Changing of the Guard at Unist


New ownership went into effect at Unist Inc., a Grand Rapids, Mich.-based lubrication system manufacturer, on Jan. 1. The shift comes as Chuck Boelkins, son of previous owner Wally Boelkins, purchased the company from his father. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

According to Unist, the new ownership will continue to focus on developing pressurized fluid dispensing systems that help operators reduce the amount of lubrication in their cutting, forming and stamping operations, using vegetable-based oil. As opposed to wet machining, minimum quantity lubrication uses no or little lubricant on work processes. It claims to help operators cut costs, promote environmentally friendly work environments and enhance employee health and safety.

I want to the company to continually grow, Wally Boelkins told Lube Report. The company must continue to promote its products for their environmental and economical value across markets worldwide.

Chuck Boelkins played a key role in developingUnist alongside his father through the years. For example, his company, Positech Inc., a Grand Rapids, Mich.-based manufacturer of general industrial machinery, has designed and manufactured Unists entire line of metal-forming lubrication systems since 1993. Today, the Uni-Roller application system remains a vital component of the Unist product line.Positech is still in operationand may be merged with Unist at some point in the future, according to the senior Boelkins.

Wally Boelkins bought Unist – then named uni-Mist – in 1968 when he was a mechanical product and tool design engineer looking for a better way to support his family. As the companys only employee in a small office, he worked to market the previous owners patented low-volume, low-spray lubrication system.

Forty years later, with a new generation in control, the senior Boelkins said that he will take on less responsibility but remain actively involved in the areas of marketing and product development. He will retain his position as chief executive officer.

My son and I have worked closely together for 15 years, Wally Boelkins said. Im not sentimental, but this [change in ownership] is a great thing.

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