The Crenlo story began in early 1951 when three businessmen purchased a 40,000-square-foot manufacturing plant in northwest Rochester, MN. The three proud new owners — R.R. Cresswell, John Enblom, and W.W. Lowther — named their fledgling firm “Crenlo” by combining the first two letters of each man’s last name.
The First Product
Enblom received the company’s first order in July 1951 — 500 tractor cabs for Caterpillar, Inc. in Peoria, Ill. During the 50s, the company’s production of tractor cabs expanded to include several Caterpillar models as well as units for John Deere, Shield Bantam and American Coleman. The first non-cab contract came in 1957 when IBM Rochester asked Crenlo to recondition their business machines. That year, the first of many building expansions began with an addition of 14,000 sq. ft.
In the early 60s, Crenlo became involved in housing and cabinet manufacturing with several contracts from 3M. In 1967, Crenlo was purchased by and became a subsidiary of the General Fireproofing Company (which later became GF Corporation), headquartered in Youngstown, Ohio. The company’s growth required a second plant to be built, which is located on the northwest edge of Rochester.
Emcor® Brand Acquired
In January 1975, GF acquired the Emcor brand from Borg-Warner Corporation. Emcor, which stands for Elgin Metal Formers Corporation, was a pioneer in the design and manufacture of standard enclosures for the electronics market. Today, Emcor remains a well known brand in the enclosure market, offering one of the largest selections of enclosure products and accessories in the industry.
During 1984, GF expressed a desire to divest their interest in Crenlo and redirect their financial resources more toward their core business — office furniture. On August 1, 1985, Crenlo bought out the firm. Over the next several years, Crenlo grew to become one of the largest privately held companies in the state of Minnesota. Continuing the tradition of quality work and attention to detail, Crenlo was formally ISO 9001-certified in June of 1996.
On October 4, 1999, the company entered another new era with the sale of Crenlo to Dover Diversified, Inc., a subsidiary of Dover Corporation. Comprised of 53 different companies, Dover is a multi-billion publicly held international, diversified manufacturing corporation. Under this new ownership, Crenlo has continued to enhance its high standards and has made new advancements in terms of technology, equipment and processes.
On September 27, 2011 KPS Capital Partners, LP (“KPS”) through a newly formed platform, International Equipment Solutions, LLC (“IES”), acquired Crenlo. The IES platform includes an industry leading portfolio of brands and has an exceptionally strong reputation for quality, durability, delivery, product support and product innovation.