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60 Years of UNEX

In 2024, We’re Celebrating 60 Years of Smart Space Solutions That Transform the Supply Chain


Six decades of innovation, resilience, and an unwavering commitment to manufacturing excellence have shaped UNEX into the company it is today. Over those six decades, UNEX has evolved to overcome multiple challenges; from a global pandemic and changing markets to periods of both economic turmoil and prosperity, UNEX has continued to deliver the industry's most reliable carton flow, modular flow racks, gravity conveyors, and dynamic industrial shelving solutions. Innovative companies in manufacturing, warehousing and fulfillment, retail, and logistics trust UNEX solutions to maximize space utilization and keep their businesses moving forward.

This article provides a snapshot of our history and insight from UNEX pioneers and leaders. It will give you a strong sense of our origins and the 60 years of grit and passion that have made UNEX the company it is today.

The UNEX Origin Story


UNEX began its life as “Uniflex.” Founders Bob Gotham and Frank Neuwirth started the company out of a barn in Northern New Jersey. They began by developing a live roller conveying system that ran on an endless loop and utilized nylon aircraft cable. As they got their footing, they moved the operation to an area in the back of a manufacturing facility in Bloomfield, New Jersey, giving Gotham and Neuwirth approximately 8,000 square feet of floor space to work with.

demo-300x2081-1The powered conveyor business was booming through the 70s, but by the late 80s, customer needs started changing and evolving. Our Executive Vice President of Business Development, Mark Neuwirth (who started out sweeping the warehouse floor in our Toms River plant in 1973), recalls what it was like when we started shifting into the carton flow business.

“A decision had to be made,” Mark said. “We were manufacturing powered conveyor but our VP of Engineering at the time and myself brought the idea of carton flow to Frank in the late 80s. I spent a lot of time in the field, working with our customers. We felt carton flow would be worthwhile, and that’s how SpanTrack was born.”

Entering Our SpanTrack Era

spantrack-retroAnd did we ever truly leave it?

Introducing SpanTrack carton flow rollers in 1993 led to a period of tremendous growth for UNEX. Former VP of Manufacturing Doug Shore remembers how it felt working at UNEX during this pivotal moment. "When we dropped conveyor, everyone took a deep breath," said Doug, "and we all felt really good about it. We went all-in on SpanTrack. That's when things just kept on evolving."

After moving to a new facility in Jackson, NJ, UNEX refocused its product line and made SpanTrack its flagship product. Doug recalled, "When we decided to go 100% in on SpanTrack, we began to see more daylight, and the company prospered.”

UNEX SpanTrack pioneered the carton flow craze and continues to be the industry-leading carton flow solution businesses rely on today. The launch of SpanTrack was so successful that UNEX eventually outgrew the facility in Jackson, NJ, and moved to another facility in Lakewood, NJ, where our manufacturing plant and offices are headquartered today.

More Than Just Carton Flow

With the success of SpanTrack came a world of opportunity, and UNEX started to diversify its product offerings. SpanTrack helped open doors to new industries UNEX hadn’t served before, one of which was manufacturing and assembly operations.

flow-cell-retro-1In 2002, UNEX introduced FlowCell lineside storage units. With the launch of this new solution, UNEX could continue serving the material handling industry with SpanTrack, while combining that offering with FlowCell to serve companies in the manufacturing space. FlowCell modular flow racks marked a major milestone in our business but also had a huge impact on the companies that utilize them. Today, FlowCell is the solution of choice for major automotive manufacturers like Ford, GE, and Tesla.

And things just snowballed from there. In 2008, UNEX introduced SpanTrack Wheel Bed universal carton flow beds. In 2013, UNEX introduced Roller Rack standalone carton flow bays. In 2014, we celebrated 50 years in business.

In 2018, UNEX acquired SpeedCell Storage Systems, bringing SpeedCell dynamic industrial shelving into the UNEX family of brands. UNEX President Brian C. Neuwirth explained how SpeedCell became the latest addition to our full suite of supply chain storage solutions, “As the supply chain started to shift more into the world of eCommerce and omnichannel fulfillment, we recognized our customers’ growing need for solutions that can accommodate high volumes of low-throughput SKUs. Due to the rise of eCommerce and rapid increases in consumer demands, we knew a product that offers such tremendous SKU density would be a major asset to our customers,” Brian said, “and that’s why SpeedCell made perfect sense.”


