
Micom can help you establish compliance to the BIFMA standards for your product lines. Whether it is for chairs, desks, panel systems or storage units, should you wish to be able to sell to GSA, the Canadian Government and/or lower level Government; you will need to have had your BIFMA testing done. Our expertise in the field makes us a choice partner in the testing of your products. As a SCC accredited laboratory our test reports are accepted throughout North America.
As a responsible corporate citizen, Micom makes a point of not only benefitting from the standards by only testing to them; we also contribute to the development of the BIFMA standards by actively participating in their development. We also sit on the CGSB technical committees that write standards pertaining to the evaluation of furniture and furniture testing. In fact, one of Micom’s principals has been sitting on both the BIFMA and CGSB standards for more than 25 years and in some cases was/is the committee’s Chairman.
Why is it a good thing to have your product lines tested?
More often than not, you will want to prove your product line is compliant to the national standards in order to be able to bid on a government or similar large contract. The essence of the BIFMA standards is to insure product safety and durability. If you are developing a new product line, testing it prior to its launch may save you the cost and trouble of recalling or fixing defective items. In matters of liability and security in North America, having insured your office furniture product lines are BIFMA compliant will go a long way to demonstrate you are a responsible manufacturer and that you have been taken industry recognized means to ensure the safety and durability of the products you sell.
At Micom we understand your customers’ technical requirements and will help you address them.
What standards are used to test office furniture?
The most common standards used, in Canada and the United States are the BIFMA testing standards. BIFMA is the Business and Institutional Furniture Manufacturer’s Association. Compliance to these standards is mandatory to obtain a GSA (US Government) schedule and also obtain a Supply Agreement from the Canadian Government. For Canada the BIFMA testing standards will be called up in the applicable CAN/CGSB standard or Government Purchase description (GPD).
Below is a table outlining which ANSI/BIFMA standards are required by each CAN/CGSB standard and GPD specification.
|Government document||Product||ANSI/BIFMA (current)|
|CAN/CGSB 44.227||Freestanding Furniture||X5.5-2014|
|CAN/CGSB 44.229||Panel system||X5.6-2010|
|CAN/CGSB 44.232||Task chair||X5.1-2011|
|GPD-10||Metal filing & storage||X5.3-2011 or X5.9-2012|
You will find below the list of BIFMA standards we can test to depending on what furniture product you offer:
- ANSI/BIFMA X5.1-2011: Office Chairs
- ANSI/BIFMA X5.3-2011: Vertical Files
- ANSI/BIFMA X5.4-2012: Lounge Seating
- ANSI/BIFMA X5.5-2014: Desk Products
- ANSI/BIFMA X5.6-2010: Panel Systems
- ANSI/BIFMA X5.9-2012: Storage Units
- ANSI/SOHO S6.5-2011: Home office, small office furniture
- ANSI/BIFMA X6.1-2018: Educational Seating
- ANSI/BIFMA X6.4-2018: Occasional Use Seating
What is the process for having your product lines tested?
Because of our deep understanding of the Government procurement requirements, we can simplify things and help you through the testing process. The best way to proceed is to send us your price list for the product line you want to qualify. Why your price list? Because it contains your product offering, the product codes and basically all we need to prepare an optimized test plan for your product offering. Upon our initial review of your price list we will discuss with you what units are to be qualified. For example, you might want your desks to be tested, but not you conference tables, or vice-versa. We will then ask you a few questions on how your units are built. A test plan is then prepared and submitted. Most of the time this process can be completed within a day; we make it our business to keep things simple and easy to manage for you.
Once testing has begun, on large projects, you will receive a weekly update. If any failure occurs, you will be notified by phone and/or email on the same day. Pictures of the failures, when appropriate, will be sent at no extra charge. Resolution of the failure can then proceed.
Once testing has been completed, test reports are generated electronically in pdf format. You will then have the choice of recuperating your test samples or having us dispose of them.
This completes our test project with you. However, this is not where the “bus stops” for Micom; should any of your customers reviewing the test reports we prepared for you have any questions; we will be happy to answer them on your behalf to help you resolve any outstanding issue and this at no extra charge.
Do we need to test everything?
No; BIFMA testing, according to the BIFMA standards, allows for worst-case product testing. This means that only a few sizes and models of each type of unit (desk, table, storage) need to be tested to qualify your product line.
Your furniture isn’t standard office furniture. Can you still get it tested?
Yes, the BIFMA standards are applicable regardless of the specific product construction.