The Advance brand is part of Nilfisk, Inc. that has been leading commercial and industrial surface cleaning equipment. The Advance mission is the enable cleaning worldwide to improve quality of life. In 1910, Merritt Pond started the Advance Machine Shop. He repaired grain milling equipment in Minneapolis, Minnesota. By 1922, they started to repair terrazzo grinding machines for the floor industry. Two years later, Advance’s first product, a terrazzo grinder, debuted. In 1928, Advance began making floor scrubbers and in the 1930s the Lowboy floor machines started production. The Lowboy was popular because it could clean under furniture.
After World War II, Advance had a dozen people on their payroll. In 1949, the Speedboy Deluxe floor machine was released. This breakthrough machine had a flexible gear drive. Advance expanded their production facility and started making more products by 1955. These included two floor scrubbers, Gyro and Pacemaker, along with a wet/dry tank vacuum called the Hydro-Vac.
The first Convertamatic debuted in 1958. This automatic scrubber could be converted from a scrubber to a dry floor polisher and vacuum. The Convertamatic introduced a patented Power-Flo self-propelling drive. This is still the same system currently used in many of the Advance automatic scrubbers. After continuing to expand sales internationally, the Industrial Division was created in 1974. The focus was on manufacturing large, heavy-duty rider sweepers and scrubbers.
Advance Machine Company was sold out of the family to investors in 1989. In 1994, Danish company Nilfisk A/S took over the company. The innovative production continues with the first Whirlamatic 2700 Ride Burnisher in 1997. The 2016 Horizon Program shared the first prototype of a new and innovative autonomous scrubber that allowed unmanned cleaning.
Today, Advance continues to sell a wide variety of commercial and industrial products. These include scrubbers like the Adfinity and Adgressor, sweeper-scrubbers, vacuums, carpet extractors like the AquaPLUS, along with floor machines and burnishers. The Adfinity REV won ISSA Innovation Awards. It allows for chemical free floor finish with their patent pending Random Orbital Scrubbing technology. This allows for the machine to finish cleaning in a single pass using only water.