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Forenta keeps America’s clothes looking sharp

Posted on Saturday, March 16, 2013 at 4:46 pm

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Some people know the name, maybe the location, but the product is unknown to the average person. Forenta is a part of the Made in Morristown Exhibit at Rose Center.

While the finished products have limited use, they are a vital part of the textile care industry.

In 1941, Forse Corporation in Anderson, Ind. developed and sold a laundry press to the U.S. Navy. The manufacturing versatility of Forse continued, and in 1961 a group of employees and Indiana businessmen purchased the pressing machine division and moved to Morristown. That company became Forenta.

Forenta is one of only three U.S. manufacturers of laundry and dry cleaning pressing machines. Products are used in dry cleaners, industrial laundries, hotel valets, garment manufacturing plants, cruise liners, U.S. Navy ships, Federal prisons and government installations. The Old Guard and the Honor Guard at the Tomb of the Unknowns in Washington press their uniforms on Forenta presses.

Forenta is the only manufacturer of electrically-heated laundry presses approved for U.S. Navy shipboard use. The presses are currently on board the USS New York, USS Ronald Regan and USS Monterey, to name a few.

Locally, products are in use at Village Cleaners and Concord Custom Cleaners in Morristown and at Lakeway Cleaners and Custom Care Cleaners in Jefferson City.

In 1994, Forenta acquired the Saratoga brand of garment conveyors. Most conveyors are used in dry cleaning stores to hang bagged clothing items until the customer is ready to pick up. Diana’s Bananas in Chicago uses a Forenta-Saratoga conveyor to dip bananas into their chocolate coating.

Forenta expanded in 2003 with a line of water chillers used primarily with dry cleaning machines to cool the solvent which does the cleaning. TCBY in Morristown uses a Forenta Water Chiller to cool it’s yogurt freezers.

Forenta products are sold throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico. Export sales account for a major portion of Forenta’s business. Finished products are exported to China, India, Saudi Arabia, Australia, Africa, South and Central America, Asia, the Middle East and the Caribbean.

Forenta employs 68 people, many with more than 25 years with the company. The 100,000 square foot plant is fully-integrated. Metal and other raw materials come into one end of the plant and finished products go out the other end. Metal fabrication, welding, painting and assembling all take place under the same roof.

The fabricating department consists of state-of-the-art metal working equipment which includes a turret punch press, a water jet cutting machine and a CNC press brake.

Trained welders then weld the framework, the structural parts of the equipment and the press heads that go into the equipment. The assembly technicians assemble and test the final product before packaging for shipment. Forenta products are ETL approved.

More than 115 models of garment presses, six models of water chillers and hundreds of different conveyors are all manufactured at the location on West Andrew Highway, visible behind Bojangles.

Parts are in stock for all products and usually ship within 24 hours.  Technical questions and problems are answered by phone through a knowledgeable service staff.  The engineering staff is constantly striving to improve products and techniques.

Forenta employees are dedicated and committed to providing quality products for the textile care industry throughout the world. All  products are U.S. made.

The Made in Morristown exhibit provides an opportunity to showcase the Forenta product, made with pride in Morristown.

The exhibit continues through March 31 at Rose Center.