- The most innovative, highest quality floor cleaning solutions
- Reduced total cleaning costs
- An extensive local dealer network that can answer any question you have
- Unmatched customer service that understands and responds to your needs
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- Increase the cleaning productivity of you and your team
- Offer multi-tasking capabilities so you can use one machine to do the job of several
- Are both built to last and easy to maintain
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Timeline of Advance History
Merritt Pond started the Advance Machine Shop, repairing equipment for the grain milling industry in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The original site was a small wooden building with a dirt floor located at 2613 Southeast Fourth Street, not far from the mills.
The shop began repairing terrazzo grinding machines for the terrazzo floor industry. Pond realized that for the Advance Machine Shop to grow, it would need to manufacture a product to sell.
Advance’s first product, a terrazzo grinder, was demonstrated to contractors throughout the United States.
Advance started making floor scrubbers and polishers on a private label basis.
Advance began making the “new” Lowboy™ floor machines (called Lowboy because they could reach under desks and furniture). By then Advance terrazzo machines were the standard in the industry, and the business was well enough established to survive the Great Depression.
Advance focuses its efforts on helping the American cause in World War II by making parts for B-17 bombsights.
After the War (in 1948) Advance had twelve people on the payroll.
The Speedboy Deluxe™ floor machine was introduced. It featured a “flexible gear” drive, a major engineering breakthrough in floor machine design.
Several other new Advance products emerged, including the Gyro™ and Pacemaker™ (both floor scrubbers), and Hydro-Vac™ (a wet/dry tank vacuum). Later the same year, Advance moved into a 10,000 square foot building on Washington Avenue in Minneapolis while retaining the original location on Southeast Fourth Street.
The first Advance national sales meeting was held at the Washington Avenue location. There were eight salesmen and less than forty distributors nationwide.
The factory employed forty people and needed room to grow. The Company bought a 105,000 square foot building located in Spring Park, not far from Minneapolis. Factory and headquarter offices remained in Spring Park for almost 30 years.
The first Convertamatic™ automatic scrubber was introduced. It was called a Convertamatic because it could quickly be converted from an automatic floor scrubber to a dry floor polisher and vacuum. The recovery unit could also be lifted out and used separately. The Convertamatic introduced a patented Power-Flo™ self-propelling drive, the same drive system used to propel many Advance automatic scrubbers today.
Advance opened a manufacturing operation in Canada.
The CarpeTwin™ became the first two-motor carpet vacuum on the market.
The first CarpeTron™ dry foam shampooers went into production.
International operations began with Advance exporting machines throughout the world.
The Industrial Division was established. The manufacturing and sale of an industrial line, including large, heavy-duty rider sweepers and scrubbers, presented a new growth opportunity for the company.
An international office was established in Luxembourg.
The Spring Park plant was expanded to 250,000 square feet, and a 200,000 square foot assembly operation and distribution center was added in Plymouth, another suburb of Minneapolis.
The international facility moved from Luxembourg to the United Kingdom with the establishment of a 35,000 square foot manufacturing plant and office in Cardiff, Wales. A warehouse/office was set up in Monheim, Germany the same year.
From its beginning, Advance Machine Company had been a family-owned organization under the management of Merritt Pond, his son Harold, and finally Harold’s son Robert. In January of 1989, Advance was sold to a group of financial investors.
Advance merged with Danish company Nilfisk A/S, a well known international company manufacturing a broad line of industrial and commercial vacuum cleaners marketed worldwide.
Advance continues the proud tradition of innovation by creating products like the world’s first Whirlamatic™ 2700 Rider Burnisher.
The Hydro-Retriever™ 2800 Rider Scrubber was introduced.
On November 1, a truck left our dock loaded with cleaning equipment headed for the great city of New York. The final destination was Capital Supply (a longtime Advance Dealer) who volunteered to help us deliver these products to six schools at “ground-zero” for much needed cleaning. These six schools are part of the New York Board of Education. Once the schools were thoroughly cleaned, the equipment was sold and 100% of the sale proceeds were donated to the American Red Cross on behalf of Advance and Capital Supply.
Nilfisk-Advance, Inc. announces the acquisition of ECOLOGICA, a top manufacturer of quality industrial and outdoor sweepers, located in Parma, Italy. Nilfisk also acquires the ALTO group, which was formed six years earlier by merging 10 global brands within the cleaning industry, including Wap and Clarke.
Nilfisk establishes production sites in Hungary and China.
Acquisition of Viper, a leading Chinese manufacturer and supplier of professional cleaning equipment to the mid-market.
Nilfisk announces The Horizon Program and showcases the first prototype of a new and ground-breaking autonomous scrubber to enable unmanned cleaning.
NKT A/S is split into two individual companies, and Nilfisk is listed as an independent company on the Copenhagen Stock Exchange (Nasdaq Copenhagen).
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