As “the Amazon effect” shows no signs of slowing down, UNEX continues to innovate and iterate to evolve with customers’ needs. In 2023, UNEX introduced SpeedCell Ready Bay, a pre-configured dynamic industrial shelving solution designed to quickly increase SKU storage.

UNEX has a rich history of innovating new solutions, but our customers have always been the driving factor behind this innovation. Every solution and every product enhancement has resulted from continuously striving to meet our customers' ever-changing needs.

SpanTrack Lane Carton Flow Rollers

Efficient, durable, and dependable, SpanTrack Lane carton flow rollers drop into existing structures to create the ultimate carton flow rack system for manufacturing facilities and order picking operations.

SpanTrack Carton Flow Beds

SpanTrack wheel beds are flexible carton flow beds that drop into existing structures to create the ultimate flow rack system for order picking operations, manufacturing facilities, and more.

FlowCell Modular Flow Racks

FlowCell modular flow racks are storage units and workstations designed for a facility’s unique operation. Our durable, portable flow racks maximize pick efficiency and space for lineside storage, sub-assembly stations, supermarket racks, modular mobile carts, and more.

SpeedCell Dynamic High-Density Shelving

SpeedCell is a dynamic high-density shelving solution that maximizes space utilization within standard pallet racking, helping warehouse and backroom operations improve pick speed and accuracy for valuable time and cost savings.

Roller Rack Gravity Flow Racks

Our pre-engineered gravity flow racks provide seamless carton flow to maximize efficiency in order fulfillment, manufacturing, and retail operations.


Smart Space Solutions for the Supply Chain of the Future

After Vice President of Business Development Mark Neuwirth gave us a great recap of the first 60 years of UNEX, we asked him to get out his crystal ball and tell us what the next 60 years might look like. Here’s what he had to say:

“We have to become more flexible toward emerging technologies. AI is a real thing that has become a part of our company and culture like the rest of the world. UNEX is going to mature and become much better at supporting our customers because of this mix of technologies,” Mark said.

“Businesses are driven by their customer base, and customers today buy very differently than they did yesterday. Companies like UNEX and the businesses we serve have to grow with this. Though AI and robotics are moving to the forefront, companies will continue relying on manual solutions to increase space utilization and boost productivity throughout their operations. How companies across the supply chain integrate with these emerging technologies is the way of the future.”

Mark’s 50+ years in this business uniquely qualify him to predict the future. We think he nailed it. Thanks, Mark!

Here’s to the Next 60 Years of UNEX

UNEX-BrianCN-CirclePresident Brian C. Neuwirth reflected on the past as we discussed the future of UNEX, stating, “If you look at what we made 60 years ago and compare it to what we make today, you will see a lot of similarities. But the biggest shifts in our business have come from focusing on delivering solutions that meet our customers’ needs.” Brian added, “We always have our finger on the pulse of the industry and we will continue producing solutions that are relevant to our customer base. This means selling products we don’t make today; developing new solutions, and iterating on existing ones to deliver what we promise, which is building the best products and taking care of our customers.”

Progress and innovation in manufacturing and warehouse storage have consistently pushed UNEX every day to become a better version of the company it was yesterday. Over the past 60 years, the supply chain has not only weathered storms but has emerged stronger and more resilient. But supply chain success is not just about weathering the storm, it's about the innovative solutions and collaborative efforts of companies across industries, coming together to deliver customer experiences that are second to none. And at UNEX, our customer’s success is our success.

Our commitment to excellence is not just a part of our history; it is the cornerstone of our future, and our loyal customers across the supply chain are at the center of it. UNEX will continue to innovate, adapt, and deliver with the same passion and dedication that has defined us for six remarkable decades. The journey ahead is filled with possibilities, and we are excited to embark on it with our partners and customers.

Trust the Experts at UNEX with Your Next Project

UNEX offers efficient and practical solutions for increasing efficiency in your warehouse, fulfillment center, or manufacturing facility. UNEX carton flow, flow racks, gravity conveyors, and dynamic industrial shelving systems offer a range of benefits that can help improve your operation. From increasing efficiency to reducing labor costs, these systems can provide a significant return on investment.

Let the experts at UNEX help you design a space-saving solution that will work for the unique needs of your operation for decades. If you’re looking for a reliable and effective way to optimize storage and flow throughout your facility, contact UNEX for your next project.

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