Numatic was founded in 1969 in the Somerset town of Crewkerne, in southwest England, where it produced its first commercial vacuum cleaner design for cleaning coal, oil and gas fired boilers.
At the beginning, the company employed six people in a little factory that was not as big as a garage and the most sophisticated equipment was a drill …. thank heavens the days were 24 hours long!
The first vacuum cleaner designs were made of a combination of oil drums and everyday components that were readily available, such as suitcase handles, furniture castors and domestic washing-up bowls. All assembled in such a way as to provide a simple, reliable workhorse for commercial and industrial use.
By 1971, demand had grown too big for the little Crewkerne works and we moved to a watermill in nearby Yeovil, which is where we learnt all about wet pick-up machines ….when the river ran high, the factory regularly flooded between 5 and 10cm! …. but production continued. It was here that the first serious commercial vacuum cleaner was developed, the NV-2; followed very closely by the original (and highly successful) NV-250. Both were all-steel machines and the majority are still working today – 30+ years later. We pride ourselves on the fact that we can still supply replacement parts for all Numatic vacuum cleaners ever produced …. right back to No.1.
First floor machine
By 1973 we had started to break-into the professional cleaning industry and produced our first floor machine, plus wet and dry vacuums. Once again based on components that could be purchased from existing suppliers.
A new home
But by 1974, we had now outgrown the mill and we moved to our first real factory, in Beaminster, Dorset, where we gradually expanded over the next 20 years.
The birth of a legend
Beaminster was to be the home of ‘Henry’, the product for which Numatic is famous throughout the world; with sales increasing year by year from its inception in 1981.
Up until 1990, we were mainly assembling our products from metal and plastic components supplied by sub-contractors. We then progressed into our own tube manipulation facility to make improved, stronger, commercial products.
It was at this time that we realised we needed increased production capacity and greater manufacturing expertise if we were to remain competitive in world markets.
As a result, the Chard location where Numatic is situated today, was acquired in 1990. Expansion of the site and its production facilities continues as we now head confidently into the 21st century.
In 1995, subsidiary companies near to Paris, France and in Johannesburg, South Africa were established to provide full support for our increasing overseas activities in these regions. Further subsidiaries followed with Germany in 2002, The Netherlands in 2004, Switzerland in 2014, Portugal in 2015 and Spain in 2018.
The key to Numatic’s success is the close relationship that has been established with both customers and suppliers worldwide. Many of these relationships have survived throughout the whole lifespan of the company, and indeed, many have entered second and even third generation associations. Over these years we hope we have always listened, and paid heed, to advice and in so doing provided a better service to our dealers and they, in turn, to our customers.
Our aim is to continue to be innovative, maintain a high standard of quality and to provide good value for money.