1984 to Present
Symbiote History of Innovation
In the 1960s Travis Randolph played a key role in developing Herman Miller's original modular system for healthcare and laboratory applications. Travis, an engineer, later pursued his ideas and, collaborating with Herman Miller, started Symbiote, Inc. in 1984. The Holland, Michigan company entered into an alliance with Herman Miller in 1989 to secure the Action Factory product line and all rights to manufacture Action Factory products. Products integrate with Co/Struc® and Action Office® systems, registered trademarks of Herman Miller, Inc.
Travis Randolph was one of the key players in the development of the Herman Miller Action Factory product line. After years with Herman Miller Travis decided to pursue his ideas independently. He negotiated a collaborative effort with Herman Miller and founded Symbiote to develop additional products to enhance the Action Factory product line.
Herman Miller closed the Action Factory line. Symbiote saw it as an emerging market that would grow as traditional workspaces were redesigned and repurposed. Symbiote entered into an alliance with Herman Miller and secured the Action Factory product line and all rights to manufacture Action Factory products.
Symbiote's niche market grew and ergonomics became the buzzword of the furniture industry. Symbiote responded with the HAM (Height Adjustable Mechanism) marketing workstations with accessories designed to improve productivity and reduce worker injuries.
Symbiote's creative approach to product development led to a consultative relationship with Boeing. Long, height-adjustable worktables were needed to manufacture wiring and cable harnesses for wings of jet airplanes. Symbiote designed a height-adjustable mechanism stretched into 8-16 foot long tables with electrical and hydraulic hook-ups.
Symbiote enters the Lab market with CAD and technical workstations introduced at NeoCon to support the high tech work environments of its growing client base. BlueSky, Symbiote's proprietary specifying CAD program, is launched to help customers visualize their installations.
Symbiote outgrows its Holland location and moves to a 65,000 square foot facility in Zeeland, Michigan. Continued growth also sparks new systems for quality control, manufacturing and service. The engineering team upgrades to the Pro-E CAD system, dramatically reducing production times for special orders and new products. A new product line of rack mount accessories is introduced and Symbiote's distribution expands to the UK and Asia.
New products are launched for general manufacturing, assembly applications and wiring shops. The ErgoTilt becomes the latest outgrowth of the ErgoStat product line, giving work surfaces the ability to tilt up to 90 degrees.
Symbiote rides the wave of technological advancement as more tech labs, LAN centers and other electronics-intense workplaces embrace the ideas behind Symbiote products. Modular components, ergonomically designed accessories, cable management systems and heavy-duty construction make Symbiote a leading manufacturer of technical work environments.