Von Arx surface preparation machines for concrete andasphalt have an excellent reputation all over the world. Thewell-established brand was founded by Paul Von Arx fromSwitzerland, and acquired by the American company Emersonin the beginning of the century. In 2019 ownership hasreturned to Europe, to Fredrik Åkermark, who for many yearsworked as global sales manager for Pullman-Ermator.
The name Von Arx carries certain expectations for anyone workingin surface preparation. The company was founded in 1941 by theinventor Paul Von Arx in the Swiss town of Sissach near Basel.
Ermator in the United States.
The collaboration eventually ledto the taking over of Pullman-Holt’s business with the Ermatorbrand being strengthened in the American market. As a result of this change,Fredrik and his family moved tothe United States to lead thebusiness, living in the UnitedStates for eleven years. Fredrikworked from 1994 to 2017 asPullman-Ermator’s global salesmanager. As many in theindustry will be aware,Husqvarna ConstructionProducts acquired Pullman-Ermator in 2017 which sawFredrik working at Husqvarna asglobal business developmentmanager for dust and slurry andsurface preparation. “We had anincredible journey ofdevelopment with Pullman formany years and (continued)even under the ownership ofHusqvarna,” says FredrikÅkermark. When working in thesame industry for many years,familiarity develops which hasenabled Fredrik to build up alarge network. Thus when VonArx was put up for sale, hecouldn’t let the opportunity pass.“This suited me perfectly. Thecompany has many niceproducts with a high reputationall over the world,” says Fredrik.
The move from Switzerland to Bulgaria
Initially it was a tough start butFredrik and his colleagues areused to challenges. The entireVon Arx business moved fromSwitzerland to the city of Plovdivin Bulgaria. Plovdiv is anindustrial city, geographicallylocated more or less in thecentre of the country, being located on a flat area betweentwo northern and southernmountain ranges. Since themove, the company hasrecruited new teams for productdevelopment, production andadministration. “The work withmoving the entire businessdelayed our production slightly,which caused some deliverydelays to our distributors. Butwe have a very good salesgrowth which initially led tosome growing pains in thecompany,” says Fredrik. Today,the company has 20 employeesin Plovdiv and sales havedeveloped. Deliveries havecaught up much thanks to theskilled co-workers with allemployees growing into theirwork tasks with all welding,bending and machine pressingbeing carried out in the factoryin Plovdiv. “We build newexperience every day,” Fredrikstates.
Von Arx milling drums are wellknown for their world classquality, and besidesmanufacturing milling drums fortheir own machines, thecompany also manufacturesthem for competitors andcolleagues in the industry. Someof the cutting tools aremanufactured in house, whilesome are purchased fromexternal, high qualitymanufacturers in Europe.
Widening the distribution netand product range
What is currently being workedon is the further development ofa network of distributors. Fredrikstated that even if Von Arx is aglobal and well-known brand,there are still many marketswhere the company has no
07/10/2020 Professional Demolition International – New owner for Von Arx brand
representation and where thereis room for major growth. TheUnited States is one suchmarket with the companyrecently making distributionappointments. Other marketswith excellent potential areSouth Africa, Spain, Portugal,Poland, Croatia, Slovenia andMexico. In around six to sevencountries, the company is soonto begin distribution of itsproducts. “Choosing the rightdistributor is incrediblyimportant, that’s somethingwe’ve learnt after all the years atPullman-Ermator. A high level ofservice and support are veryimportant factors for a gooddistributor,” Fredrik stresses.
In terms of products, the currentVon Arx range consists of sixbasic models of surfacepreparation machines, VA10L,FR200, VA25S, VA30S,VA30SH and DTF25SH. Threepneumatic tools series will beadded to this. “Our entireproduct developmentdepartment today are workingwith developing and improvingour current product ranges andcustomising them for moreapplications. We also work witha couple of entirely newproducts which we hope topresent in the beginning of2021,” says Fredrik. The longterm business plan is to widenthe product range even moreand the company is not adverseto the idea of acquiring otherplayers that manufacture qualityproducts in concrete preparationand associated equipment. Inother words, Von Arx with its new ownership, sees excitingdevelopments and future.
PDi will feature Von Arx in the magazine in a future issue, and froman editorial perspective, you never ceased to be amazed bydevelopments within the industry. Just as it seems that manysmaller companies are being acquired by major players, the Paul Von Arx is known for developing a range of different products having over 100 patents. Von Arx is mostly
known for surface preparation machinery for concrete and asphalt, but also for handheld pneumatic tools, such aspneumatic scabblers, needle
scalers and chisel hammers. The company and the brand stand for very high quality in terms of the products themselves, service and
lifespan. The products have been sold all over the world for a long time, and in Sweden, the company Epox Maskin, hasbeen the distributor for Von Arx
since 1997. Lately, an agreement has been made with the Finnish company Machinery Oy which covers distribution in Finland, Estonia and Latvia.
A journey out of the ordinary In the beginning of the 2000s,
Von Arx was sold to the American company Emerson from St. Louis, Missouri, and was included in Ridgid Emerson’s Ridge Tool Division. In 2019 ownership was transferred to the Swedish company Von Arx Sweden. The CEO of the company is none other than Fredrik Åkermark, who many in the industry will associate from his time with Pullman-Ermator. Fredrik has undertaken an impressive journey over the decades with things beginning at Bevaclean, which acquired Pullman’s businesses outside of the United States and later Ermator from Gällö, Sweden. Further on, this company began collaborating with the American company Pullman-Holt and launched Advertising Rates. Demolition International using industry always seems to find new ways for developing andkeeping going on.