The story begins in 1957
when two men in Grand Rapids, Michigan, designed, patented, and marketed an innovative low pressure spray coolant system, they named their company after their product, Uni-Mist®. This revolutionary spray system eliminated the need to flood machining operations with coolant and took advantage of evaporative cooling to improve the performance of cutting tools. Much to the satisfaction of manufacturers, the system not only reduced the amount of coolant required in their machining operations, but also reduced the downstream costs of cleaning it up, treating and disposing of it.
In 1968, Uni-Mist®, Inc. was sold to Wally Boelkins, a mechanical product and tool design engineer. Boelkins rented a 9×12-foot office and then, as the company’s sole employee, began the next chapter of growth and innovation in industrial lubrication products. From the late 1960’s to the mid 1980’s, Wally and his team at Uni-Mist® focused their innovative energies on developing new products, including the Uni-Max® product line. This series of products used positive displacement pumps to deliver lubricant to cutting tools even more efficiently and accurately than the original Uni-Mist systems. The new Uni-max systems opened the door to true minimum quantity lubrication (MQL), which allowed coolants to be replaced with highly efficient lubricants in metal cutting operations. The need for better MQL lubricants led to the formulation of Coolube® lubricants which proved to be very effective in nearly all machining operations.
In the early 1990’s, Uni-Mist® tackled excessive lubricant usage in the metal forming industry. At the time, there were no environmentally responsible methods of applying lubricants to coil stock material used for stamping and roll forming. The introduction of the Uni-Roller® application system in 1993 was an instant success! Metal forming manufacturers searching for ways to comply with more stringent environmental regulations and reduce their lubricant expenses found that the Uni-Roller® was their answer. In addition to saving lubricant costs, companies realized they could reduce waste disposal costs and create a cleaner work environment, too. It didn’t take long before word spread around the world about Uni-Roller® and the benefits it provided.
As our product line and markets expanded beyond spray systems, we changed the company’s name from Uni-Mist®, Inc. to Unist, Inc. in 1996. The name symbolizes our unified efforts to improve the application of lubricants in all manufacturing and assembly processes throughout the world. In 1999, Unist rolled out the first SPR-2000™ Programmable Fluid Controller. This control system greatly enhanced the range of operations suitable for the Uni-Roller® systems. As a result, more customers in more markets were able to enjoy the benefits of the Uni-Roller concept. In 2008, Wally’s son, Chuck, purchased the company from his father. Chuck has been involved with company since 1993 and was behind the development of the entire line of products used in the metal forming industry. His knowledge and passion continue to drive Unist to new levels of innovation and build on the legacy his father began.
Today, Unist production facilities encompass a 40,000-square-foot building which is a big change from Wally’s original 9×12-foot office! We are located on five acres within five minutes of the Gerald R. Ford International Airport in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Unist remains committed to providing innovative solutions to our customers that save money in their manufacturing processes by reducing the amount of fluids consumed through repeatable, reliable application. We believe the consistent application of minimum quantities of fluids improves process efficiency and is friendly to the environment by reducing waste. We hope you’ll take advantage of our vast experience and superior products to help you start saving money today!
In 2006 Unist Australia Pty Ltd was founded by John Barker. John had a previous working relationship with Unist Inc. for over 20 years. Today Unist Australia covers the territories of Australia and New Zealand and is helping many progressive companies convert over to Minimal Quantity Lubrication (MQL).