Uni-Tek Manufacturing Co. started in 1954 in Frankfort Illinois by Harold Sexaur. Their facility consisted of 9000 square feet. Their internal design team was headed by former team members of the original American team to develop EDM technology with Electro Arc founder, Harold Stark. Uni-Tek metal disintegrator machines differed from Electro Arc’s by using DC instead of AC. These metal disintegrating machines featured the Servo disintegrating head, using the quill vibrating head released in the 1960s. For some time they released models branded Uni-Cut’. Some models were discontinued or changed over the years. For example, the model 100DNX and 125X, which were designed for use in Military and aerospace applications were later trademarked as the Tap Zapper models. Additionally, a Bolt Eater tabletop model was introduced as model 1000, although it is unclear how long the model was offered or why it was discontinued.
Uni-Tek started by manufacturing 10 models in 4 performance areas. Performance level 1 included the model 100D metal disintegrator which was a drill press model, to be used with a drill press or mill, the model 125 metal disintegrator was a portable model with a magnetic base structure, these two models featured 6 cutting selections and were recommended for low volume tap removal. Performance level 2 machines included the model 200, a tabletop model featuring a 30″ x 30″ tabletop, and the model 225 a portable model. Both of these machines were recommended for moderate volume tap removal and 6 mid-range selections. Performance level 3 machines were models 300, 325, 400, and 500. These were Uni-Tek’s most popular models featuring 11 cutting selections. Performance Level 4 machines were marketed for core sampling and large bolt removal. Model 1000 was a large tabletop model and the model 1025, now known as the Bolt Eater is a portable machine. Both machines featured the Servo disintegrating head and 11 cutting selections.
In a press release announcing the purchase, Electro Arc let Uni-Tek customers know that they would still offer service, and parts for existing Uni-Tek machine owners, including electrodes. In March of 2009, Electro Arc announced that they would cease this support and encouraged current machine owners to upgrade by purchasing a new Electro Arc metal disintegrator, providing the following comparisons for each model:
After the purchase of Uni-Tek, Electro Arc announced that all Uni-Tek machines were obsolete with the exception of model 1025 (Bolt Eater), Uni-Tek model 300 which was incorporated into the Electro Arc line as model 2-SAC, and the Tap Zapper, which is manufactured by Electro Arc as the model X-1, an alternate version is available as model X-2 “Extract-All”. This trademarked name was used by Electro Arc to describe a number of metal disintegrator models manufactured by Electro Arc since the term “Tap Zapper” has become synonymous with metal disintegrator and is still used to describe these machines. Using the name tap zapper to describe so many models was confusing to customers and was only used until the trademark lapsed in 2006. Electro Arc continued (and still continues) to offer manuals and repair services for eligible old Uni-Tek machines and sells some accessories including electrodes for use with all obsolete Uni-Tek models.
Uni-Tek marketed their metal disintegrators as low-range cutting power, stating that the low-range cutting power circuit provided infinitely variable control on the low voltage and amperage. Further, they explained the reason for this feature was to avoid damage to the piece, part, or electrode claiming that use of too much power causes heat damage to the electrode destroying accuracy of the cut.
Uni-Tek opened a separate division just for their Electrical Discharge Machines, called US EDM Systems. In 1996, Uni-Tek began offering a portable EDM Drill marketed as the Metal Eliminator. This machine was designed for corrective machining specifically for the Nuclear Industry. In a press release dated August 14, 1996, they published trial results using this machine to drill 128 holes in 72 Rockwell Steel .118″ in diameter, 1.125″ deep in 12-15 minutes. In 2002 they released the precision benchtop EDM model D55 equipment. They manufactured a small benchtop EDM machine model D55DL. This machine was marketed to fit standard milling machines Although Electro Arc purchased both companies, they did not continue to offer these EDM machines.
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